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WPA chairman turns up the heat

4 April 2008

(PRESS RELEASE) -- WPA's new Chairman Wendeen Eolis is taking bold steps to further WPA's evolving mission--to promote poker as a sport by advocating professionalism and uniform rules and standards of conduct, and by helping to create increased economic opportunities for players.

Eolis brings a long list of accomplishments in the poker industry and plenty of leadership skills to the head position at the table. She is well known for her unstoppable energy and a big bundle of smarts.

After serving as WPA vice-chair in 2007 and as chair of its executive committee since last December, Eolis was elected to her new position with the enthusiastic endorsement of the WPA's Board of Directors. Eolis' trademark 3-D personal philosophy of discipline, desire, and determination is on display. She comments, "I plan to keep my foot on the pedal and our collective feet to the fire so as to provide concrete results that serve our membership's interests--sooner rather than later."

Almost immediately following her election, Eolis called upon fellow director and expert event planner, Annie Van Bebber to join her for meetings with Rio and Harrahs executives to secure space for the WPA's First Annual Conference. Eolis also sealed the deal with the World Series of Poker for a WPA mega satellite at the WSOP, convincing the powers that be to offer the tournament with nine handed tables. Eolis says, "This is a good a first step in WPA's efforts to improve playing conditions for tournament competitors around the world."

Eolis was next on the horn with Director Thomas Kremser, Tournament Rules Chairman, looking for a firm proposal for expanded WPA Tournament Rules--a project that has been on the boards since day one. With Vice Chair Ken Adams and Chairman Emeritus Jesse Jones working on his committee, Kremser gained passage of ten new tournament rules. They build on the substantial efforts of the Tournament Directors Association. Additional rules will be proposed at the next Board meeting.

WPA Treasurer and Executive Committee member Harry Thomas, Jr. says, "Wendeen has been the work horse of the Executive committee. Seldom have I seen someone do in the private sector for money, what she has done for this organization gratis. Without her, Jesse's vision would be nowhere near where it is now. We owe her a debt of gratitude." While Vice Chair, Eolis oversaw drafting of an Ethics Code. A finalized Code of Ethics is being completed by re-appointed Ethics Chair and WSOP Champion Tom McEvoy and newly appointed Ethics Co Chair Roger Saad for approval by the Board of Directors and presentation to the membership at WPA's First Annual meeting. Likewise, Eolis worked, directly, this past year on Bylaws provisions. She has turned over the chairmanship of the Bylaws and Elections Committee to Ken Adams--whose committees will benefit from his formidable skills as a senior legal counselor. Adams will oversee completion of Bylaws and a Board of Directors slate for approval by the Board of Directors and presentation at the Annual Meeting.

Eolis looks upon the Board as the "most diversified group of accomplished volunteers I have met in any boardroom." She says, "Collaborative leadership has been the key to an incredibly productive first six weeks in the job as chairman." She has applied this principle to streamline back office operations as well as to further special projects. Relying upon Treasurer Harry Thomas, a search for outside financial advisors has already been completed and she has her next airplane ticket--to Paris where she will confer with WPA's International Committee Chair, Emmanuel Bennichou--in a bid to broaden European participation at the upcoming WPA First Annual Conference which will take place May 28-29, 2008.

An internationally recognized legal consultant and business CEO as well as an experienced politico who has worked with the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Governor Pataki and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Eolis has a long list of eclectic accomplishments. These days, she has her sights set on bringing significant value to membership in the World Poker Association. Lou Krieger expresses the consensus of the Board: "Wendeen Eolis is unceasing in her dedication to the WPA and willing and eager to take on any task, solve any problem to help the WPA in its evolving mission."

Echoing the sentiments of other board members, WPA vice-chair Ken Adams observes, "Her tireless energy and total commitment to the organization and its membership set the pace for the rest of the Board." He adds the obvious understatement, "It is a challenge to keep up with her."

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