For Barry Greenstein, the WSOP Isn't Just About the Tournaments

Barry Greenstein
Barry Greenstein playing in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Event

Barry Greenstein has been called "the Robin Hood of Poker" for his charitable work. In 2004, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson remarked of him, "Barry may very well be the top player in the world right now." Low-key and unassuming, but universally respected as a great poker mind, Barry talked to during a break in the action at the WSOP's 10th event, the Seven-Card Stud tournament, and told us that for him, the WSOP isn't just about tournament play.

How do you feel about your play so far in the Seven-Card Stud event?

In today's tournament, not too good. I'm down to about $500 in chips, so I'm almost out. I've made trips three or four times and been beat, because people keep making flushes on me. Not that it's just bad luck; I probably could play better too.

What about in the World Series as a whole so far?

Well, it's been disappointing so far. The first few tournaments I got aces beat in crucial situations, in the No-Limit tournaments, where winning those pots would have gotten me into good shape, and probably overall I haven't gotten that lucky and probably haven't played well enough.

So you're hoping to improve for the rest of the tournament?

Yeah. Of course for myself there are also the side games, which will be kicking into gear soon. I played a few so far, but not as much as previous years, but for me it's not only the tournaments, it's the side games, so hopefully I'll do well at those.

Will you be entering as many tournaments as you can?

Well, the tournament schedule for me is nothing. If you're a poker player and you can't play poker every day then something's strange, you know? I could play every day; that doesn't take that much out of me, but there's the whole side game schedule, too. So it's the combination of the two, sometimes, that's a lot. I may play until five or six in the morning, whereas these people just playing tournaments get to go to bed at night and rest for the next day.

Will you be playing in the H.O.R.S.E. event?

Yeah, I probably will be playing in the H.O.R.S.E. event unless somehow I'm up all night playing side games and don't get any sleep.

Do you think there's a chance that the H.O.R.S.E. event will eclipse the Main Event at the WSOP in terms of prestige?

It'll take a few years for that to happen. Offhand, I don't think so, because the Main Event is such a zoo. There are so many players; it's just a different kind of event.

How does the 2006 World Series compare to others that you've played in?

Well, of course, each year the World Series gets bigger and bigger, and that's why every World Series is in some senses a new experience. It's always the biggest tournament we've ever seen.

How do you feel about the job that new Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack is doing running the WSOP?

I haven't dealt with Jeff very much, so I don't know that much about the job that he's doing. Of course, from a player's point of view, we see sponsors coming in and putting millions of dollars into tournaments and the players aren't getting any of that, so hopefully that's what the future holds for us, but right now there's no indication that that's true.

Thanks, Barry, and good luck.

Thank you.

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