Feature

Traders wanted: Must know when to hold ’em

Some boutique trading firms are using poker to recruit and train young traders.

Think the stock market is just a big casino? asked Nathaniel Popper in the Los Angeles Times. Apparently, so do a number of boutique trading firms, which are using poker to recruit and train young traders. Trainees at Philadelphia’s Susquehanna International, for instance, are given two poker handbooks when they’re hired and spend a week playing the game before they start to trade. “It’s a real science,” says training honcho Pat McCauley.

Wall Street upstart Toro Trading goes Susquehanna one better. Even the most promising candidates aren’t hired until they’ve actually played a few poker hands with the firm’s partners. Toro partner Danon Robinson says that a lack of interest in poker is a “red flag” to him. “It’s almost the equivalent of not reading The Wall Street Journal,” he says.

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