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    March 19, 2008  
 
 

POKER CHAMP
HOLDS CLASS


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When Dickstein Shapiro's Ken Adams isn't beating opposing parties in his renowned litigation practice (lead counsel for 40,000 plaintiffs in Exxon Valdez suits, etc.), he's probably battling rivals on a poker table somewhere. He once won $120,000 in a cash game and came just one place shy of making ESPN's "final table" telecast of a World Series of Poker event in 2007, finishing 10th out of 2600 entrants. He's even beaten world champions like Greg Raymer (a former Connecticut-based lawyer) in tournament play. But last weekend, Ken met an opponent who gave him all he could handle: Bisnow's ace reporter, Simon Brown.      

 
 

We wrote about Ken in October and caught up with him again to check out his Washington Poker School, a somewhat regular poker class he runs from his home. We thought poker players were supposed to be greedy, but Ken was donating his time at the session for a good cause. Would-be card sharps like Courtney Wingate from Dickstein's HR department had won their seats to his poker clinic through a charity auction for Doing Small Miracles, a Dickstein-run 503(c) that provides holiday-season gifts to disadvantaged kids.  After two hours of instruction, Ken graciously let us pull up a seat for some tournament play. Big mistake.   

 
 

Ken began playing in 1983. We had been playing for 83 minutes. But after four players folded and left us alone in a hand with Ken, we made our big move. (Granted, it was the move he told us to make, but still.) We had a king and an ace, the second-best starting hand in Texas Hold 'Em—good enough to knock the master out. We eventually finished in second place, but anytime you play poker with Ken Adams without losing your shirt, you have to consider it an outright victory.

 
 
 
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