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Exclusive Interview with Poker Pro Barry Greenstein at 2005 WSOP
Barry Greenstein is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) poker cash game winners in history. He has also had tremendous success in poker tournaments and amazingly donates all of his tournament winnings to charity. He has recently authored an advanced guide to poker called 'Ace on the River,' which will be reviewed in our Editor's Pick section shortly. You can read more about Barry Greenstein at www.barrygreenstein.com.
You just got knocked out of the Main Event on Day 1A. What happened?
I made one mistake early when I flopped a pair of aces with a weak kicker against an opponent who had pocket tens. Instead of check-raising him on the turn, I check-called and let him see the river too cheaply. He hit one of the two remaining tens and I ended up paying him off. After that I never got back to a comfortable chip position. I tried to build up my stack again so that I could become a threat to the other players but that didn't happen.
How have your results been in this year's WSOP?
I have played 25 events, cashed in 5, made 2 final tables, and I won the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament.
You donate all your tournament winnings to charity. Is it more fulfilling to play tournaments with that as your goal?
Yes, it gives playing a special meaning and probably makes me try even harder to win.
You were mainly a cash game player up until recently. Do you find tournaments more fun to play than cash games?
Yes, tournaments are more fun to play, playing cash games is work for me as it's mainly from cash games that I have made my profits.
What does the future look like for you and what do you think is in the cards for poker?
I still have to play poker for a living so I'll continue doing that in order to support my family and lifestyle. Also, I have many important obligations aside from poker. Number one being my family, but there are also poker-related projects that I'll participate in. I get calls from many organizers and networks that want to work with me. In general, the networks are interested in doing something exclusive, and that is a double-edged sword because one of the things that I love about poker is that it's always been an open sport for everyone to participate in, and there has been no real "class" distinction.
But that is the future of poker, it's going to become more like the NBA where you have a professional league, and that is what the networks want. But there will be a big tie between those things and what's going to happening on the Internet, which will remain open for any players to advance themselves.