Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Lyle Berman is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Allied Epports Entertainment. Since June 1990, Mr. Berman has been the chairman and chief executive officer of Berman Consulting Corporation, a private consulting firm he founded. Mr. Berman began his career with Berman Buckskin, his family’s leather business, which he helped grow into a major specialty retailer with 27 outlets. After selling Berman Buckskin to W.R. Grace in 1979, Mr. Berman continued as president and chief executive officer and led the company to become one the country’s largest retail leather chains, with over 200 stores nationwide. In 1990, Mr. Berman participated in the founding of Grand Casinos, Inc. Mr. Berman is credited as one of the early visionaries in the development of casinos outside of the traditional gaming markets of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In less than five years, the company opened eight casino resorts in four states. In 1994, Mr. Berman financed the initial development of Rainforest Cafe. He served as the chairman and chief executive officer from 1994 unti1 2000. In October 1995, Mr. Berman was honored with the B’nai B’rith “Great American Traditions Award.” In April 1996, he received the Gaming Executive of the Year Award; in 2004, Mr. Berman was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame; and in 2009, he received the Casino Lifetime Achievement Award from Raving Consulting & Casino Journal. In 1998, Lakes Entertainment, Inc. was formed. In 2002, as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Lakes Entertainment, Inc., Mr. Berman was instrumental in creating the World Poker Tour. Mr. Berman served as the executive chairman of the board of WPT Enterprises, Inc. (later known as Voyager Oil & Gas, Inc. and Emerald Oil, Inc.) from its inception in February 2002 until July 2013. Mr. Berman also served as a director of PokerTek, Inc. from January 2005 until October 2014, including serving as chairman of the board from January 2005 until October 2011. Mr. Berman is the father of Brad Berman, one of Allied Esports Entertainment’s directors.
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Frank Ng is a director and CEO of Allied Esports Entertainment. Previously, Mr. Ng served as co-CEO of Ourgame International, a leading casual game operator in China and owner of the World Poker Tour and Allied Esports. Prior to that, he served as CFO of Ourgame beginning in 2004, when he assisted NHN China, a global internet search engine and online game company, where he served as co-CEO from 2000 to 2004, in acquiring Ourgame. Mr. Ng led a management buyout of Ourgame in 2010 and led the company through its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2014. With its public listing and subsequent acquisition of the World Poker Tour (in 2015) and founding of Allied Esports (in 2016), Ourgame has grown to be a leading global operator and creator of gaming and esports content and experiences. Mr. Ng served as Chief Commercial Officer at PCCW Skyhorse, which produces content and online gaming applications, from 2000 until 2004.
President and Director
Adam Pliska is a director and President of Allied Esports Entertainment and the President and CEO of the World Poker Tour. As President and CEO, Mr. Pliska has overseen the entire WPT business portfolio, including but not limited to live events, online services, televised broadcasts, and WPT office personnel in Los Angeles, London and Beijing. He is one of the longest serving executives in the poker industry and was named the American Poker Awards Industry Person of the Year for 2014. Under his watch, the WPT has witnessed massive global growth from 14 events to over 60 worldwide on 6 continents, has maintained historic ratings of one of the longest running television shows in US history and has awarded more than a billion dollars over its 17 years. In addition to his position as CEO, Adam serves as Executive Producer of the World Poker Tour television show and is the co-writer of the WPT Theme song Rise Above.
From November 2000 to June 2002, Mr. Pliska served as the Vice-President of Legal and Business Affairs and eventually General Counsel for Anticipa, LLC, a multi-media company headed by the futurist, Alvin Toffler, a Telmex Corporation. In addition, Mr. Pliska served as an associate at the law firm of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal in Los Angeles from July 1999 to November 2000, where he worked on various litigation and intellectual property matters. Before his legal career, Mr. Pliska worked as a television producer in connection with noted industry veteran Al Burton, including work at Universal Television and Castle Rock Entertainment where he produced and developed numerous television properties. Mr. Pliska contributed and worked on various programs including The New Lassie, Baywatch, Out of the Blue, and shares an Emmy Award for his contributions to television creative development. While at Berkeley Law, he worked as a research assistant to Professor John Yoo and was an external to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for the Judge Alex Kozinski and at the Governor's Office of Legal Affairs in the state of California for then Governor Pete Wilson.
He has served as a mentor of the Tiger Wood’s Foundation Earl Woods Scholar program, is a member of the Pacific Council, a director of the WPT Foundation and on the board of the GOCAT (Greater Orange County Community Arts Theater). Mr. Pliska holds a B.A. from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and a J.D. from University of California Berkeley’s Law School, Boalt Hall.
