The world’s best female poker player, Vanessa Selbst, has left the casino table and turned her hand to hedge funds as she starts work at the $160bn Bridgewater Associates.
The 33-year-old, who has won $11.9m in prizes over a period of 12 years, announced her career change in a Facebook post at the end of last year. “The environment feels a lot like poker did back in the day – a bunch of nerdy kids collaborating to try to beat our opponents at a game,” she told her followers on the social media site. “It’s also really freaking difficult.”
Joining the largest hedge fund company in the world she now plans to focus on trading research and strategy.
The move doesn’t come as a surprise in the investment world as hedge funds are known to seek new employees by unconventional means, looking for the best way to enhance performance.
One example includes Ken Griffin’s $27 billion firm Citadel who hosted a data-science contest at the New York Stock Exchange in November. The competition aims to snatch the brightest data students at elite universities from under the noses of tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook, with winners securing a $100,000 cash prize.
Despite being known for her gambling, Brooklyn-born Selbst is no stranger to prestigious universities as she is a Yale University undergraduate. With law degrees under her belt, she has also worked part-time at a police misconduct plaintiffs’ law firm.
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