Barry Greenstein is one of the quietest figures you will ever see at a World Poker Tour final table. He is also one of its most feared competitors. An accomplished cash game player, Barry won the Championship Event at the 2004 Jack Binion World Poker Open and has also captured a World Series of Poker bracelet in one of its toughest disciplines, Lowball. He is also noted for his huge heart; all of his tournament winnings are donated to select charities to assist those less fortunate around the world, earning him the nickname as the “Robin Hood of Poker”. I was able to speak with the tremendously private Barry and get his views on the game today and his part in it.
PN: You have a very low-key persona at the tables. How does this work to your advantage against other players?
BG: I don’t try to show other people up. I focus on trying to win the most money.
PN: Table selection is important for cash players. What do you look for when you are choosing a cash game? Are there particular players you are looking to go against or does the action primarily drive your choice?
BG: I look for bad players with a lot of money to lose. I am not afraid of anybody at the poker table, but some games are not worth my time.
PN: Do you focus in on one particular game or would you say you are an all-around player?
BG: I play whatever game is being played. We usually play eight different games, eight hands each in the big game.
PN: What got you into playing poker? Is it something from your childhood?
BG: I have always been good at games. I played various card games at home when I was a child. I played poker for money from the time I was twelve.
PN: You have played some excellent poker on the World Poker Tour. What are the main differences between tournament poker and cash games in general?
BG: I go into this in detail in my book that is due out in June 2005. There are many management decisions in a session and as an overall scheme that a tournament player doesn’t need to worry about. visitez le site
PN: Do you have a desire to capture more World Series of Poker bracelets? Or is it something that will come with time?
BG: I won a World Series of Poker bracelet in Deuce-to-Seven in 2004. Before 2003, I only played in the final event and at most two others. The last two years I played in more events and consequently had several top finishes.
The WSOP Main Event is another thing entirely. Of course, I would like to win it, but that is less likely each year as the number of entrants skyrocket.
PN: You quietly were in the chase for the 2004 CardPlayer Magazine Player of the Year championship. Did you strive for that or was it just a fortunate extra to a great year?
BG: I didn’t work hard at it, but I wanted to have a shot going into the last event. Unfortunately, I didn’t give myself a chance to win it in the fashion Daniel Negreanu did. I tip my hat to him.
PN: You were the best Lowball player, according to CardPlayer. That is a game that is hard to find anymore, isn’t it?
BG: I played a lot of Lowball in California in the ’80s. It was the main game until Hold’em was legalized. I came in fifth at the World Series in limit lowball and fourth in Deuce-to-Seven no-limit in the ’90s. The WSOP limit lowball was moved to the Commerce Casino for a few years and I won the event (and the gold bracelet) the first year. By the way, I didn’t play in many tournaments before 2003 because I predominantly played side games. People didn’t consider me to be a good tournament player even though I finished at the final table in more than 30% of the events that I had played in, not counting the final event of the WSOP.