Hundreds of Wall Streeters filled Gotham Hall in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday night for the annual “Take ‘Em To School” charity poker tournament.
The sold-out event raised around $US850,000 for Education Reform Now, an advocacy organisation that’s committed to making sure all kids can access high-quality public education.
The event was co-chaired by Michael Sabat, who works in equity derivatives sales and trading at Sanford Bernstein, John Sabat, a quantitative portfolio manager with Cubist Systematic Strategies, and Whitney Tilson, the founder of Kase Capital.
Those in attendance included David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, Boaz Weinstein of Saba Capital, Paul Britton of Capstone, and John Petry of Sessa Capital. Pro poker players in attendance included Andy Frankenberger, Erik Seidel, Layne Flack, and Vanessa Selbst. Former NBA stars Allan Houston, Charles Smith, and John Starks were all there too. “American Pie” actress Shannon Elizabeth came close to winning the tournament.
A lot of hedge fund folks love poker. One fund manager said the game relates to investing: you have to be patient and know when to fold when you’re dealt a bad hand.
In case you missed it, we’ve included photo highlights.
Poker pro Phill Hellmuth (aka the 'Poker Brat') was the emcee for the night. He just got finished with the World Series of Poker. He dedicated his latest WSOP finish to his friend, the late David Goldberg. He gave Sheryl Sandberg his WSOP bracelet.
Hellmuth started off the night by teasing hedge fund manager David Einhorn about his t-shirt choice.
Here's Whitney Tilson (Kase Capital), Osman Hussein (Tiger Global), and Gary Vura (Tullett Prebon Financial Services)
Shavar Jeffries (Lowenstein Sandler, partner) and Kwane Thomas (Sanford Bernstein). Jeffries gave the keynote address for the event.
Here's Amber Sabat. She placed 2nd in 2013. She started playing poker after she graduated from Michigan State. By the way, she played hockey there and won a national championship as a starting left wing.
Here's poker pro Andy Frankenberger with retired NBA star Allan Houston. By the way, Frankenberger used to be a JPMorgan trader.
Omar Saeed (left), a partner at Hutchin Hill Capital, finished 37th at the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Poker pro Vanessa Selbst is the highest earning female poker player ever, with over $10.5 million in winnings.
The tournament went past midnight. The final table included Scott Potash (Postable.com, cofounder), Shannon Elizabeth (actress), Todd Lopez (Goldman Sachs), Tim Wong (BlackRock), Dan Fleishman, Michael Outlaw, Mike Doniger (Green Owl Capital), Dee Dozier (actress, poker pro), Oleg Nodelman (EcoR1 Capital), and Grant Yshitsu.
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