Henry Orenstein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Canadian artist, see Henry Orenstein (painter).
Henry Orenstein
Residence Verona, New Jersey, United States
Born Henryk Orenstein
c. 1923 (age 92–93)
Hrubieszów, Poland
World Series of Poker
Bracelet(s) 1
Money finish(es) 4
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
8th, 1995

Henry Orenstein (born c. 1923)[1] is a poker player and entrepreneur who resides in Verona, New Jersey.

Early life[edit]

Henryk (Henry) Orenstein was born c. 1923 in Hrubieszów, Poland. Raised in the Jewish faith, he spent much of the end of World War II in various concentration camps. After the war, he emigated to the United States.

Business career[edit]

He became a toymaker who convinced Hasbro to start producing Transformers. He holds over 100 other patents, and aside from Transformers, the best-known of these inventions is U.S. Patent 5,451,054 which gave Orenstein the exclusive right in the United States to detect and display hole cards in poker games.


Orenstein is the creator and an executive producer of the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament on FSN. He also produces the popular TV Show High Stakes Poker, which can be seen in the United States on GSN.[2]

As of 2009, Orenstein's live poker tournament winnings exceed $200,000.[3] He was a 2008 inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame.[4] Orenstein was also inducted to the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame.

He won the $5,000 Seven-card stud tournament at the 1996 World Series of Poker (WSOP), earning $130,000 by defeating fourth-place T. J. Cloutier, third-place Cyndy Violette and runner-up Humberto Brenes. Orenstein twice had finished in the money in the $10,000 WSOP no limit Texas hold 'em main event: 12th in 1993 and eighth in 1995.

He came in seventh in the $2,500 Seven Card Stud event at the 2005 United States Poker Championship, and despite being the oldest competitor (at age 80), won his first round of NBC's National Heads-Up Poker Championship against one of the best cash-game players in the world, Chip Reese. Orenstein lost in the second round to John Hennigan.


Orenstein is a noted philanthropist. In 1984, the American government built an eleven-story building for low income families, known as the Lejb and Golda Orenstein Building, in honor of Orenstein's parents, who were murdered by the Nazis. Orenstein helped pay for the apartments. There is also a Lejb and Golda Orenstein Building in Kiryat Ono, Israel which consists of housing units and recreational facilities. Orenstein contributed most of the money towards this project. Orenstein has his own chapter at Metropolitan Council for the Jewish Poor in New York. Over the past thirty years, Orenstein has assisted thousands of poor New Yorkers to pay their rent and medical bills.


  • I Shall Live: Surviving Against All Odds 1939-1945, a memoir of his experiences during the Nazi Holocaust and his survival in five concentration camps.[5]
  • Abram: The Life of an Israeli Patriot, a biography of Abram Silberstein who emigrated to then Palestine in 1934. He enlisted in the British army in 1939 and rose from the rank of private to rank of Major. He was great help to Ben Gurion.


  1. ^ zczuba (June 16, 2007). "Z cyklu "Nieznani, a szkoda": Henry Orenstein.". Agora SA. 
  2. ^ West, Justin. "An Interview With Kevin Belinkoff". PokerPages.com. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  3. ^ Hendon Mob tournament results
  4. ^ Pokernews.com: Poker Hall of Fame 2008 Inductees Announced
  5. ^ Kent, Bill. "Holding His Own." New York Times. 28 May 1995.