April 2, 2007 — The World Poker Association announced today the formation of its board of trustees. In an election that took place February 25 to March 10, nine members were selected to serve terms from one to three years.
The initial board members include:
Annie Van Bebber – Annie is a recognized entrepreneur and authority on New Media and the Internet. She is currently Founder and CEO of Fundraisers.com and has been dedicated to a variety of social causes for 35
years raising millions of dollars for charity. Van Bebber is well-known for creating brand building strategies, as well as masterminding award-winning websites and properties. Ms. Van Bebber was a founding partner of Attitude Network, where she led its HappyPuppy.com video games site to highly-acclaimed, record-Internet-success and a partner in the award-winning StarChefs.com. She was formerly Chairman of the Board of the Computer Game Developers Association and on the International Board of Delta Nu Alpha Transportation Fraternity.
Chris Bigler – Chris has 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and management consultant. He has wide experience in the online poker industry. He is an original partner in Pokerpages.com. He was a senior consultant to management of a major online poker network. Chris is also an accomplished professional poker player.
Wendeen Eolis – Wendeen is CEO of EOLIS International Group, a legal management and attorney search consultancy. She is a former First Assistant/Senior Advisor to Governor George E. Pataki (NY) and former special advisor to New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Wendeen's wide range of extracurricular activities includes various civic directorships, community projects, speaking engagements, and writing assignments.
Jesse Jones – Jesse founded the World Poker Association on November 7, 2005 and launched the WPA website in March 2006. He has been a professional poker player for twenty years who has concentrated the last fifteen years on major poker tournaments around the globe. Married for 19 years he has been a financial planner and a commercial real estate investor; retired in 2005. He is a three time throat cancer survivor. He splits his time between homes in Las Vegas and Honolulu when not playing in major tournaments. His goal is to have the WPA become the PGA of poker.
Mary Jones – Mary's 25 year career as an accomplished business woman prepared her for the challenges of tournament poker. This was dramatically exhibited in her suspenseful win as the 2006 WSOP Ladies No Limit Hold'em Champion. Her previous business positions include General Manager-Sales, EMBARQ; Director of Strategy & Planning, AT&T; International Sales Director, AT&T; and Director of Sales & Marketing, Ernst & Young. She also has considerable experience working with various non-profit organizations.
Warren Karp – As a tournament director he began his career at Larry Flint's Hustler Casino in 2002. and ran the largest ever buy-in 7-card Stud event. From there he moved to Binion's Horseshoe where he was part of the team that ran the 2003 & 2004 WSOP. During that year he joined the International Poker Federation, as its official TD. The goal then and now is to unify worldwide rules and the mission statement includes well run, well staffed, fun & fair events. The European Poker Tour (EPT) asked him to run two of the events in Copenhagen and Deauville, France. In 2005 as he was appointed tournament director for the World Poker Showdown, with locations like St. Maarten, Costa Rica, The Bahamas, and Caribbean Cruises. He is a professional poker player.
Lou Krieger – Lou Krieger, who has been playing poker since childhood, is currently the editor of Poker Player Newspaper and has written more than 400 columns about poker strategy for a variety of magazines. Casino Journal Magazine, the industry bible, in 2000 named Krieger one of the most influential gaming writers of the past 100 years — an honor accorded to only five poker authors. More than 20 years as a management consultant Lou Krieger worked for one of the largest consulting firms in the world, and subsequently founded and later sold his own successful consulting practice which provided him with a variety of tools to provide responsive leadership and direction.
Marcel Luske – Known as the "Flying Dutchman," this European poker giant is easily recognized thanks to his swank table image. Internationally known as one of the more wily and stylish players to come out of Europe, Marcel has a history of success at worldwide events with victories in Holland, Spain, Finland, and Austria. Marcel was the European Player of the Year in 2001. Truly an intercontinental champion, Marcel continues to be a worthy representative of the game.
Harry Thomas – Harry is self employed as a real estate developer. He has been playing tournament poker for over twenty years with 50 cashes and over $700,000 in lifetime earnings including a WSOP bracelet. Harry won the 16th Annual WSOP Seven Card Stud Limit Championship in 1985.
The WPA was incorporated on November 7th, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada as a nonprofit association. The mission of the WPA is to assure the integrity of tournament poker by establishing fair and consistent rules and procedures and thereby increase the opportunities of individual and organizational members worldwide. The board will have its first meeting April 16th in Las Vegas Nevada.