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Gambling Online Magazine - Healing Hands

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  • Gambling Online MagazineHe might not have outlasted the field, but David Einhorn, after being eliminated in 18th place, played his best hand of this year?s World Series of Poker Main Event held in the Rio in Las Vegas from July 28 to August 10. With handprints on his sweatshirt by his wife and children, Einhorn knows the importance of family, especially his grandfather who suffered from Parkinson?s disease. So all of his $659,730 winnings went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson?s research, where Einhorn sits on the board.

    As a manager in the high-stress, high-stakes hedge fund industry, you might expect more of a cutthroat attitude. But the 37-year-old bridge junkie certainly went a considerable distance out of the 8,773 entrants with a congenial and grounded approach. ?I got more than I bargained for,? he said. ?Both poker and investing are games of incomplete information. You have a certain set of facts and you are looking for situations where you have an edge, whether the edge is psychological or statistical.? But the WSOP brought out his innate competitive streak. On the second day he won all the chips from poker legend David Williams. ?He didn?t give me the proper respect,? Mr. Einhorn said, referring to how the hand was played. Winning, he added, ?was really fun.?

    Einhorn?s well-balanced disposition has yielded great results away from the poker table as well. Over the last 10 years, he has built a $1 million fund, Greenlight Capital, into a $4 billion juggernaut and has delivered double-digit returns in all but two of the last 10 years. ?He?s an independent, original thinker who isn?t afraid to stand on the conviction of his ideas,? said Rafael Mayer, co-founder and partner of Khronos Capital, a $2 billion private investment group investing in hedge funds.

    In the end of the Main Event, he faced Jamie Gold, the dominating chip leader and eventual winner, and was sent to the rail. If he won, Fox would have made a special appearance as the winning amount, a staggering $12 million, would have gone to the foundation. Still, it was an impressive gesture. ?Seven hundred thousand dollars out of the clear blue sky, that?s pretty great for Parkinson?s research,? said Mr. Fox.

    So after two weeks of late nights and exhausting competition at the WSOP, Einhorn is back in the grind in Manhattan. But co-workers want him to relive the experience for their own benefit. Not a lot of people can boast about such a result. ?To go out and compete with the best players in the world ? how many things can you do that with?? he said. ?I couldn?t enter Wimbledon and compete against Federer.?

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