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Q&A: Poker Champ Turned MBA: Galen Hall

Q&A: Poker Champ Turned MBA: Galen Hall
Photograph by Aaron Cameron Muntz/Gallery Stock

Two years ago, in a 10-hour showdown on ESPN, Stanford MBA student Galen Hall bounced back from two folds to win one of the biggest live poker tournaments in the world. The 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event champion took home $2.3 million that day—accounting for nearly half his career winnings. Months later, the internationally ranked player shipped off to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business to get an MBA. Hall graduates this spring and spoke to Bloomberg Businessweek’s Erin Zlomek about how his poker skills translated at business school, how professors drew on his experience in class, and about what lies ahead. Below is an edited excerpt of their conversation.

Did you write or talk about your poker career when applying to Stanford?