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Ten Minutes With Greg Jensen

A poker-playing hedge fund manager



Greg Jensen

Greg Jensen is CEO and co-CIO of Bridgewater Associates, a $130-billion investment fund, based in Westport. In January, the amateur poker player entered a PokerStars Super High Roller tournament, with 59 entries, a $5.7-million pool, and some of the top pro players in the world. Jensen made the final table, finishing sixth and earning $286,200, which he summarily donated to a group supporting families in Newtown. He lives in Ridgefield with wife Valerie and their children. 

Were you nervous?  I wouldn’t say nervous. Winning and surviving in a poker tournament, like most things, requires a mix of appropriate aggression and fear. You need to be aggressive enough to crush your opponent and wary enough to avoid being crushed.

You were pretty, well, poker-faced, while the others were pretty chatty. Was that your strategy?  The other guys at the table play more poker in a couple of weeks than I have played in this decade.  So they are comfortable in most circumstances. I needed more focus to have a feel for what was going on. They also gain info by knowing how to talk to people during the hand, and I was better off staying away from that.

What is it about these pros that make them better than your Ridgefield poker friends?  The pros drink water instead of beer, and they have an incredible ability to concentrate and consider multiple possibilities naturally. 

How well can you read what cards others likely have?  It depends who I am reading. Most of card reading is about understanding betting patterns and being able to probabilistically determine what the range of cards they might have is. I am decent at that, but some of the pros are almost magical at it.

Where is there more pressure—managing an investment fund or sitting at a final poker table?  Poker is great fun and teaches a lot of valuable life lessons, but it is nowhere near as broad an experience as trying to make sense of the world and systemize that understanding as I do at Bridgewater. At Bridgewater, there are many more people helping me see my mistakes before I make them. I could have used that at the poker table.

Do you have lucky socks or anything that you wear to something like this?  I can’t give all of my secrets away.  

Did you develop any poker groupies?  Val beat all the groupies off of me with a stick. I had to do the same for her as she finished third in the women’s tournament later in the week

Lots of high-fives from colleagues back at work?  Everyone was very intrigued, and naturally I got a fair dose of feedback on my mistakes.

Why did you decide to give it all to Newtown?  Like all parents, Val and I were devastated by the shooting and pictured what it would be like if those were our kids. Val started brainstorming on what would be an appropriate and beautiful gesture of support to Newtown, and she has a great gift planned. 

 

 

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May 2017

“SPECTRUM 2017:  Grayscale”Carriage Barn Arts Center, home to the New Canaan Society for the Arts will host its 27th annual Spectrum Contemporary Art Show.  Spectrum is a...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Avenue
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT
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Sponsor: New Canaan Society for the Arts
Telephone: 120-397-21895
Contact Name: Hilary Wittmann
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  Sharon’s Ride.Run.Walk is an event to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, May 21, 2017, in Stamford, Connecticut. Registration is $25...

Cost: $25

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Cove Island Park
1125 Cove Road
Stamford, CT  06902
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Sponsor: Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy
Telephone: 860-346-1924
Contact Name: Sharon's Ride.Run.Walk
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SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
Stamford, CT  06905
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Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
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Participate in the celebration of Tony Matelli's Figure, a new work commissioned by The Aldrich as part of its Main Street Sculpture series. Matelli will be onsite to talk about his...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
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The Ridgefield Independent Film Festival is an intimate, international, independent  and inspired film festival that aims to make the world a more compassionate place through the sharing...

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Locations Vary
Ridgefield, CT  06877


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Ben Vereen’s legendary performances transcend time and are woven into the fabric of this country’s artistic legacy. In this special evening you will take a whirlwind trip through...

Cost: $75

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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“SPECTRUM 2017:  Grayscale”Carriage Barn Arts Center, home to the New Canaan Society for the Arts will host its 27th annual Spectrum Contemporary Art Show.  Spectrum is a...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Avenue
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Sponsor: New Canaan Society for the Arts
Telephone: 120-397-21895
Contact Name: Hilary Wittmann
Website »

More information

SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

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Monday, May 22 American Red Cross Blood Drive, 1 – 6:30 p.m. Appointment Hours: 1:00PM - 6:15PM. To sign up please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1.800.733.2767) or go to www.redcrossblood.org....

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 120-376-23950
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Sonia Friedman Productions present Imelda Staunton (Gypsy, Vera Drake, the Harry Potter films), Conleth Hill (Game Of Thrones, The Producers), Luke Treadaway (A Street Cat Named Bob, The...

Cost: Ticket Price: $25 | Members & Seniors $20 | Students $15 Ridgefield Library card

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
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“SPECTRUM 2017:  Grayscale”Carriage Barn Arts Center, home to the New Canaan Society for the Arts will host its 27th annual Spectrum Contemporary Art Show.  Spectrum is a...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Avenue
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Sponsor: New Canaan Society for the Arts
Telephone: 120-397-21895
Contact Name: Hilary Wittmann
Website »

More information

SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

More information

Would you like to make a pumpkin hat, or a hat with grazing sheep? Join veteran knitter Mary Pat Cieri and create a unique “farm” hat that will delight a special child in your life. Pattern...

Cost: $20 per New Pond Farm member and $25 per non-member.

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
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Telephone: (203) 938-2117
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“SPECTRUM 2017:  Grayscale”Carriage Barn Arts Center, home to the New Canaan Society for the Arts will host its 27th annual Spectrum Contemporary Art Show.  Spectrum is a...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Avenue
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Sponsor: New Canaan Society for the Arts
Telephone: 120-397-21895
Contact Name: Hilary Wittmann
Website »

More information

SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

More information

Six-piece band Delta Rae hails from Durham, NC with Liz Hopkins and Brittany Holljes fronting the robust group with sultry harmonies rounded out by Holljes’ brothers Eric (vocals,...

Cost: $37.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“SPECTRUM 2017:  Grayscale”Carriage Barn Arts Center, home to the New Canaan Society for the Arts will host its 27th annual Spectrum Contemporary Art Show.  Spectrum is a...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Avenue
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Sponsor: New Canaan Society for the Arts
Telephone: 120-397-21895
Contact Name: Hilary Wittmann
Website »

More information

SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

More information

Kick off your Memorial Day weekend with family fun under the stars with a FREE showing of the movie “Trolls” (rated PG) on Friday, May 26th at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist...

Cost: Free movie, food is for purchase

Where:
Jesse Lee Church
207 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jen Mulhern
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Connecticut native Nick Fradiani is a singer/musician who found fame as the winner of the 14th season of American Idol. With his adult alternative-friendly vocals, he was also...

Cost: $37.50

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
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      Clay Art Center One-Time Cladies Night for Adults Interested in Learning to Use the Potter’s Wheel   Looking for something relaxing, creative and...

Cost: 50

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Clay Art Center
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Telephone: 914-937-2047
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The Friends of the Ives nonprofit organization will present the second annual Art at Ives, Juried Fine Art & Crafts Show on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 27, through Monday, May 29, at...

Cost: $5

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Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
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Sponsor: Friends of the Ives
Telephone: 203-837-9226
Contact Name: Phyllis Cortese
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Celebrate Memorial Day with an outdoor Barbeque at Grace Farms, with free time to explore 80 acres of diverse natural landscape, and remember those who gave their lives with time for reflection....

Cost: Barbeque Menu

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Telephone: 203.920.1702
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SilverSource – a leader in advocating for the needs of older adults and their families– announced today that it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 SilverSource Awards.  The...

Cost: FREE

Where:
SilverSource
2009 Summer Street
Stamford, CT  06905
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Linda Christensen
Website »

More information

Join us in the lobby at 7:15pm for a wine tasting by Benziger Family Winery and an art exhibit by Erin Nazzaro! Ottmar Liebert is one of the most successful instrumental artists of the past...

Cost: $45

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: 203-438-5795
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