UNIQUE NEGOTIATING EXPERTISE
Wendeen Eolis advises lawyers, C-Suite executives, boards, politicians, and other clients on effective negotiating strategies for critical interviews, debates in corridors of political power, and deliberations in corporate boardroom proceedings. She also has prepared “white papers” for law firms advising federal and international agencies on complicated legal issues in the gaming space. And, finally, the combination of her connections and experience with clients, colleagues, and opponents in the gaming industry has afforded her unique opportunities to hone her negotiating skills under extraordinary pressure.
In poker, the consequences of one's actions are instantaneous. Her experience in poker has further informed her negotiating acumen in business as much as her experience in business and public service catapulted her to unimaginable success as a world-class poker tournament player. Her ten record-setting performances for a woman in a world-class competition, include her finish as the first woman to take down a piece of the prize in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker and the first woman to do so twice.
Wendeen Eolis's introduction to the gaming industry came early while studying philosophy and psychology at NYU with a side gig as a cocktail waitress at a private gaming club. It was there that she discovered blackjack was more than a game of chance. In 1967, with a freshly minted BA degree, Wendeen established her legal recruiting and attorney/law firm vetting business. But she kept her part-time job and continued to hone her skills as a blackjack counter for extra income.
In 1969, with retainer-based search assignments from Cravath, Swain, and Moore and the New York Port Authority, Wendeen took her unique business model up a notch. She formalized its activities as the first legal search and consulting firm in the world, with an office of her dreams in the heart of Manhattan.
Among EOLIS's early clients was the Pacific Stock Exchange. Her primary contact was Ken Usui (Uston), a senior vice-president, with degrees from Yale and Harvard. She soon learned he was an expert card counter. So began their visits to casinos hither and yon with increasing success in their math-based collaboration at the blackjack tables. Ken soon left the Exchange to work full time at his new "business," while Wendeen continued her study of blackjack and prospected for gaming clients during their casino trips, together.
Wendeen nailed her first casino client in the early 70s; a retainer-based project with Caesars to assist in hiring special outside counsel for a major matter. It put her in the C-Suite and the boardroom. A search for an internal General Counsel put her in the mix as an advisor to Caesar's Chairman of the Board.
Soon she was invited into the inner circle of casino operators and their Boards in Las Vegas and Europe; Caesars, the Dunes, the Riviera, and the Sands in the United States and the Victoria Sporting Club and Coral Leisure Group, in London, notably among them. Wendeen's early associations with Caesar's as a customer, a service provider, and an advisor in the Boardroom, schooled her in the profound difference between luck and skill in the gambling world.
An internationally recognized lecturer at gaming conferences, from Las Vegas to Vienna, Wendeen has been a keynote speaker, moderator and panelist at numerous gaming events, including an engagement at Sportel in Monte Carlo, at the invitation of Prince Albert, on the future of i-gaming in America.
Her exploits in the business of gaming reflect an eclectic mix of of negotiating strategies.
In a spare moment, Wendeen competed in the biggest poker tournament in Europe. she became the first woman to win a "big -buy-in Europe.
In the mid-nineties Wendeen turned her career advisory role to lawyers-into another side-step with key roles in New York City and then New York State government. As a New York State government official, Wendeen's portfolio included commercial and tribal gaming issues and thereafter her clients included tribal gaming companies and partnership prospects with the likes of the biggest hospitality company in the Catskill Mountains--the Concord Hotel--which had been her training ground to learn the basics of poker.
In the early oughts, Wendeen's legal consulting business expanded to include representation of gaming entrepreneurs in selection of counsel for their special events. She worked with casino executives around the world--from Las Vegas to Amsterdam and onward to India. During breaks from her professional activities, she continued to compete and set records for women in poker competition. Her mantra, born of experience in business, politics and poker rooms, was "Bluffing is an over-rated strategy, and women win more by bluffing less!
In 2007, Wendeen was elected Vice Chairman of the World Poker Association, and elevated to Chairman in 2008, a post she held until that summer when she passed the baton to take on vetting projects related to the presidential elections of that year.
Wendeen Eolis brings to the table multidimensional knowledge of the gaming industry; as a legal consultant, attorney search specialist, counsel reviewer, insider with corporate boards, and consultant to casino operators on legal affairs crises.
She has counseled gaming industry clients on legal talent acquisitions, counsel costs, and board director prospects drawn from the legal profession for five decades.
She has prepared “white papers” for law firms advising federal and international agencies.
An internationally recognized lecturer at gaming conferences, from Las Vegas to Vienna , Wendeen has been a keynote speaker, moderator and panelist at numerous gaming events, including an engagement at Sportel in Monte Carlo, at the invitation of Prince Albert, on the future of i-gaming in America.
Wendeen is a supporter of licensed, taxed, and regulated gaming with suitable protocols to protect the integrity of the games 2) controls that effectively exclude minors from the gaming tables and 3) active programs to discourage addiction and encourage responsible gaming.
Gaming Space Recognition
Nominated as Leader of the Year at the Women in Gaming Awards, in 2014, Wendeen was at the forefront of the i-gaming debate in America following its crash in 2011. America -based i-gaming was paralyzed by federal legislation to curtail it and the Justice Department's aggressive prosecution of the biggest violators.
As a result of her counsel selection activities on behalf of i-gaming companies, Wendeen learned much about this business and the legislative process needed to revitalize it. Her unique expertise and experience in the gaming industry has been sought for legal affairs articles and speaking engagements. She is currently working on a book that traces her diverse experience in the gaming world.