One of the biggest poker games in the Bay Area of California won’t be spread at Bay 101 or the M8trix in San Jose. It can be found in the home of big-time Silicon Valley venture capitalist (and former Facebook VP) Chamath Palihapitiya, the guy who was gifted a WSOP bracelet, and features some of the most influential names in start-up culture.
Also, 13-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.
Business Insider takes a look at the hi-tech home game in the heart of Palo Alto where some of the wealthiest businessmen on the left coast gather not to talk shop but to play poker.
The guest list reads like a who’s who of Silicon Valley’s true elites: from Yammer founder David Sacks, SurveyMonkey’s Dave Goldberg and Inside.com’s Jason Calacanis to professional athletes and poker players, including the World Series of Poker champion Phil Hellmuth.
Check out the The 10 Biggest Poker Players In Silicon Valley
The fact is, while these guys do play for money – they have a ton of cash already so it’s not about the chump change on the table. It’s about the rush of competition and seeing if you can be the best against a table full of financial sharks. So, just how good are these guys?
In fact, according to Hellmuth, a 13-time world champion in Texas Hold’em, the skill level is so high that he was only able to hit break-even in the first three years he played there. “In general, great businessmen are great poker players. There’s a reason these guys made so much money in the real world. Those skills translate to poker,” Hellmuth tells us.
So why poker? According to Palihapitiya, the skills used in poker are directly applicable to those needed to run a startup.
Check out what he skills he thinks is needed both on and off the felt: Why Silicon Valley’s Elites Are Obsessed With Poker — And It’s Not Just Because Of The Money
Bonus: Check out these 10 Reasons Why Poker Players Make For Great Entrepreneurs