On the Button: Barry Greenstein



The Bear, as he’s known in the poker world, found a few moments during a break at a recent tournament to chat with Ante Up’s Chris Cosenza about some of the basic questions our readers wanted to know about him and his life. Barry is always a fun interview and never is one to give you a boilerplate answer. Here are his thoughts on poker advice, heroes and IOUs.

What’s your favorite poker game and why? I just like to play mixed games, with as many games in the mix as possible, because usually people have weaknesses in some of the games and I’m pretty even in all of them.

What’s the biggest pot you’ve ever won? Hmmm … I don’t remember. (laughs) I probably remember more of the bigger bets I’ve lost. I know on High Stakes Poker I lost that $900K pot to Durrrr. That’s probably the biggest pot I ever lost. But I don’t remember the biggest pot I ever won.

Who’s the best poker player in the world? Well, you know, I usually don’t like to talk about the best because it changes all the time. Not everyone is always playing their “A” game. But we can all see the guy with the best results has been Phil Ivey, and what else do we have to go by than results?

Best poker advice you’ve received: I’ve been pretty self-made at poker so I haven’t gotten much advice. But I remember when I was young, for some reason it always sticks out, a professional poker player told me when you’re around a poker table believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.

What does poker need? I think poker is doing really well. The only thing holding it back are the arcane laws. We need the UIGEA overturned and online poker regulated.
If you weren’t a poker player you’d be a … Today there’s not much else I could do because I’m over the hill. But if I hadn’t gone into poker I might have gone into medical school and done some research.

Who’s is your hero? I admired people like Gandhi and Malcolm X.

What’s your poker dream? I think the only thing you could consider a dream at this point for me is winning the (WSOP) Main Event. And in lieu of that at least making the main event final table.

How much money do you have on you right now? I have a few IOUs in my pocket so I think it’s negative right now because of all the prop bets I’ve lost in the World Series. (laughs)

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