One year ago, Louis Bacon’s four billion dollar hedge fund, Moore Capital, hired an ex-poker-star to trade one of its big-swinging-dick funds in London.James Vogl, from north London, won a coveted bracelet in a World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas in 2004, aged 24, beating 800 other players, and earning himself $400,000 in tax-free profits in just one hand.
This was brave of Bacon, but was it smart?
Maybe. Vogl also studied at the London School of Economics.
While his fellow undergrads were topping up their loans with bar work, Vogl was burning the midnight oil in high stakes backgammon games.
“I didn’t really have any friends at university. I didn’t like the student life too much – sitting in the student union for a pound a pint.”
But now that it’s been 12 months, how has the poker star fared? Moore Cap refuses to divulge how well James is doing.
So I did some of my own one-click research and discovered that, in May, the fund had its worst month ever with losses of 9.2%.
And Moore’s $3.8 billion macro fund was up just 7.6% for the year.
But obviously Vogl isn’t running any portfolios yet. He’s more like a raw talent Moore is trying to develop.
“I’ve got a knack for risk and reward games. I spent a lot of time practicing, learning the game and the odds, doing the calculations,” says Vogl, who admits he’s disciplined and highly competitive.
He’s also not just some fly by night gambling addict. Even when he was coming off his big win, he told BBC:
“I want a more balanced life. Gambling is a lot of late nights and travel. It’s also quite volatile. I won a lot this year but I could easily go a whole year without winning.”