2022 WSOP Featured Females: Meet Wendeen Eolis, 1st Woman to Ever Cash Foremost Tournament

Wendeen Eolis

Within the mid 1980’s, females have been belief of no ingredient in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Foremost Tournament, and rather then the accepted rounder and skilled gambler Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston, poker gamers infrequently made headlines in the mainstream press. That one and all changed when Wendeen Eolis grew to change into the first lady to cash at poker’s “Huge Dance.”

Within the 1986 WSOP Foremost Tournament, Eolis battled about a of the excellent gamers on the earth, including Amarillo Slim, in a field of 141 runners. She changed into on her manner to a 25th-situation attain for a $10,000, return on her remove-in, but permanent bragging rights because the first lady in historical previous to cash in the WSOP Foremost Tournament.

Eolis attributes her 1986 WSOP efficiency to a year of poker tutoring from one of many excellent, a “comparatively” conservative game belief, and cooperative cards. She suggested PokerNews, “Even lately, females can desire extra by bluffing no longer as a lot as men.”

Discovering Her Manner to Poker

In 1985, Eolis opted to shield up a fresh interest. She explained, “I changed into on an airplane seated next to Oswald Jacoby, a mountainous bridge and backgammon player, He talked with me about backgammon and suggested that I’m going to a situation called the Mayfair Club.”

Eolis took him up on his recommendation, at remaining.

“Twenty minutes changed into all it took for me to identify backgammon changed into no longer my game. I changed into outlandish about poker. The Mayfair people have been talking about starting poker games.”

She made her manner to the Concord Resort in the Catskills where they had a seven-card stud game. It changed into there she learned the dynamics of the game, including the elemental rules and easy recommendations to scramble a deck of cards.

Returning to the Mayfair Club, Eolis joined the fresh cramped-stakes poker games but changed into extra enamored of the doable for bigger stakes, worship the ones she played as one of many premier card counters, aid in the day.

Early on, no person on the Mayfair knew very great in regards to the Chanel-kindly lady, and Eolis had no belief of the tremendous of the competitors that she would quickly face, in her first “immense no restrict” poker game. Club regulars — knowledgeable bridge and backgammon gamers and seasoned poker gamers — mercurial pegged her because the dream addition for the Club’s fresh no-restrict game about to get underway.

Jay Heimowitz, a WSOP player who had taken third situation in the WSOP Foremost Tournament, changed into there, and so, too, have been experienced WSOP gamers worship Steve Zolotow, Dan Harrington, Jason Lester, and Howard Lederer. Erik Seidel jumped into the fray comparatively later, and Eolis prevailed in her first immense hand with a pair of threes.

As she pulled in the pot with journeys on the river, the person next to her stated softly, “Sweetheart, you develop no longer belong in this game.” He then equipped to shield her a ways from the game for a cup of espresso. So, started the Mayfair’s Monday evening “immense game” where Eolis started her training as a poker player, with a mentor that added a substantive dimension to her busy existence.

Steve Zolotow
Eolis primitive to play with Steve Zolotow, who is having a solid 2022 WSOP.

Betty Carey and the Bookie

Eolis described the scene as she filed into the WSOP enviornment aid in 1986, “The sphere changed into 141 runners. Most of them have been mavens. The fearless Betty Carey changed into in the aggregate of about a excellent females and the one to undercover agent. Betty assuredly challenged revered road gamblers worship Amarillo Slim and Doyle Brunson—to play heads-up duels. She held her maintain with them.”

Eolis continued: “Betty wasted no time in befriending me. Helpful banter changed into segment of Betty Carey’s belief to lunge in for the extinguish.”

Carey inquired civilly about Eolis’s motivation to play in the WSOP Huge One, asking if there changed into a poker player in her existence. That changed into a secret Eolis changed into no longer ready to picture.

“Betty quickly moved on, waving to Terry Rogers, a important bookie from Eire. He took all sorts of proposition bets on WSOP gamers, but he showed no interest in me, nor in my oddball want to wager on myself in an tournament that never seen a woman cash out.”

Eolis’s 25th-situation attain produced shock and dismay for Rogers, who equipped bets on her genuinely cashing. Eolis recalled the disclose that ended in the bookmaker’s unexpected proposition wager on her cashing in the tournament: “As the gamers have been filing into the poker enviornment for the festivities, Rogers equipped up remaining-minute making a wager motion.”

