Poker-star hedge fund trader leaves Tudor Capital

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Two years ago, Lawrie Inman – a former young gun trader who hauled in seven-figure compensation packages in the pre-crisis boom – gave up his new career as a professional poker player and race horse enthusiast to join hedge fund Tudor Capital’s UK operation.

Now, according to filings on the Financial Conduct Authority, he has departed.

Inman rose to fame by making a £700k profit on single trade when he was just 25 in 2006. He made a huge bet on which direction the five-year German government bond market would move while then European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet was making a speech. It paid off.

Inman traded futures for five years at Marex Financial until he decided to quit trading in 2009 and start the Buffalo Club, which organises poker tournaments in London. That and trading under his own money, playing poker professionally and equine appreciation (he owns six race horses) was how he spent his time until he joined Tudor in August 2013.

The skills to succeed in poker and trading are pretty similar, he told Poker Listings in 2012: “It’s so similar because I can sit at my desk for two weeks and be doing all the right things, and just be losing money,” he said.

“Sometimes I’ll be sat at my desk at the end of the day, thinking I’ve done all the right things and made all the right moves, but I just feel like someone’s kicked me in the knackers, so it’s a lot like poker.”

But hedge funds don’t hire poker players, do they? Well, yes actually. Most recently, Brevan Howard hired Alexios Zervos, a former professional poker player, as a trader for its London office in July.

David Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, was a competitor in the World Series of Poker, while Talal Shakerchi, who runs Meditor Capital Management, also takes on the professionals. Steve Kuhn of Pine River Investments, John Rogers from Ariel Investments and Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates are players.

Steven Cohen, founder of SAC Capital, also told the Wall Street Journal in 2006 that poker “taught me how to take risks”.

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