By Laura A. Van Vleet and G. L. Norris
Playing With the Big Boys (Book)

Few poker goddesses are as successful , or colorful , as Wendeen Eolis. A true inspiration, Wendeen was the first woman to finish in the money in the prestigious World Series of Poker in 1986.

A decade later, following her second record-setting performance for a woman in the final event, the casino that created the tournament, Binion’s Horseshoe, issued a WSOP commemorative Poker chip in her honor.

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By day (and her days often stretch well into the night!), Wendeen is the CEO of a highly successful law practice consultancy that specializes in the selection and review of lawyers, law firms, and legal services worldwide. She is also the former First Assistant and Senior Advisor to New York Governor George E. Pataki, and a former Special Advisor to New York City’s celebrated Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Additionally, Wendeen served as a consultant and has vetted counsel prospects for the federal government under presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush [and for various government agencies] in connection with Federal and State Gaming issues.

In addition to her legal business and Poker adventures, Wendeen is a classical pianist who as a child performed as a soloist at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall. She has also appeared on television as a co-anchor on Court TV, and was featured on A & E’s Biography Close-Up Special on the game she has both grown to love and master, Poker.

Wendeen recently parlayed that mastery and her many incredible Poker experiences, and victories into her forthcoming book, Power Poker Dame. On the night we met Wendeen, as a testament to her endless energy and enthusiasm, she was simultaneously organizing an event for survivors of the September 11th Tragedy in New York City, and planning a trip to Europe to research her favorite casinos for the writing of her book, and a special feature story for Poker Digest, the industry’s pre-eminent Poker magazine. And as a credit to her radiance, despite her demanding schedule, she was never too busy to give us a great deal of her precious time , and even more of her wisdom.

We present to you the success story of Wendeen Eolis, Poker Goddess!


What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on this journey?

I’ve learned that bluffing is an overrated strategy in business, politics, and especially in Poker. Women can win more money by bluffing less. Quite remarkably to the uninitiated, Poker is not all about bluster and guts but rather the art and science of the ‘semi bluff,’ which in real life we refer to as calculation of potential.