John “Austin Squatty” Jenkins, one of many fascinating no-restrict specialists, tipped his hat against Rogers, asserting he wished to invent a immense wager “on the cramped lady from Modern York.”

Eolis diagnosed Squatty as a “immense player” from her blackjack playing days. He cherished to lallygag around with Eolis’s blackjack partner, Ken Uston, a properly- known card counter on the 21 tables. She equipped, “I figured Squatty’s wager changed into mostly a stunt to get attention for himself. Composed, I cherished the premise of his making a wager on me. Assorted than my poker mentor, who had edifying equipped to change 10% of the winnings if both of us done in the cash of any tournament, I didn’t ask anybody else to shield an alternate on me. Predictably my mentor scored loads better than I did. He inspired me to play in the last championship the utilization of my allotment of his winnings. I purchased in on my maintain, accepting as an alternate a ‘no guarantees’ diamond.”

She added: “I changed into drastically bowled over by Terry Rogers’ resolution to e book the wager since he had blown off my accurate same inquire of. So, when Squatty whispered that I could perhaps perchance well remove a optimistic portion of his motion, I took it.”

On the tip of the day, her wager yielded a bigger payday than her tournament rize cash, but she demurred on offering a extra particular number.

Wendeen Eolis, Karina Jett
Wendeen Eolis & Karina Jett in WSOP motion years aid.

A Few Memoir-Atmosphere Moments

While her 1986 efficiency place Eolis on the megastar poker player grid, with the media tracking her every pass, the 1987 WSOP Foremost Tournament sent her to the rails on Day 1 and earned her the headline of “Fallen Poker Considerable person” in Modern York’s Newsday newspaper.

In 1988, on the Hall of Status Tournament, the 2d-biggest tournament of the year, the Modern York Day after day Details snubbed Eolis unless she grew to change into the leisure Modern Yorker standing and the first lady, ever, to invent the last table of a immense remove-in tournament. She went out sixth, one situation bigger than Phil Hellmuth. Poker Hall of Famer Barbara Enright, the appropriate lady to invent the last table on the WSOP Foremost Tournament and stays the perfect female finisher in the Foremost Tournament, even sent Eolis flora.

“Annette Obrestad crushed the competitors in the 2007 remaining tournament of the World Series of Poker Europe winning bigger, more challenging, and a ways extra prestigious tournament.”

Eolis hit pay grime all all over again in 1990, in Europe’s excellent tournament—the European Poker Start —on the Isle of Man. She beat out Poker Hall of Famer Eric Drache, the accepted cardroom manager, for first situation and scored one other represent because the appropriate lady to desire a immense remove-in tournament in Europe. Eolis identified, “Annette Obrestad crushed the competitors in the 2007 remaining tournament of the World Series of Poker Europe winning bigger, more challenging, and a ways extra prestigious tournament.”

In 1993, Eolis improved on her maintain old WSOP represent back to change into the first lady to cash in the Foremost Tournament, twice. This time she received her manner into the tournament by the utilization of a “satellite”, and he or she done in 20th situation. She went out seconds sooner than one other poker buddy, Marsha Waggoner, scored an in-the-cash attain and the honors of remaining lady standing.

Eolis appears to be like aid at her 1993 efficiency as her most necessary tournament ever. It changed into furthermore literally breathtaking, as her survival into the cash came whereas paramedics monitored her play in an oxygen cowl after she lost consciousness in the smoke-stuffed room.

Eolis hit one extra “first” sooner than she changed into taken to the hospital. She grew to change into the first lady to shield part in a WSOP broadcast as Dick Van Patten invited her to co-host a segment of the tournament for ESPN.

Eolis’ Milestones

Along with female poker mavens Enright, Waggoner, Susie Isaacs, and Barbara Freer Samuelson, in 1996 Eolis changed into one of 5 recipients of a poker chip named in her honor for “females’s milestones in poker.”

Eolis moved into print and broadcast journalism but retained her enthusiasm for poker occurring to realize in the cash in a entire of seven WSOP events. She changed into furthermore the leisure lady standing in the 2002 World Poker Tour (WPT) $25,000 Foremost Tournament, and he or she changed into each a backed and elected member of the WPT’s Plentiful Poker Tour.

