Mets’ new owner David Einhorn won $660,000 in World Series of Poker and donated it to charity

15 Comments

Most people probably responded to this morning’s news of the Mets adding a minority owner by thinking of, say, the financial ramifications and impact on the team, but my first thoughts were “the name David Einhorn sounds familiar” and then “I think I’ve seen this guy on television playing poker.”

Sure enough, before investing $200 million in the Mets he was featured during ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker main event back in 2006, finishing 18th–in between well-known pros Jeff Lisandro and Prahlad Friedman–for a prize of $659,730.

And the reason he was a prominent storyline during ESPN’s coverage is that Einhorn pledged ahead of time to give all his winnings to charity, donating the money–which could have been as much as $12 million–to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

He was knocked out of the tournament–which was the biggest in poker history with 8,773 players ponying up $10,000 apiece–by eventual champion and card-catching king of the world, Jamie Gold.

Donating that kind of score is a good indication that Einhorn has pockets deep enough to help the Mets and an even better indication that he’s a pretty good guy. And a pretty good poker player too.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
3 Comments

Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.