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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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April 2015

Jug of Silver, by Truman Capote, is about an underprivileged boy who is determined to guess the amount of money in and thereby win a jug of silver coins so that he can do something very special for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jorie Graham will read from her 2015 collection From the New World (Ecco Press).  The event will include audience Q&A, reception and book signing.  A major...

Cost: $10/adult, Free/student

Where:
Katonah Village Library
26 Bedford Rd.
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Katonah Poetry Seriesh
Telephone: 914-772-4877
Contact Name: Moira Thielking
Website »

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Spencer Eldridge’s New Abstracted Landscapes Are Featured in Upcoming Exhibit at Keeler Tavern Museum’s Carriage Barn     Spencer Eldridge will exhibit a body of...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Keeler Tavern Museum
132 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Keeler Tavern Museum
Telephone: 203-297-4143
Contact Name: Joanne Hudson
Website »

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From this past season seven of The Voice- Luke Wade stood out.  As one of Pharrell Williams’ understudies, this Dublin born soul singer, who grew up in Texas, never let any of his...

Cost: Tickets: $35

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Website »

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The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present "Smokey Joe's Cafe" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
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Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

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Art writer, historian and curator Dr. Jennifer Samet and gallerist Steven Harvey will offer their perspectives on artists and the contemporary art scene at 11 a.m. in Room 144 of the Visual and...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
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Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

Spencer Eldridge’s New Abstracted Landscapes Are Featured in Upcoming Exhibit at Keeler Tavern Museum’s Carriage Barn     Spencer Eldridge will exhibit a body of...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Keeler Tavern Museum
132 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Tavern Museum
Telephone: 203-297-4143
Contact Name: Joanne Hudson
Website »

More information

The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present "Smokey Joe's Cafe" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

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Join Charles, on his actual 80th Birthday, as he makes you laugh, bringing you on his own personal journey through show business! “A first rate story teller,” The New York Times...

Cost: Gold Circle Meet and Greet $55 | Orchestra $45 | Mezzanine and Balcony $40

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Website »

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Tue, 03/24/2015 - 7:30pm HamletHub Whole New You Series Does speaking before a group fill you with dread?  Public Speaking is just one fear that many people have.  Do you?  Ira...

Cost: 8 weeks ~ $360.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Website »

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The WCSU Chamber Singers, conducted by Kevin Jay Isaacs, and the Concert Choir, conducted by Cory Ganschow, will perform at 8 p.m. in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall of the Visual and Performing...

Cost: Free -- donations accepted

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present "Smokey Joe's Cafe" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

Show More...
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The Gallery Opening for the Senior Thesis Exhibition will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Art Gallery of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

WCSU Professor of Management Dr. Eugene Buccini will engage in conversation with Dr. John Patrick about the future of health care at 6 p.m. in Room 218 of the Classroom Building on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present "Smokey Joe's Cafe" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The 20th Annual WCSU Jazz Festival will include three evening concerts in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall in the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: varies

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present "Smokey Joe's Cafe" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

Even after 50 years as a major recording artist, award-winning singer-songwriter Judy Collins’ wonderful voice still shines brightly. An important part of the 1960s folk revival, Collins...

Cost: Tickets: $60

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The 20th Annual WCSU Jazz Festival will include three evening concerts in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall in the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: varies

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present "Smokey Joe's Cafe" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

Randy Bachman of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive is a legendary figure in the rock n' roll world. Guitarist, songwriter, performer and producer – hits include “These...

Cost: Tickets: $70

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
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Enjoy breakfast and a private preview of the exhibitors’ works.  More than 20 artisans whose fine crafts evoke past eras will present their works. 

Cost: $25 per person

Where:
Keeler Tavern Museum
132 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203.438.5485
Website »

More information

More than 20 artisans whose fine crafts evoke past eras will present their works.  Food and refreshments for sale.   Admission good for both days.   Saturday, April 25 -...

Cost: $10 per person

Where:
Keeler Tavern Museum
132 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203.438.5485
Website »

More information

Opera’s most enduring tragic double bill returns in an evocative new production from Sir David McVicar, who sets the action across two time periods but in the same Sicilian village. Marcelo...

Cost: Tickets $25 | Members & Seniors $20 | Students $15

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


Website »

More information

  On Saturday, April 25 from 1-4 pm, nine integrative Ridgefield healthcare practitioners are opening their doors to welcome the community into their facilities at 100 B Danbury Road. ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield
100 Danbury Rd
Ridgefield , CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

TWO SHOW TIMES: 5pm & 7:30pm Recommended for ages 4 & up Peter shares his exciting animal world, travel experiences and timeless tales. He highlights his many adventures with a mix of...

Cost: Ticket Price $25.00

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


Website »

More information

The 20th Annual WCSU Jazz Festival will include three evening concerts in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall in the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: varies

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present "Smokey Joe's Cafe" in the Studio Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's Westside campus, 43 Lake...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8774
Contact Name: Sherri Hill
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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