Hedge fund manager holds the right cards
Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn finishes 18th in the World Series of Poker, winning more than $650,000 for charity of actor Michael J. Fox.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A hedge fund manager was a big winner in another type of high-stakes gamble -- the World Series of Poker.
David Einhorn, 37, president and co-founder of New York value investing hedge fund Greenlight Capital, finished 18th in the 2006 World Series of Poker's key event, the $10,000, no-limit Texas Hold 'em championship tournament.
Einhorn won $659,730, which he announced he is donating to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease. Einhorn is a member of the board of the foundation started by the film and television actor whose name it bears.
The New York Times reports that Einhorn is not an avid poker player, preferring to play bridge. He plays in live game once every two to three months, and only occasionally in online games.
"I got more than I bargained for," he told the newspaper about his run of success.
The newspaper reports that his hedge fund has also seen some winning results.
Over the last 10 years, Greenlight has grown from a $1 million fund into one with $4 billion in assets. Through July, Greenlight Capital's flagship fund was up about 9.5 percent, compared with a 3.1 percent return for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. He has delivered double-digit returns in all but two of the last 10 years, according to the newspaper.
"Both poker and investing are games of incomplete information," Einhorn told the Times. "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."
In the end, Einhorn was knocked out of the tournament, betting big on a hand in which tournament champion Jamie Gold held better cards. Gold ended up winning $25.5 million.
The tournament, which ran from July 28 through Thursday, will be broadcast in edited form on ESPN, starting Aug. 22.