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Fine Line Separates Gambling from Investing19 October 2005
Walter Clyde "Puggy" Pearson, a 76-year-old professional gambler, poker player and former World Series of Poker champion, once made this observation: "Ain't only three things to gambling – knowing the 60/40 end of the proposition, money management and knowin' yourself".
When Bill Miller, manager of the high profile Legg Mason Value Trust, heard the quote he commented: "It's all you need to know about investing".
Miller is recognized as one of the top money managers in the world. The trust he manages set a financial world record by beating the S&P 500 an unprecedented 14 years in a row.
When the editors of the highly respected and widely read financial periodical Money Magazine got wind of the correlation that Miller made between gambling and investment money managers, they got an idea:
Why not arrange a Texas Hold'em Poker match pitting the nation's most successful financial advisors against professional poker players? The idea gave birth to the Money Poker Challenge, a winner-take-all competition which was held at Harrah's Las Vegas in late 2004.
Miller was invited to play in the match along with the following other world class money managers:
The quartet of financial gurus was pitted against professional players Johnny Chan, a two-time winner of the World Series of Poker, and Jennifer Harman, one of the top female players in the world. Pearson was invited but was unable to attend. The table of eight included a writer from Money Magazine and one other player.
The one-day tournament is chronicled in the May 2005 edition of Money Magazine.
Gabelli wound up winning the Challenge, but it was the third place finisher, Rogers, who found the competition so interesting that he decided to enter the 2005 World Series of Poker, which was held earlier this year in the new convention center at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
"The thing that was interesting is that they thought there was a real correlation between skills you need to be a good poker player to being a good money manager," said Rogers, 47, who is from Chicago. "The themes of discipline, patience and creativity all come to play. I thought it would be fun one more time to have a chance to play in the one big World Series and to have that once in a lifetime experience.
"The other thing that piqued my interest is that we have always over the years owned a lot of stock in the various gaming companies. It's interesting to see this growth area, how fast it's growing and how important it has become. It helps me as an analyst to get out there and experience it first hand to really get a flavor of what's happening, how Vegas is changing, and what the important growth areas are in Las Vegas."
Rogers entered the showcase main event of the WSOP, the No Limit Texas Hold'em Championship, which drew 5,619 players from all around the world and a record $56,190,000 prize pool.
"I was pleased just to make it through the first day," said Rogers, who lost after the first break on the second day. "Just to feel the energy was something. The intensity was really there. Everybody was really concentrating and it was quiet a lot. Not much bantering at all. The professionalism of the group was a little higher than I had anticipated. It was fun to see the movie stars and the poker stars which were all so accessible. It's something I'll be able to tell my grandchildren about some day."
Eighteen ESPN cameras recorded the entire seven week WSOP competition. The network is currently airing one-hour highlight programs culminating with comprehensive coverage of the dramatic final table on Nov. 15.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp