Gaming Insider

WHE/Elizabeth Gilbert v Wayne Newton, and his coach

Wendeen’s interest in gaming began at home with board games; acquiring high priced hotels in Monopoly, taking down the queen in chess, finding "BINGOS" in scrabble letters, and shooting the moon in hearts—but Wendeen's poker exploits came much later.

Elizabeth Gilbert the GQ writer and author and screenwriter of "Eat, Pray, Love" wrote hilariously about her journey into the poker world with  Wendeen as her "shrewd" poker guru.  

In her early twenties, Wendeen was fascinated with mainframe computers. After reading “Beat the Dealer” by MIT  professor Edwin Thorp, she became enamored by the possibilities of creating a computer-based blackjack "counting system" of her own.

A chance meeting with Kenny Usui (Uston) led to their teaming up, at and away from blackjack tables; they earned big bucks together while each made major headway in a new life--she in her legal search business, he as a professional blackjack player -- before going their separate ways.

WHE/Rep Shelly Berkley in her Capitol office.

In the early 70's Wendeen took advantage of her Vegas trips with Kenny to make friends with casino executives, and picked up several clients, including Caesars where she became a special advisor to the Board of Directors on vetting of legal counsel.

Over the next decades she represented 34 casinos,  hiring legal counsel, she worked in government on casino regulatory issues, and she became an internationally recognized poker player-- in her free time.


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