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MBA Poker Champs

  1. MBAs Take Vegas By Storm

    MBAs Take Vegas By Storm

    One of the many things MBA students learn in business school is how to take calculated risks. So it makes sense that many would gravitate toward the kind of risk-taking that takes place on green felt tables behind mounds of chips. Top schools such as the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business even boast established student poker clubs.

    Caesars saw a recruiting opportunity in that shared interest and began hosting its MBA Poker Championship in Las Vegas in 2006. Players are able to network with Caesars executives throughout the event, and invitation-only job interviews take place the last day. To mark this year's tournament, which took place Jan. 18 to 20, Bloomberg Businessweek put together a list of MBAs that are also well-known for their poker skills.

    Michael Novatkoski contributed to this report.

    Photograph by Getty Images
  2. The Hedge Fund King: Cliff Asness

    The Hedge Fund King: Cliff Asness

    MBA: University of Chicago Booth School of Business

    The co-founder of AQR Capital Management increased assets under management by about two-thirds in 18 months, to $54.5 billion as of June 30. He was one of the poker-playing money managers featured in Scott Patterson's book, The Quants.

    Photograph by Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg
  3. The Risk Manager: Aaron Brown

    The Risk Manager: Aaron Brown

    MBA: University of Chicago Booth School of Business

    This risk manager for AQR Capital Management and former executive director at Morgan Stanley[MS] also wrote The Poker Face of Wall Street.

    Photograph by Dwight Carter/Bloomberg
  4. The $12 Million Man: John Juanda

    The $12 Million Man: John Juanda

    MBA: Seattle University Albers School of Business & Economics

    Juanda is a professional poker player who happens to have an MBA. He practiced at Seattle casinos on weekends while pursuing the degree, according to his PokerListings profile. Career live tournament winnings: $12 million, according to PokerListings.

    Photograph by Steve Grayson/WireImage via Getty Images
  5. The Survivor: James Rice

    The Survivor: James Rice

    MBA: University of Michigan Ross School of Business

    Rice earned a spot on the 23rd season of CBS's Survivor, which aired in 2011. The show's website says he worked on Wall Street and won more than 40 poker tournaments.

    Courtesy CBS
  6. The Cowboy: Doyle Brunson

    The Cowboy: Doyle Brunson

    MBA: Hardin-Simmons University Kelley College of Business

    Brunson, who's pushing 80 and has a fondness for Stetsons, has won a record 10 World Series of Poker gold bracelets, according to PokerListings. The wearable trophy is considered one of the highest noncash prizes on the professional circuit.

    Photograph by Charly Kurz/laif/Redu
  7. The Chief Executive: J. David Rogers

    The Chief Executive: J. David Rogers

    MBA: Penn State Smeal College of Business

    The CEO of J.D. Capital Management (far right) won a charity poker event last year that raises money to prepare high-school students for Advanced Placement exams. He sits on the board of visitors of his alma mater, where he endowed an MBA fellowship along with his wife. The two also contributed $1.1 million to build the Smeal College Trading Room, which was established in 2001, and ten years later agreed to match up to $1 million in additional gifts for the project.

    Photograph by Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg
  8. The Fundraiser: Michelle Lau

    The Fundraiser: Michelle Lau

    Pursuing Executive MBA: George Washington University School of Business

    Lau won a 2010 poker tournament that raised funds for the nonprofit group Talk About Curing Autism, according to the group's website. She is also co-founder of the Federation Internationale de Poker Association, a governing body for the game.

    Photograph by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
  9. The Ex-CFO: Robert Slezak

    The Ex-CFO: Robert Slezak

    MBA: Creighton University College of Business

    Slezak was chief financial officer at TD Ameritrade[AMTD] from 1989 to 1999. He has also taken home nearly $700,000 in World Series of Poker and circuit earnings, according to the group's website.

    Photogrpah by JB Reed/Bloomberg