Eolis’s commentator résumé integrated the role of moderator for the first are living info superhighway reporting of a poker tournament on the US Poker Championships, but her premiere broadcast changed into the pilot produced by Steve Lipscomb and Tina and Trace Napolitano in 2001 for the Tournament of Champions. She and the late Mike Sexton anchored the commentary for the purpose out that led straight to the WPT. Eolis’s most nostalgic gig as a TV poker point out participant changed into on the leisure WSOP at Binion’s Horseshoe.

For added than 15 years, Eolis changed into a columnist for poker media (she wrote for marvelous newspapers, too). Her feature tales assuredly seemed in Poker Digest and Poker Player Newspaper and he or she has contributed tales to BLUFF Journal, All In, Card Player, On line casino Player, and heaps other poker publications.

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Helping Swap the Alternate

All around the “Poker Enhance,” Eolis says she tried to develop her segment for the change. She served on the WSOP Gamers Advisory Council (PAC).and changed into appointed chair of the WSOP World Gamers Advisory Council by then WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. Eolis commented, “I believed that the PAC changed into an supreme thing for the poker neighborhood, and participating in it changed into segment of my transition a ways from playing poker to doing extra for the change.”

Regarded as one of many issues that came into fabricate briefly at some point soon of her time on the PAC changed into a controversial rule that she supported, strongly; strict time-out penalties for cursing and crude feedback. It changed into referenced as Rule 37 (“The Eolis Rule” when it changed into first published on the WSOP’s web region). Eolis pushed mighty for stricter rules on cursing and vulgarity on the poker tables, with a conception to supply a friendlier atmosphere for each fresh gamers and females. WSOP brass quickly softened the rule of thumb and Wendeen says, she too, has a considerably extra relaxed see lately.

Eolis changed into furthermore a founding member of the World Poker Affiliation (WPA), and changed into elected Vice-Chair and then Chair of the group, which at its peak drew 1,400 people. Her proudest accomplishment changed into the collaboration with the WSOP to sponsor an opening tournament for the WPA membership.

Wendeen H Eolis
Wendeen Eolis in earlier WSOP motion.

A Life Out of doorways of Poker

While Eolis’ poker résumé is impressive, it pales in comparability to what she’s done in other parts of her existence. She is an experienced CEO, entrepreneur, marvelous consultant, public legit, journalist, and motivational and keynote speaker, among many other issues.

Eolis graduated from Modern York College with honors. She is a certified arbitrator and an actual knowledgeable be taught about in insist and federal courts. She has served as a director and/or handbook to public firm boards and no longer-for-profit organizations; Caesars World changed into her first board advisory effect, courting aid to 1971.

She has been featured in a form of media—print, broadcast, and digital media, including The Modern York Times, The Wall Avenue Journal, GQ Journal, BBC, Court docket TV, and A&E Biography.

She furthermore served as a key handbook to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and then as first assistant and senior handbook to Governor George E. Pataki (NY) sooner than her fresh effect as Commander of HCTF, a put up 9/11 initiative based at some point soon of the George W. Bush administration to supply governments with particular counsel recommendations in the aftermath of violent incidents and pure failures.

Eolis serves as CEO of Eolis World Community, her flagship marvelous consultancy. The American Lawyer Journal acknowledges her because the inventor of the appropriate recruiting and search change and because the founder of the National Affiliation of Apt Search Consultants. At 77, Eolis gentle enjoys her marvelous consulting work. She in the interim specializes in public firm boardroom advisory companies and products; attorney and law firm vetting companies and products and searches for lawyers to abet as company directors.

At this time Eolis has tamped down her poker pursuits in desire of expanded government affairs assignments and visits with family including mountainous-grandchildren.

Eolis infrequently performs poker in the interim, with the exception of for charity, but she competed in the 2021 WSOP Foremost Tournament. She did no longer cash, but she hasn’t given up on her expectation that she is going to cash in the WSOP Foremost Tournament all all over again. Within the interim, Eolis has a solid legacy because the first lady ever to cash on the Foremost Tournament! She is highly competitive but says she has never aspired to desire the WSOP Foremost Tournament.

Eolis has been proud to be segment of the poker neighborhood as properly because the commercial and political world. She cherishes, light-heartedly, the title bestowed upon her on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of her first WSOP cash attain. In writing about her, Pollack called her “a uniquely done change agent in the poker world,” and the Sizable Dame of Poker for her huge-ranging contributions to the poker change.

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Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

Author: editor

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