For Vanessa Selbst, Hedge Funds is Just a New Kind of Gambling

January 11, 2018 James Heinsman Hedge Fund News

Vanessa Selbst, the world’s most successful female poker player, is making the not-so-big switch to the world of high finance as she joins mega-hedge fund manager Bridgewater Associates.

Over the past 12 years Selbst has racked in a nice $11.9 million playing tournament poker. Although her new job has not been announced publicly, she did post on her Facebook page on December 31, that she started working at a hedge fund firm four months before, concentrating on trading research and strategy.

“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,” Selbst said in her post. “It’s also really freaking difficult.”

Bluffing and doubling up at the poker table aren’t Selbst’s only qualifications to be part of the world’s largest hedge fund. The 33-year-old graduated from Yale University and also has a law degree. Selbst said that when poker started to feel too much like a “real job” she re-evaluated what kind of career she wanted. But hedge funds has had its own steep learning curve.

“Every day I think I’m getting the hang of it, the next day I fail at the next challenge,” she said. “It’s exhausting, exciting, and completely humbling.”

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