Two weeks ago Alyssa Bereznak, a senior editor for tech blog Gizmodo, went on a date with Finkel, a managing partner at the hedge fund Landscape Capital Partners, a small hedge fund that Finkel says uses a gaming strategy.
Finkel made no secret of the fact that he enjoys playing a competitive card game called Magic: The Gathering. He has a Wikipedia page chronicling his vast success (he was the World Champion in 2000) at the game.
But when Finkel casually mentioned to her that he was the world champion, she freaked out. He hadn't disclosed his geekiness on his Ok!Cupid profile, a serious online-dating faux-paus, in her mind.
After a second date, she took to her blog, Gizmodo .
I gulped my beer and thought about Magic, that strategic collectible card game involving wizards and spells and other detailed geekery. A long-forgotten fad, like pogs or something. But before I could dig deeper, we had to go. Jon had bought us tickets for a one-man show based on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's life story. It was not a particularly romantic evening.
The next day I Googled my date and a wealth of information flowed into my browser. A Wikipedia page! Competition videos! Fanboy forums comparing him to Chuck Norris! This guy isn't just some professional who dabbled in card games at a tender age. He's Jon motherf*****g Finkel, the man who is so widely revered in the game of Magic that he's been immortalized in his own playing card.
By the end of her article, she has publicly and brutally rejected him. Not that he was looking for a third date, or needs to be.
After her online diss, Finkel says he has received a lot of Tweets from girls saying they'd go out with him.
"It's nice to know the internet has my back, so in total it looks like it was a net positive, though I still feel oddly creeped out by it," Finkel said on Reddit.
So in the end, it's Finkel who is victorious. He's a hedge fund manager, he's won 70,000 playing poker , and he has quite the sense of humor, too. Here's how he describes his fund:
"We're more of a shrubbery fund. There are 5 of us partners and 2 employees. Its a pretty natural progression from advantage gambling(or gaming) though."
In sum: he wins at his Magic card game, but he also wins at life.
Check out this video from one of Finkel's competitions.