At first, it looked like the rivalry between Avenue Capital’s Marc Lasry and “Billions” show runner Brian Koppelman would fuel the evening.

The hedge fund manager who’s made a cameo on the Showtime series and its co-creator started the Take ’Em to School Poker Tournament at the same table.

“I just crushed Brian’s soul,” Lasry said a few hands in Wednesday night at Gotham Hall in Manhattan.

“If he wants to crush my soul, that’s OK,” Koppelman responded.

This wasn’t the first time they’ve played poker together, and after a few more hands, their fortunes diverged. “I presented I had a higher flush," Koppelman said. “Marc folded. I bluffed him out of 7,000.”

“He turned me into a little boy,” Lasry said. “I cried.”

Their banter wasn’t the only reason theirs was the hot table, the one that non-playing guests came to watch and other players hovered around during breaks.

For one thing, lots of people wanted to say hello to John Sabat of Point72’s Cubist Systematic Strategies, who runs the tournament benefiting Education Reform Now with his brother Mike Sabat of Sanford C. Bernstein. The event raised more than $550,000 for the group, which promotes standards and accountability in public education, especially for students of color and those from low-income families.

John Sabat is an extremely detail-oriented quant and he’d taken great care with his table, making sure only high-profile players were seated there and also arranging exactly where they sat.

Lasry, an owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, was next to former Knicks players Charles Smith and John Starks. David Einhorn was also on that end of the table, telling Starks when they sat down, “I’ve seen you play basketball.” Einhorn also tried to get Sabat to keep playing instead of schmoozing. “John! Come back, you have a decision to make,” Einhorn said.

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