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Barry Greenstein

By Paul McGuire

Barry Greenstein is known as the “Robin Hood of Poker.” Without a doubt he has a big heart and donates all his tournament earnings to charity. He has raised over $1.5 million for Children, Incorporated, which is a charity that provides food, clothing, medical and school supplies for children all over the world. He also donates some of his prize money to Guyana Watch, a charity that sends medical supplies to Guyana. What makes Barry a unique person is that he’s truly humble and doesn’t see himself as a hero. He’s just doing what he thinks is the right thing to do. Barry is also one of the best players poker in the world and regularly plays in the Big Game with Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Chau Giang, Phil Ivey, Lyle Berman, and Bobby Baldwin.

Barry Greenstein
Barry Greenstein - Source: Las Vegas & Poker

Barry Greenstein grew up in Illinois where he excelled at math and science as a young student. He went on to study computer science at the University of Illinois and earned a Ph.D. in mathematics. He eventually started his own software company and took a position with a start-up company called Symantec. His career at Symantec flourished so quickly that he was able to retire when he was only 36 years old. He then turned to poker.

Barry Greenstein first started playing cards when his father taught him how to play when he was a kid. But it wasn’t until after he retired that he seriously developed his craft. Since he was a mathematician and knew psychology very well, he felt that he had the tools to become a great player and became a student of the game. Barry Greenstein had been playing cash games all over southern California and in Las Vegas. He was a regular in Larry Flynt’s game at the Hustler Casino in Los Angeles. In 2003, Barry would win the California State Poker Championship.

Barry Greenstein won a World Poker Tour event in 2004 and every cent of his $1.2 million first prize went to his charities. He took first place in the Jack Binion World Poker Open in Tunica, MS. Barry cashed five times at the 2005 World Series of Poker and made two final tables. He has 15 career cashes at the WSOP and has made seven final tables overall. Barry won his second WSOP bracelet when he took first place in the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event. It was special because he was inspired to win the event by a terminally ill fan named Charlie Tuttle. Barry would end up dedicating his win to Charlie.

Barry Greenstein is an excellent all around player. He can play both cash games and tournaments and knows how to adapt to playing in both. He’s comfortable with playing almost every form of poker, which is why he’s tough to beat in a rotation cash game. In 2003 and 2004, Barry Greenstein was in the Top 7 yearly money earners, which proves that over the last few years he’s been a consistent winning tournament player. He’s in the top 15 overall for career tournament winnings with almost $4 million, which is impressive because he only recently started focusing on playing more tournaments.

Barry Greenstein wrote a chapter for Doyle Brunson’s Super System 2 and penned his own book, “Ace on the River.” The subject of his book is to show poker players how to make money. Barry also taught fellow pro Mimi Tran how to play better poker. In return, Mimi taught Barry how to speak Vietnamese.

Barry Greenstein lives in Southern California but can regularly be found playing in the Big Game in Las Vegas and on the poker tournament circuit. You can visit his website http://www.barrygreenstein.com and check out his analysis of his fellow poker players.

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