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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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March 2017

Celebrate spring with us! There will be activities for all ages, including:  12-2pm: balloon artists 12-4pm: inflatable wacky world and obstacle course 2-3pm: Jester Jim...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Recreation Center
195 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT
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Telephone: 203-431-2755
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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
Website »

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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 »

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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

On Wednesday March 29 from 7 – 8 p.m. join guest speaker, Traci Torres, from 
My Pet Chicken, for a talk on how to get started. Traci will outline what equipment is needed, fencing concerns,...

Cost: 
 $10 per New Pond Farm member, $15 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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Come for afternoon tea and scones by the fire and meet one of NPFs longtime members, Meredith McClung. Meredith is an enthusiastic member of the Beatrix Potter Society. She will...

Cost: $10 per New Pond Farm member, $15 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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Thursday, March 2 Finance Fundamentals for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs, 8 – 10 a.m. This is the first session of a three-part series aimed at the freelancers and entrepreneurs in the business...

Cost: fre

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
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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
Website »

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Odessey and Oracle 50th Anniversary The Zombies were the second UK group following the Beatles to score a #1 hit in America – and they ruled the 1960’s with hit singles like...

Cost: Tickets: $75 Meet & Greet Package Upgrade Available for $100!

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

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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

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Cost: Free, registration required.

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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Experience a living history performance as Judith Kalaora, Founder and Artistic Director of History at Play, portrays Deborah Sampson, the first woman to enlist, to fight and after being wounded to...

Cost: 75

Where:
The New Canaan Historical Society
13 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: The New Canaan Historical Society
Telephone: 203-966-1776
Contact Name: Donna Dearth
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On March 31st at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, Pacific House is hosting a spectacular evening that will entice chocolate and music lovers alike.  The ninth annual Pacific House Dessert and...

Cost: $50

Where:
Hyatt Regency Greenwich
1800 E. Putnam Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT  06870
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Sponsor: Pacific House
Telephone: 917-563-2435
Contact Name: Sloane Spanierman
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Spend the evening with award-winning poet, Spencer Reece, who will be screening the film Voices Beyond the Wall: Twelve Poems from the Murder Capital of the World. The film follows his...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: 203-920-1702
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
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Cost: Tickets: $45

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

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
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Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
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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 »

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Social Security benefits are not fixed or set in stone. There are over 500 ways to claim your benefits, and over 2700 rules for claiming Social Security benefits. Ralph S. Adorno, C.L.U. is an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Library
271 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
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Sponsor: Pound Ridge Library
Telephone: 914-764-5085
Contact Name: Pound Ridge Library
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Join talented artist and New Pond Farm member, Chanel Dupare, as she shares this traditional Ukrainian craft. Using a wax-resist dyeing method you will learn this delicate meditative art of Pysanky...

Cost: $15 per New Pond Farm Member, $20 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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Saturday April 1, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. 
  Join talented artist and NPF member, Chanel Dupare, as she shares this traditional Ukrainian craft. Using a wax resist
dyeing method you will learn...

Cost: $15 per New Pond Farm Member child, $20 per non-member child

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
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Telephone: (203) 938-2117
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Cost: $45.00

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