BLOG: Lynn Gilmartin Attends Two Grand Events in the City That Never Sleeps

By Lynn Gilmartin It’s a Thursday evening and I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in Manhattan as I write this, absorbing the fairytale three days I’ve just had here in New York City. It all began on a Monday afternoon when I landed at JFK airport after my ridiculously early-morning flight. Crawling out of bed at…

Matt Clark
Aug 23, 2018

By Lynn Gilmartin

It’s a Thursday evening and I’m sitting in a hotel lobby in Manhattan as I write this, absorbing the fairytale three days I’ve just had here in New York City.

It all began on a Monday afternoon when I landed at JFK airport after my ridiculously early-morning flight. Crawling out of bed at 4:30 a.m. means I don’t think very thoroughly about my outfit for the “other side” of my journey. I’ve stayed at some fancy hotels over the years, but when I arrived at the gorgeous Baccarat Hotel in New York City, I quickly realized this was next-level. Little did I expect to be sitting in a crystal palace with my APL trainers and yoga pants, sipping on champagne out of Baccarat crystal while checking into my room. Slightly underdressed for the occasion was an understatement!

My room was absolutely gorgeous, with pristine white decor sprinkled with crystal lamps, vases, and glasses. The mini bar was filled with top-shelf liquor and freshly-baked French treats. This is not the kind of place you’ll find yourself ripping open a packet of M&Ms at midnight. Instead, you brush your teeth, rinse with the Baccarat crystal glass sitting by the sink, and hop into the most comfortable bed you’ll ever sink yourself into. Oh my.

Lynn Gilmartin

I spent a couple of hours wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood that afternoon, and ended up at “Le Botaniste” for dinner, which was delicious. Once I got back to my room, I received a call from friends to meet them at the bar, but I had already felt the bed… game over. It was time for the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.

A Bright-and-Early 6 a.m. Start

I jumped up at the crack of dawn, ready to hit the gym and run through Central Park before it got too hot. I didn’t beat the steamy heat, even at that hour, but it was a great run. The park was filled with hundreds of joggers and bicyclists. I felt like I was part of a marathon, giving me an extra burst of energy to run a little further than usual.

On my way back, I stopped at “by Chloe.” for a healthy breakfast, walked around town a little more, and then began the long process of getting ready for that night’s event at the swanky Baccarat boutique on Madison Avenue.

Cards and Crystal Cocktails: an Evening with Baccarat

Vince, Tony, and I were all dressed up, so we decided to arrive at the Baccarat boutique in style and hopped in the stretch limousine that was hanging out the front of our hotel. Why not, hey?

When we got there, we were greeted with the most spectacular poker room we have ever seen. As you could imagine, the Baccarat boutique is filled with crystal from floor to ceiling. Planted in the middle of the store, under the ginormous chandeliers, were three World Poker Tour tables, ready for a night of cards. Vince and I immediately made our way to the lounge in the back of the store, where a pop-up bar with poker-themed cocktails were being served in exquisite Baccarat crystal. I ordered a “Table Talk” cocktail with tequila, grapefruit, lime, and chamomile flowers. Oh la la!

Lynn Gilmartin

It was an exclusive invitational event for Baccarat’s VIP customers with a free-to-enter poker tournament, complete with ultra-generous prizes of Baccarat products for all final tablists. Another perk was that 20% of sales for the evening would go to Education Reform Now, a partner of the WPT Foundation that works to create a more balanced, fair, and high-quality education system for children. We began with a learn-to-play session, led by Vince and Tony, and then we filled up the three tables and cards went in the air. The drinks were flowing, bad beats were hitting (seriously… Vince’s royal flush beat quads!), and the room was filled with laughter. We had such a fun night!

Lynn Gilmartin and Adam Pliska

Miraculously, myself, Vince, and Tony all made it to the final table! I was nursing a short stack and was eliminated in ninth place. I was ecstatic though, as I got to take home a stunning “Everday Baccarat” collection of glasses. I could not wait to open them as a housewarming treat in my new home in L.A.!

Sadly, the night had to come to an end, but I had such an incredible time and met some truly amazing people. Jim Shreve, the president and CEO of Baccarat North America, Ward Simmons, and Wilkin Cabrera were such wonderful hosts. Marjorie Gubelmann, also known as DJ Mad Marj, pumped energy into the room all night long to keep the party going, Bevy Smith is an absolute star with such a booming personality, and Geoff Pope showed us he has plenty of game on the poker table as he bet and raised with a gigantic Super Bowl ring on.

Lynn Gilmartin

On to the Ninth Annual Take ‘Em To School Poker Tournament

The next day, I went to “Dr Smood” for breakfast, and then spent the next few hours in the hotel working on an audition for an Australian film. Cross your fingers for me! Once that was done, it was time to get all dressed up again for another fancy World Poker Tour occasion. This time, it Ninth Annual Take ‘Em To School Poker Tournament to benefit Education Reform Now and presented by the WPT Foundation, and it was taking place once again at Gotham Hall. This is one of my favorite nights on the calendar. Dozens of poker tables were loaded into the stunning hall in order to accommodate the more than 250 poker-playing guests, plus they had various other casino games available, such as blackjack, roulette, and craps, all ready for a generous night of fundraising for Education Reform Now.

Lynn Gilmartin

My table was a blast, including John Sabat, Vince Van Patten, Brian Koppelman, Marc Lasry, David Einhorn, and Erik Seidel. After a few hours of some hilarious banter and plenty of rebuys from the entire table (all for charity!), the last of my chips went to Einhorn, who was still letting off steam after bubbling the Big One for One Drop million dollar buy-in event in Las Vegas the night before. He went on to make the final few tables, and Seidel reached the final table before finishing in third place. Winning the event was Walter Lamerton, who beat out Jae Hong for the title.

Lynn Gilmartin

The night was another huge success for Education Reform Now, raising about $700,000 from the tournament and silent auction. Getting to take part in these events is one of the biggest perks of my job. It’s extra rewarding to share the game we love with people who, often, haven’t played before, all while raising money for great causes.

After a much-needed sleep-in, it was back to the airport for our next stop!

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