Being an excellent bridge player, Warren Buffet spends 12 hours per week playing the game, usually with Bill Gates. He is also the sponsor of Buffet Cup, which is held along the lines of the Ryder Cup.
During the past seven years, however, he has become the host of one of the most exclusive poker tournaments in the world, the NetJets Poker Invitational organized by the private jet subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
Getting a chance to take part in this exclusive tournament is a bit difficult as it requires players to be either part owners of NetJets or owners of Marquis Jet Cards. The last man standing gets 10 hours worth $150k on a Bombardier Global 5000, and the top 10 players will get some other attractive prizes. The total prize pool is a breathtakingly large $500k. The most interesting thing about the NetJets Poker Invitational is that it has Warren Buffet as its mascot, host, and bounty target.
Forbes writer Randall Lane decided to take part in the event this June. The NetJets Poker Invitational turned out to be a delightful way to spend one’s weekend, as it was packed with entertainment, food and drink. The 24 tables were full of players by 10:00 a.m., and Phil Gordon, the professional poker player, started the running commentary. Each table had a noteworthy player wearing an armband and carrying a bounty prize of $5k, which could be won by the player who eliminated him from the table.
Lane, however, did not have much luck with his cards and was finally eliminated by Brad Mayfield in the 181st position. Warren Buffet continued playing for a much longer time, and finally, it was Dennis Jones, owner of a pharmaceutical company, who eliminated him and won the bounty of $5k along with a four-day vacation package in L’Auberge d’Aspen.
The game reached its final stages late that afternoon and soon dwindled into Sue Decker, former Yahoo president, playing heads up against Jeff Corzine, son of a former New Jersey governor. Finally, it was Corzine who emerged as the champion of the event and bagged the flight hours and the title, while runner-up Decker won a vacation package to Skibo Castle in Scotland plus a barrel of Dalmore Whiskey.
The NetJets Poker Invitational was not held in 2010 much to the indignation of its customer base, after which Buffet stated that it would held annually without fail.