David Einhorn, chairman and founder of Greenlight Capital, took home victory last night at the 7th annual Hillel Texas Hold’em Tournament.
The event at the W Hotel on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan went until half past midnight and raised about $500,000 for Hillel, which promotes Jewish engagement on college campuses.
“I’ve gotta stop hosting poker tournaments,” Einhorn said as he walked out with his trophy. “I won the last poker tournament I hosted too.”
That event was on behalf of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s, and was one of many such wins.
All for good causes, and with friends to help out. Einhorn’s co-hosts last night were David Tepper of Appaloosa Management LP, Boaz Weinstein of Saba Capital Management LP, and Keith Rosenbloom of CARE Capital Group.
“University of Michigan had a great Hillel,” said Weinstein, adding that Rabbi James Ponet -- of the Hillel at Yale, his wife’s alma mater -- had officiated at their marriage.
Einhorn said he only won one hand in the first rounds, but later his momentum picked up. For his prize, he chose a private dinner party for 10 catered by Foremost, an elite kosher catering company.
Second-place winner Phil Medici of the institutional broker dealer LiquidNet chose the trip to Oregon; third-place winner David Key, who works in the event-driven group of Ionic Capital Management LLC, left with a ski trip to Stratton, Vermont.
“You are awesome players,” Einhorn told Medici and Key.
Len Blavatnik, chairman and founder of Access Industries, took out his turquoise camera to photograph his wife, Emily at the New York City Ballet “A La Francaise” gala last night.
The Blavatniks were co-chairmen of the gala, which raised $2 million and drew 800 guests including hedge-funders Philip Falcone of Harbinger Group Inc. (HRG), John Paulson of Paulson & Co. and David MacCallum of Outer Island Capital, which, MacCallum said, over the past 10 years has had returns of 130 percent.
Leon Black, the chairman, CEO and founder of Apollo Global Management LLC (APO), was so relaxed that he took his tie off.
The Elie Nadelman sculptures at the David H. Koch Theater had backdrops of Provencal garden scenes, enlarged photographs taken by interior designer Charlotte Moss on her travels. Wisteria hung from trellises suspended above the tables.
“I always say we have the easy lifting,” said Moss, co-chair of the event. “We pick the menu, sell a few tickets and write a few thousand notes.”
The dinner was white and green asparagus with shaved black truffles and chicken served with “potato nests,” which looked much like geometrically-sophisticated potato chips.
Natalie Portman sat with her beau Benjamin Millepied and the creative team that worked with him on the ballet he choreographed for the gala: Rodarte designers, sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy (who did the costumes for “Black Swan,” the film that won Portman an Academy Award), and composer Nico Muhly among others.
Drew Barrymore, the actress and producer, sat with her fiance, Will Kopelman, and his family, including future sister-in-law Jill Kargman, who has a novel coming out May 22 titled “The Rock Star in 3A.”
Kopelman said he’s in town to attend his bachelor party over the weekend. The couple plans to marry in June.
The program also included a new ballet choreographed by Peter Martins, ballet master in chief, with costumes by Gilles Mendel.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
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