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.