Benjamin S. Oehler
Benjamin S. Oehler is a director of Allied Esports Entertainment. Mr. Oehler has been a director of Black Ridge Oil & Gas, Inc. since November 2010, and chairman of its audit committee and compensation committee since February 2011. Mr. Oehler is a Founding Partner of Windward Mark, LLC which advises business owners with regard to strategic planning, owner governance and education, business continuity, legacy, philanthropy and liquidity. Windward Mark LLC is a continuation of Mr. Oehler’s consulting practice at Bashaw Group. Inc. (2007-2017) and Linea Capital, LLC (2009 - 2017). From 1999 to 2007, Mr. Oehler was the president and chief executive officer of Waycrosse, Inc., a financial advisory firm for the family owners of Cargill Incorporated. While at Waycrosse, Mr. Oehler was the primary advisor to the five family members who were serving on the Cargill Incorporated board of directors from 1999 to 2006. Mr. Oehler played a key role in two major growth initiatives for Cargill: the merger of Cargill’s fertilizer business into a public company which is now Mosaic, Inc., and the transformation of Cargill’s proprietary financial markets trading group into two major investment management companies: Black River Asset Management, LLC and CarVal Investors, LLC. An investment banker for 20 years, Mr. Oehler’s transaction experience includes public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities, mergers and acquisitions, fairness opinions and valuations of private companies. Prior to joining Waycrosse, Mr. Oehler was an investment banker for Piper Jaffray. By the time he left Piper Jaffray in 1999, he was group head for Piper’s Industrial Growth Team. He has also played a leadership role in a number of corporate buy-outs and venture stage companies, served on corporate and non-profit boards of directors, and has been involved in the creation and oversight of foundations and charitable organizations, as well as U.S. trusts and off-shore entities.
Mr. Oehler has been a board member and/or founder of many non-profit organizations including the Minnesota Zoological Society, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, The Lake Country Land School, Greencastle Tropical Study Center, Park Nicollet Institute, Afton Historical Society Press, United Theological Seminary and University of Minnesota Investment Advisor, Inc. He has been a director of Waycrosse, Inc., WayTrust Inc., Dain Equity Partners, Inc., Time Management, Inc., BioNIR, Inc. and Agricultural Solutions, Inc. In September 2007, Mr. Oehler completed the Stanford University Law School Directors Forum, a three-day update on key issues facing corporate directors presented by the Stanford Business School and Stanford Law School. From 1984 through 1999, Mr. Oehler was registered with the National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”) as a financial principal. Mr. Oehler is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts and has completed all course work at the University of Minnesota Business School with a concentration in finance.
Bradley Berman is a director of Allied Esports Entertainment. He has been the chairman of Black Ridge Oil & Gas, Inc. since November 2010 and has served as a director of Black Ridge Oil & Gas, Inc. since its inception in April 2010. He was the chief executive officer of Black Ridge Oil & Gas, Inc. from November 2010 to November 2011, its chief financial officer between November 12, 2010 and November 15, 2010, and its corporate secretary from November 2010 to February 2011. Mr. Berman is the president of King Show Games, Inc., a company he founded in 1998. Mr. Berman has worked in various capacities in casino gaming from 1992 to 2004 for Grand Casinos, Inc. and then Lakes Entertainment, Inc., achieving the position of Vice President of Gaming, after which he assumed a lesser role in that company. Mr. Berman was a director of Voyager Oil and Gas, Inc. (formerly Ante4 and WPT) from August 2004 to November 2010. Mr. Berman is the son of Lyle Berman, the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Allied Esports Entertainment.
Ho min Kim
Ho min Kim is a director of Allied Esports Entertainment. Additionally, he is co-Founder and Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures. He is also a co-Founder and Partner at SparkLabs, a startup accelerator in Korea. He was also co-Founder and President of N3N, an IoT platform company and Cisco’s first Korean venture capital investment.
Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer of Nexonova, a game development studio of Nexon Corp (Japan Tokyo Stock Exchange: 3659) that specialized in Social Network Games. Prior to Nexonova, he served as Executive Vice President of Nexon Corp, and Head of Nexon’s Portal and Web Services. He received his B.S. in Bio-medical Engineering from Northwestern University, and also a M.S. in Bio-medical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He also completed the Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business’s Executive Management Program.
Joseph Lahti is a director of Allied Esports Entertainment. Mr. Lahti has been a director of Black Ridge Oil & Gas, Inc. since August 2012. Mr. Lahti is a Minneapolis native and leader in numerous Minnesota business and community organizations. As principal of JL Holdings since 1989, Mr. Lahti has provided funding and management leadership to several early-stage or distressed companies. From 1993 to 2002, he held the positions of chief operating officer, president, chief executive officer and chairman at Shuffle Master, Inc., a company that provided innovative products to the gaming industry. Mr. Lahti served as a director of PokerTek, Inc., a publicly traded company, from 2008 until it was sold in October 2014 (including serving as chairman of the board from 2012 to 2014). Mr. Lahti has previously served on the board of directors of Voyager Oil & Gas, Inc. and Zomax, Inc. He is currently chairman of Innealta Capital, an asset manager. Through his public company board experience, he has participated on, and chaired, both Audit and Compensation Committees.
Maya Rogers is a director of Allied Esports Entertainment. She is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Planet Software, the sole agent of the Tetris brand, since 2011. The Tetris brand is one of the leading and most distinctive video game brands and franchises in the world, and Ms. Rogers has led the strategic vision and management of the Tetris brand worldwide, now celebrating its 35th anniversary year. Under her charge, the Tetris brand has doubled its revenues, and broadened its business portfolio into merchandising, movie entertainment, casino gaming, and virtual reality (VR). The Tetris brand’s global licensee network includes major video game publishers, including Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sega, as well as many partners in electronics, toys, apparel, lifestyle goods, entertainment and more. Billions of Tetris games are played online every year, and over 500 million paid Tetris mobile games have been downloaded to date.
Ms. Rogers is also Founding Partner of Blue Startups, Hawaii’s first venture accelerator, which helps early stage startups accelerate their businesses with investments and mentoring. Since 2014, Blue Startups has invested in 76 companies, attracting over $120 million in follow-on funding. Blue Startups is currently ranked Top 20 accelerator in the U.S. Ms. Rogers’ role includes bringing investment opportunities to the portfolio of companies, mentoring teams, and playing a key role in bridging business relationships with the U.S. and across Asia. Blue Startups also runs Hawaii’s annual premier startup conference, East Meets West, bridging access between entrepreneurs and investors in Asia and the U.S. In 2019, Blue Startups received the Hawaii Venture Capital Association’s Investor of the Year Award.
From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Rogers worked as a Director of Business Development at Tetris Online China on the go-to-market strategy assessment on mid to long-term feasibility for Tetris to enter the Chinese online PC market. There she pursued and negotiated with potential Chinese gaming companies for joint venture opportunities in Shanghai, Beijing and Taiwan.
Prior to heading Tetris, Ms. Rogers steered cross-culturalization and development efforts for Sony Interactive Entertainment where she executed and oversaw the localization strategies across Sony PlayStation games, including Sony’s top titles Gran Turismo and Hotshots Golf franchises.
Ms. Rogers currently serves on the boards of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, American Red Cross - Hawaii Chapter, Women’s Fund of Hawaii, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, and the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.
Ms. Rogers holds a BS in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and an Executive MBA from Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management.
Steve Kim is a director of Allied Esports Entertainment. Mr. Kim is the Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Electronic Sports Federation, where his responsibilities include managing the Federation’s intellectual property structure, business development and electronic sports development strategy for Asia. Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Kim served the Asian Football Confederation (“AFC”) marketing partner, DDMC Fortis, as its Vice President and the Malaysia Football League as its Executive Director of Business Development & Chief Strategy Officer. In the latter position, Mr. Kim successfully introduced the 50-Year Plan (NEXT 50) for Malaysian professional football, totally restructured the League’s administration and managed the privatization of its member clubs. From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Kim served in a number of executive positions at the AFC, including Head of Planning & Strategy, and effectively managed, among other things, a complete revamping of the AFC Champions League’s intellectual property, branding, competition, marketing and participation systems. In addition, Mr. Kim is a veteran of the South Korean army, and he holds a Master of Arts degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Korea University.
Yinghua Chen is a director of Allied Esports Entertainment. Ms. Chen is a Co-Founder of Aupera Technologies, a leading video AI technology company, where she is responsible for corporate financing, business development, and strategic partnership. She has successfully raised multiple rounds of funding for Aupera, including from Silicon Valley giant Xilinx (Nasdaq: XLNX). Prior to this, she served as the Executive Vice President of Anthill Resources, a natural resources investment company in Canada, where she oversaw business operations and investment activities. Ms. Chen is also the former Managing Director of China for The Cavendish Group, a UK B2B media and public relations company. In that role, Ms. Chen built up subscriber networks for over ten vertical industry media products and managed the Group’s strategic relationship with the Boao Forum for Asia. Ms. Chen was also part of the founding team of The Balloch Group, a boutique investment banking firm, later acquired by Canaccord Genuity, where she specialized in financial, pharmaceutical, resources and media industry transactions. Ms. Chen holds an EMBA from the University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of International Business and Economics.