On Wall Street, many of the biggest traders and fund managers love playing poker. And they’re good at it, too.
Pro poker player Phil Hellmuth, who has won thirteen bracelets at the World Series of Poker, explained that there are a lot similarities between the card game and trading the markets.
When it comes to the market, you have traders managing money in a forum with a lot of other people around them. Just like in poker, the traders are betting against other traders and betting on or against certain stocks.
“It’s very similar. You’re sitting down and you’re playing against other players and you’re betting on your cards versus their cards. I also think traders, sometimes they’re notorious. When they’re on tilt, they over-bet a little. Same thing in poker.”
Last night, hundreds of Wall Street traders, bankers and analysts gathered in the Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan’s Flatiron District to play their favourite game for charity.
The Aces & Angels “Salute the Troops Wall Street Poker Showdown” raised funds for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Wall Street Warfighters Foundation and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. Hellmuth was the host for the evening.
Firms in attendance included Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Drexel Hamilton, Greenlight Capital, Pine River Capital, Davidson Kempner Capital Management, SAC Capital Advisors, Sanford C Bernstein & Co., Magnitude Capital and others. We also met many financial services professionals who served in the military.
The winner got a seat in the World Series of Poker tournament this summer in Las Vegas.
If you missed the event, we’ve included highlights and photos of those who were in attendance.
Goldman Sachs vice president Jon Puckhaber (left) and Goldman Sachs managing director John Knorring. (Also, we love the beard. It looks like Lloyd Blankfein really started a facial hair movement.)
Goldman Sachs managing director Dinkar Bhatia (left) and Goldman Sachs managing director/ former Marine Major Owen West
(Left to Right) Former Marine Staff Sergeant John P. Jones; Goldman Sachs associate/ Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Eric Ceglowski; and Goldman's Owen West. Sergeant Ceglowski is headed to Afghanistan next month.
Drexel Hamilton VP/former Air Force jet engine mechanic Arion Williams and Kyle Myers of StoneRidge Investment Partners
Drexel Hamilton associate/ Former Marine tank machine gunner Brett McCoy and Drexel Hamilton VP/trader/ former Army Ranger sniper Mike Pacca
Greenlight Capital partner Justin Lepone, who is on the board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, played last night.
(Left to Right) Omar Saeed, who finished 39th in the World Series of Poker, and pro poker player Phil Hellmuth (a.k.a. the 'Poker Brat')
'I think some people have a knack for imperfect information in the markets,' Hellmuth told Business Insider using hedge fund manager Ken Griffin of Citadel as an example. 'He's a very good poker player. He's great with imperfect information,' he said pointing to how he figured out how to master trading convertible bonds at a young age.
The top six finishers received these guitars. Michael Sabat, who works in equity derivatives sales and trading, got one.
Jacob Rejwan (photographed on the left with Michael Sabat) told us that he wasn't planning on winning the tournament. His prize is a seat in the World Series of Poker.
Before the tournament began, former service members representing the charities spoke to the poker players. The guest of honour, former U.S. Army Sergeant Mills, who suffered a devastating injury and is a quadruple amputee, also addressed the crowd. Many people in the room expressed how moved they were by his story, which is being told in a documentary film 'Travis: A Soldier's Story.' Watch below:
With the Super Bowl coming up, some folks might be planning to bet on the game. In the meantime, check out ...
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