I’ve enjoyed playing poker since college, but winning two WSOP bracelets in 2006 is hands down my favorite poker memory. I’m originally from Auburn, AL and I started playing in card rooms over 20 years ago. You could classify my style as mathematical and really aggressive. I co-authored The Mathematics of Poker, an introduction to quantitative techniques and game theory as applied to poker. I’ve been working at SIG as Quantitative Analyst for 12 years, and in my free time, I enjoy chess, bikram yoga, and bridge.
I have really enjoyed the SIG poker tournament this year. I’ve been eliminated again before the Final Table (in Round 1 this time), but this is definitely an event I’d like to win some year. I feel the tournament is a great test of acumen, and unlike a poker tournament at the local cardroom or even the World Series of Poker, it tests more than the usual poker skill.
Some of my coworkers have extensive poker experience, while others have almost none, and it’s up to you to take advantage if you figure out what each player is doing. A great example of this is finalist Kris who told me about some of the hands he had to navigate in Round 3. He had a reasonable stack at the beginning of the day, and picked up AA against KK and had a chance for an over 20K stack early, but the K came on the flop. He had to make up some chips after that, which was difficult when everyone was aggressive in the third round—it was his observation that many of the shorter stacks were on his table. Often, you have to get in with chances as Kris did with 55 against two overcards. Taking chances like this are routine—he made a set and was able to build up his chips, and now has a stack of 49,000.
Most of our traders have taken the trading class where we play a lot of poker, so I’m familiar with their play. Kevin is one of our chip leaders at 76,000. He pointed out to me that, since we combine tables to move play along in the Bala poker tournament, nobody has had to play “shorthanded” (at tables of five or fewer players) for very long. While representatives from our Chicago, New York, and Dublin offices may have faced this before, Kevin felt that some of the more experienced Bala players are waiting for this opportunity to use their poker skills.
The Final Table will definitely be an exciting event. Congratulations and good luck to all of the players.