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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 2016

The 3rd Annual Ridgefield Gone Country BBQ Festival returns to the historic Lounsbury House. The festival welcomes world champion barbeque competitors and promises rides, games, and good eats...

Cost: $10

Where:
Lounsbury House
316 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Rotary Club of Ridgefield
Telephone: 203-947-2549
Contact Name: Jen Mathy
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The genius director Patrice Chéreau (From the House of the Dead) didn’t live to see his great Elektra production, previously presented in Aix and Milan, make it to the stage of the...

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

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Caroline Doctorow is a chart-topping Americana folk singer songwriter, with a stirring voice that recalls Judy Collins and Sandy Denny. Her style echos the great...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Friends of the Library
Telephone: 203-438-3200
Contact Name: Rhonda Hill, President
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Tina Cobelle-Sturges of Ridgefield with her acrylic, Evening Stroll, is one of four artists to speak at Ridgefield Guild of Artists' continuing Walk & Talk series on Sunday,...

Cost: free

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Member artists submitted 188 pieces of artwork and Robbin Zella, Director and Curator for the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, Connecticut, selected 82 to be in this year’s...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ridgefield Guild of Artists
34 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT
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Internet pioneer John Patrick will discuss his recently released book Health Attitude, which explores the power of information technology to transform delivery of health care services in the...

Cost: $30

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Paloma Hutton
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The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present L.M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's...

Cost: ticket prices vary

Where:
Visual and Performing Arts Center
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
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Sponsor: WCSU Department of Theatre Arts
Telephone: (203) 837-8732
Website »

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The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present L.M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's...

Cost: ticket prices vary

Where:
Visual and Performing Arts Center
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: WCSU Department of Theatre Arts
Telephone: (203) 837-8732
Website »

More information

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The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present L.M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's...

Cost: ticket prices vary

Where:
Visual and Performing Arts Center
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: WCSU Department of Theatre Arts
Telephone: (203) 837-8732
Website »

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After years of ‘Zappa Plays Zappa’ shows, Dweezil Zappa has released his first new solo album, Via Zammata, in nearly a decade! Don’t miss a great night of new music including...

Cost: $45

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


Website »

More information

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The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present L.M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's...

Cost: ticket prices vary

Where:
Visual and Performing Arts Center
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: WCSU Department of Theatre Arts
Telephone: (203) 837-8732
Website »

More information

Direct from Down Under, beloved Australian folk rock band The Waifs return to North America with an energized 5-piece sound that’s better than ever. After 23 years, seven albums, millions of...

Cost: $37.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA) and Fairfield County Farm Bureau (FCFB) are pleased to invite the public to attend a farm tour at The Hickories in Ridgefield led...

Cost: $15 person in advance, and $20 at the door

Where:
The Hickories
136 Lounsbury Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: CT NOFA
Telephone: (203) 613-8813
Contact Name: Jeff Cordulack
Website »

More information

The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present L.M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's...

Cost: ticket prices vary

Where:
Visual and Performing Arts Center
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: WCSU Department of Theatre Arts
Telephone: (203) 837-8732
Website »

More information

The Olate Dogs are the winning participants from Season 7 of America’s Got Talent, scooping up the $1,000,000 prize and headlining The Palazzo in Las Vegas. Led by Richard Olate and his son...

Cost: Tickets: VIP Meet & Greet $60 | All other seats $25

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


Website »

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A series of 6 workshops entitled “Become an Expert in Mah Jongg: The Chinese Game of Skill and Luck” will be led by Regina Klenosky on April 14, 21, 28 and May 5, 12, and 19, 2016...

Cost: Free admission

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: Alan Ramsay
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Public swimming lessons will be offered from 4:45 to 6:30 p.m at the O'Neill Center Pool for a five-week period. Classes available will include: Toddlers, Water Exploration, Fundamentals...

Cost: Fees vary depending on skill-level

Where:
O'Neill Center Pool WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Ext.
Danbury, CT  06811
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Sponsor: Western Colonials Athletics
Telephone: (203) 837-8624
Contact Name: Jill Cook
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Fairfield County philanthropic organization Near & Far Aid will hold a 2016 Designer House Tour which opens the doors to six exclusive homes decorated by renowned designers in the gold coast...

Cost: $65 in advance/ $75 day of

Where:
Fairfield, Southport, Westport
VARIOUS LOCATIONS - PRIVATE HOMES
, CT
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Sponsor: Near & Far Aid
Telephone: 203-259-1710
Contact Name: Jessica Grutkowski
Website »

More information

The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present L.M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's...

Cost: ticket prices vary

Where:
Visual and Performing Arts Center
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: WCSU Department of Theatre Arts
Telephone: (203) 837-8732
Website »

More information

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Cost: $40

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

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Join the inquisitive, lovable little monkey Curious George, star of books, movies and the award winning PBS television show in this delightful new musical. All–You-Can-Eat Meatball Day...

Cost: $15

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


Website »

More information

Join the inquisitive, lovable little monkey Curious George, star of books, movies and the award winning PBS television show in this delightful new musical. All–You-Can-Eat Meatball Day...

Cost: $15

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


Website »

More information

The WCSU Department of Theatre Arts will present L.M. Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university's...

Cost: ticket prices vary

Where:
Visual and Performing Arts Center
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: WCSU Department of Theatre Arts
Telephone: (203) 837-8732
Website »

More information

In an award-winning career that has encompassed TV, film, stage and concert work around the globe, Betty Buckley is probably best known as the quintessential musical theatre actress. Whether...

Cost: $65

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


Website »

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