Lynn Gilmartin isn’t just another pretty face with an adorable accent that we could listen to forever. Oh, shes all that, for sure. But she’s also so much more.
In fact, Gilmartin is one of the most dedicated and driven professionals working in poker media today. She’s very much on-the-scene at most major poker events and totally immerses herself into what she covers, wherever it happens. Gilmartin has interviewed just about anyone who’s notable in the game. Her obvious subject knowledge, quick wit, and high-profile stature has made her into one of poker’s most recognizable and watchable personalities.
Gilmartin’s biography at the World Poker Tour website reads as follows:
If anyone has enjoyed a meteoric rise from relative obscurity to ultimate power and celebrity within the poker world, it’s Alex Dreyfus.
Perhaps more than anyone, Dreyfus is currently in the process of truly revolutionizing the game, which assuming that happens, makes him at least a king if not an ace in the deck of poker’s most powerful 52 players.
Dreyfus’ online entrepreneurial journey began early. When a sixteen-year-old Dreyfus, hailing from Lyon, France, realized that the revolutionary potential of the online ecosystem had more to offer him than a conventional classroom ever could, his destiny was set.
She’s been at the center of New York City power politics for nearly four decades. She’s befriended and advised world leaders — from Prince Albert of Monaco to Nelson Mandela. Her work frequently puts her in the company of powerful people.
She is the Chairman of Eolis International Group, a company that evaluates lawyers and law firms for the legal profession, big business, corporate boards, and governments. She established the first attorney headhunting company in the world—45+ years ago—and then established a singular niche in reviewing whole law firms. Her stamp of approval assists lawyers and law firms with promising legal careers and potential clients –often with a simple phone call. (Her silence is a dreaded reference). She’scoached high profile lawyers, top executives and government officials on their careers and decision strategies and has served as an advisor to mayors and governors, the federal government and government agencies overseas. Since 9.11, Wendeen has been increasingly involved in vetting lawyers for governments and survivors (and in related humanitarian initiatives) in the aftermath of catastrophes—terrorist incidents and weather-related events– bringing her to some of the most dangerous and ravished ports of call. Oh, and she knows a thing or two about poker and the casino industry, too.
Wendeen was the first woman ever to cash in the World Series of Poker Main Event Championship, in 1986 and she was the first woman to cash in the main event twice (1993). She was also the first woman to win a European Open No Limit event (1990). In 2000 the A & E Biography Channel did a “Biography Special” featuring Wendeen which can be seen on you tube. As her business and government affairs career soared, she also expanded her accomplishments in poker in front of the cameras, often behind the scenes. Wendeen was one of the first to openly speak out and work tirelessly towards making poker rooms in America smoke-free. She is passionate about the game and the business and is a leading activist in promoting a favorable environment for poker competition as a game of skill and fun.
She has written extensively about the business of poker and the legal and legislative battles surrounding the gaming industry, especially online poker. She has been the subject of numerous stories in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on BBC, and has been featured in GQ Magazine among others. She has been a leading ambassador for the game and writes with the perspective of a unique insider— player, gaming consultant, and government advisor. She supports regulated online gaming.
When you see Wendeen at a poker tournament, she’s almost always surrounded by the most powerful people in the room — be it friends including Jack Binion, Lyle Berman, Mitch Garber, Ty Stewart, and a host of other executives who have made major contributions to the game — to strangers who wonder who is “that woman with the fancy hat?”
To suggest he’s Abbott to Costello, or Laurel to Hardy, doesn’t do justice to the taller half of poker’s most famous television duo.
Lon McEachern, the gabbing gander who has called World Series of Poker action on ESPN every year since 2003, might seem joined at the hip to color commentator and longtime broadcast partner Norman Chad. Together, the duet has been televised poker’s double face to millions of viewers ever since the poker boom began. McEachern and Chad were responsible, at least in part, not only for popularizing the game to a much broader audience, but for making the game more fun to watch, as well.
Turner initially invented and helped to popularize Omaha High-Low Split, arguably the second most popular form of poker played inside many cardrooms today. He introduced the game of Omaha (which was then played “high only”) to Nevada in 1982, and to California in 1986 when flop games first became legal.
Over the years, Turner has worked as a casino executive, poker host, and tournament promoter. He’s been part of management at the Hustler Casino and the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. He created Legends of Poker for the Bicycle Casino and the National Championship of Poker for Hollywood Park Casino, both which started in 1995. He created World Team Poker, the first professional league for poker, in 2000. He helped to create “Live at the Bike,” the first live gaming site broadcast on the Internet, in 2002. Turner is currently working with his new companies Crown Digital Games developing mobile apps and Vision Poker, a poker marketing and managing group.
As a player, Turner is a living legend among his peers, having enjoyed success both in tournaments and as a highly-respected cash game pro. In sheer volume, Turner probably won and cashed in more tournaments overall than any other player during the 1980s and 1990s. His first major career victory took place at the Grand Prix of Poker, in 1986. Since then, he’s won a World Series of Poker gold bracelet, and posted what might be an unbreakable record for consecutive high finishes in the WSOP Main Event Championship — coming in 10th place in 1991, 36th place in 1992, 13th place in 1993, and 6th place in 1994.
I first met Turner back in 1995. That year, we dined out together at the Chinese restaurant inside Binion’s Horseshoe, this while the WSOP was going on. Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher made our introduction. But Turner seemed preoccupied with something else during our dinner, for reasons only a poker player would understand.
Turner made a commitment to attend the dinner but then left the table repeatedly between courses. He would order his meal, then leave for five minutes, return and sample the appetizers, and then rush out the door again. This went on for more than an hour. Finally, it became apparent that Turner was “in action.” He was playing in a WSOP gold bracelet while having dinner. That wacky multi-tasking moment always stuck with me, and in many ways defines Turner, who always seems to strive for balance. It also made quite and impression that Turner, someone I’d never met before, would keep his dinner engagement in spite of the fact he was playing in the biggest poker event of the year.
Not surprisingly, Turner acquired a well-deserved nickname to go along with his unpredicatable style, which was a novel tournament strategy at the time. Everyone began calling him “Chip Burner Turner,” because he’d either be one of the first ones out of the tournament, or be among the chip leaders within the first few hours. Turner doesn’t mess around. Turner doesn’t waste time.
Indeed, when it comes to poker, Turner has pretty much done it all and seen it all. That is, except for “Facing the Firing Squad.”