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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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February 2017

Come in from the cold, browse for books and media in a cozy, intimate environment. The Mid-Winter Book Sale will be held Saturday, February 18 through Sunday, February 19, 9am – 5pm daily....

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

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To mark both Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, The Aldrich invites you to write heartfelt letters to the United States of America in the Museum’s Education Center from February...

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
Website »

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Meet the Mets…announcer!   The Ridgefield Library will host an exclusive conversation with legendary baseball broadcaster Gary Cohen.  Gary will entertain questions from...

Cost: Donation: Adults -- $25 Children -- $12.50

Where:
Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT
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To mark both Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, The Aldrich invites you to write heartfelt letters to the United States of America in the Museum’s Education Center from February...

Cost: Free!

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Restaurant Week, February 20-26, 2017 Break up the winter doldrums with a great meal at a great price during Ridgefield Restaurant Week!  From February 20th through 26th,...

Cost: See Special Offers box on DestinationRidgefield.com

Where:
Participating Restaurants
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefied Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jennifer Zinzi
Website »

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If you were to be president of the United States of America, what would your coin look like? Use black ink and bronze-colored paper to create your own portrait, silhouette, or design on a...

Cost: Free for members and with Museum admission

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
Website »

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Ridgefield Restaurant Week, February 20-26, 2017 Break up the winter doldrums with a great meal at a great price during Ridgefield Restaurant Week!  From February 20th through 26th,...

Cost: See Special Offers box on DestinationRidgefield.com

Where:
Participating Restaurants
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefied Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jennifer Zinzi
Website »

More information

The Blues Magazine dubbed her “the ultimate female rock star” and right now, the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter is riding a creative tidal wave, firing out acclaimed albums, hooking...

Cost: $59.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Paloma Hutton
Website »

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Ridgefield Restaurant Week, February 20-26, 2017 Break up the winter doldrums with a great meal at a great price during Ridgefield Restaurant Week!  From February 20th through 26th,...

Cost: See Special Offers box on DestinationRidgefield.com

Where:
Participating Restaurants
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefied Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jennifer Zinzi
Website »

More information

Genesis Revisited With Classic Hackett 2017 US Tour Former Genesis guitarist and prog-rock legend Steve Hackett returns with an exciting new show! Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic...

Cost: $75

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Paloma Hutton
Website »

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Ridgefield Restaurant Week, February 20-26, 2017 Break up the winter doldrums with a great meal at a great price during Ridgefield Restaurant Week!  From February 20th through 26th,...

Cost: See Special Offers box on DestinationRidgefield.com

Where:
Participating Restaurants
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefied Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jennifer Zinzi
Website »

More information

Please join The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and Postmasters for a conversation with William Powhida, Zoë Charlton, Mostafa Heddaya, Kendra Jayne Patrick, Seph Rodney, and Magdalena Sawon...

Cost: Free, registration preferred by February 21.

Where:
Postmasters Gallery
54 Franklin Street
New York, NY  10013
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

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For more than 30 years Howie Mandel has remained a constant force in show business. His versatile career has covered television, film, stage, animation and author with his 2009 memoir...

Cost: $87.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Paloma Hutton
Website »

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Celebrate the start of a winter weekend with a snow-inspired painting workshop. Add paint to the top of your page, and experiment with different motions, tools, and toys to make your paint drip and...

Cost: $15

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

More information

Ridgefield Restaurant Week, February 20-26, 2017 Break up the winter doldrums with a great meal at a great price during Ridgefield Restaurant Week!  From February 20th through 26th,...

Cost: See Special Offers box on DestinationRidgefield.com

Where:
Participating Restaurants
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefied Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jennifer Zinzi
Website »

More information

      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
Website »

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Ridgefield Restaurant Week, February 20-26, 2017 Break up the winter doldrums with a great meal at a great price during Ridgefield Restaurant Week!  From February 20th through 26th,...

Cost: See Special Offers box on DestinationRidgefield.com

Where:
Participating Restaurants
Ridgefield, CT  06877


Sponsor: Ridgefied Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jennifer Zinzi
Website »

More information

From Agnes de Mille to Bob Fosse to Jerome Robbins, iconic choreography has made stars of dancers and forged the path of Broadway musical theatre. DANCIN’ BROADWAY is a multi-media...

Cost: Adult $25 | Child $20

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
10 E Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Paloma Hutton
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Paloma Hutton
Website »

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If you have an alibi, please join us for a play reading, directed by Nancy Ponturo. The talented actors will be Nancy and Bob Ponturo, Heather and Frank Whaley, Julia Levo, Don Striano, Dorothy and...

Cost: These performances cost $40 per New Pond Farm member and $50 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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Take a virtual vacation in California's sunny Sonoma County through the wines it's so famous for! This guided tasting of Wine Geeks' favorite Sonoma Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinafandel,...

Cost: $35

Where:
Wine Geeks Armonk
559 Main Street
Armonk, NY
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Telephone: 914-273-9463
Website »

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Join Anna for an evening of Himalayan Salt Therapy. The evening will consist of immersion into Sound, Relaxation, Rejuvenation and Peace. In the Himalayan Salt cave, Anna will be playing Crystal...

Cost: $65

Where:
Saltana Cave, LLC
590 Danbury Road
Ridgefield, CT
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Telephone: 203-969-4327
Website »

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