The World Series of Poker is on right now.
Unfortunately, hedge fund manager David Einhorn is out, but he’s still in the game as far as Wall Street is concerned.
Value, risk, personal inventory and the inventory of your competitor…
All of the above are as useful in stock or bond trading as they are at a poker table.
So it’s no surprise that Wall Street has a penchant for poker. And it’s no surprise that they’re good at it.
What might surprise you is how good some of them actually are.
Remember, Griffin played at the table in 2006 with poker titans Peter Muller, Cliff Asness and Boaz Weinstein.
Griffin also served on the committee for the Wall Street Poker Night Tournament, which Pete Muller won.
Yass began playing poker during college. 'My friends and I took poker very seriously. We knew that over the long run it wasnt a game of luck but rather a game of enormous skill and complexity. We took a mathematical approach.'
He thinks the market is like a giant poker game, 'and you have to pay very close attention to the skill level of your opponents.'
Susquehanna even once held a poker tournament to select trainee traders for its European operations.
The billionaire proprietary trader is also a poker fanatic and managed to walk away victorious after bellying up to the tables with other billionaires when he won the Forbes Billionaire Poker Tournament (a charity event) in October, 2009.
He was also at the table in 2006 with other poker players Peter Muller, Cliff Asness and Ken Griffin.
Weinstein is also a chess master, and a blackjack player too. He picked up poker at MIT.
Icahn reportedly 'generated his first investing stake by winning $4,000 playing poker while in the US Army after graduating from Princeton.'
In 2005 he was at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, at the table with professional gamblers. 'In a $40,000 game, he wound up as one of two players left in a hand of seven-card stud,' Time reports. The pro tried to say that he'd seen Icahn's hand, and Icahn almost folded before announcing, 'I learned a long time ago that in big business and big poker, there ain't no nice guys.' He won the hand.
He hosts private poker games at his East Hampton home.
Before he was taking home $1 billion a year, Cohen was taking home 'Stacks of Benjamins' from all night poker games with his high school buddies.
The SAC chief 'eventually quit his part time job to focus on poker and says that it taught him how to take risks.' He continued to play at Wharton while he was earning his degree, and travels to Vegas to play the tables.
Cohen has said there is a relationship between how he plays poker to how he trades stocks.
Bill Chen is one of many Susquehanna guys that has a passion for cards. But he stands out as a particularly talented poker player, competing in pro tournaments and supporting his Wall Street income with some substantial winnings on the Pro Poker Tour.
New Susquehanna 'hires are given copies of 'The Theory of Poker' and 'Hold 'Em Poker' and spend one full day a week studying the game by playing it.'
'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.
Quant king Muller has won a ton at the poker table and made the final table of the $3,000 Limit Hold 'em event at the 1998 World Series of Poker. He also came 4th at the World Poker Challenge.
He's still on the World Poker Tour, though he says he now mostly plays online and cash games instead of tournaments. He used to bring his dog to tournaments with him, as a good luck charm.
Just last year he beat 104 other Wall Streeters to take a large pot at a charity tournament.
So prodigious are the poker gifts of the incredibly successful hedge fund manager that he won $660K in a tournament this May. He donated the money to charity before dropping $200 million on 49% of The New York Mets.
And that could be an ideal fit as owning The Mets requires a superior poker face (right Fred Wilpon?)
Source: NBC Sports
Beal dropped out of college to play poker and made enough in winnings to start his own business, what is now a billion dollar Texas-based bank.
'During the height of his poker playing days, he would play some of the biggest names in the game for pots that often exceeded $1 million,' the WSJ said.
Beal once lost $16.6 million to poker king Phil Ivey, and is recognised 'as the poker player who won more money in a poker game in a single day than any other known poker player.'
And despite his new corporate life, he's still known to partake in the occasional $1 million game now and then. Carl Icahn once said of Beal, 'I always thought of myself as a good player. But I'm not in his league.'