Grande Dame of Poker

WSOP Keynote Speech

Recognized as the Grande Dame of Poker by World Series of Poker  Commissioner, Jeffrey Pollack, in 2007, Wendeen Eolis had proven her mettle in the toughest poker competitions in the world. She was the first woman to cash in the Main Event of the WSOP and the first woman to do so twice. She has cashed in the WSOP seven times.

Wendeen has also been an outspoken industry leader.  She served on the WSOP Players Advisory Council for  its full five year duration and chaired the International Council at the invitation of Caesars served as Chairman of the Executive Committee for two years and was elected President and Chair of the World Poker Association, before leaving to work on a presidential election.

She was responsible for the groundbreaking World Poker Association/ WSOP  partnered event (2008)  and selected as the keynote speaker at the WSOP Ladies Championship Event, on the 30th anniversary of her first historic performance. On  multiple occasions she has done the honors of the official  "Shuffle Up and Deal" command, at WSOP championship events.

Wendeen was introduced to poker at the legendary Mayfair Club, where she faced many of the game’s best players, fearlessly. She is widely credited as a leading pioneer for women in high stakes poker games and big buy-in tournaments.

The Lady is a Player!

WHE/Ty Stewart/Jack Effel-WSOP

Wendeen is a recipient of a commemorative chip issued by the WSOP in her honor for women's milestones. The moniker “Grand Dame of Poker, was conferred following the 20th anniversary of her historic first cash for a woman on poker’s biggest stage and following her   distinguished experience as a player, commentator, industry activist, investigative journalist in the business of poker, and as a speaker at the WSOP .

Wendeen has demonstrated passion and staying power in the game. She  snagged a seat in the Grand Prix of Poker Invitational  in 1987 and the WPT televised Ladies Night 2, event in 2004 ,  and then for all of the events in the Inaugural Professional Poker Tour—the only player both sponsored by management and elected by peers.

Her cashes have been on US and overseas soil; a win at the European Open in 1990  was followed by another in the Lake Tahoe-based High Stakes Invitational. in 2000.  She has also cashed in the California Championship   the United States Championship, the Foxwoods Championship,  and the Bellagio 5 Star Championship. And she was the last woman standing in the Inaugural WPT Grand Championship.

She has been featured in various televised coverage of the WSOP(1986- 2016), the WPT Championship, Poker Royale, and most recently on Poker Night in America (2015, 2016 and 2017)

Wendeen’s role as the Grande Dame of Poker is sealed with 10 record-setting performances for a woman in world class events between 1986-2009 and by her continued appearances as a celebrity player in both cash games and tournaments  against world class competition--televised between 1986-2017.

A passionate activist for good sportsmanship and an ambassador for the game and responsible gaming, Wendeen has been a leading force in the industry for more than thirty years.

In the book "Playing with the Big Boys" (Van Vleet and Norris, 2002) the authors called Wendeen the "Ultimate Poker Goddess."

Writing to Raise Awareness of Issues

Wendeen was a pioneer in investigative journalism for poker trade publications. Her first such piece appeared in Poker Digest (2000). Since that time, she has published more than 100 articles--profiles, business articles and investigatory pieces. She has written cover stories and penetrating pieces for most of the major poker publications.

For more information and to schedule appointments,
call (212) 472-4000 or email