The Robin Hood of Poker dishes some wisdom. Barry Greenstein sat down to talk to Joey Ingram. Actually, he pulled a John Lennon and was seated in a big bed while he answered questions and chatted with Joey Ingram for his Poker Life Podcast. Barry Greenstein won three bracelets and won over $8.2 million in tournaments. However, Greenstein won an unknown amount in cash games. No one knows how much he really banked since he started playing as a grad student while working on his doctorate.
The Tom Dwan stuff was interesting. It starts approximately around the 1:30 mark. Barry Greenstein told a story about playing against Dwan when he was an up and comer for the first time, and how that affected his play when they faced in High Stakes Poker. Greenstein was honest about his assessment of Dwan's skills as a no-limit hold'em and PLO player. Greenstein also defended Dwan and said that he didn't lose his money playing poker, rather, his big leak was his friends. Greenstein mentioned that a lot of people close to Dwan bled him dry (via staking or other ventures).
Greenstein also revealed that he was "stupid" for not playing poker in China and Macau. He called the games "super super juicy." Alas, Greenstein scoffed at the notion on his first visit because he didn't have enough cash on hand, which he now knows was a huge mistake. The games evolved since then and Greenstein admitted he missed out for a chance to play in a game where you could win $1 million in a session. The early generation of cash games were populated by baccarat players, who loved to gamble. Johnny Chan and John Juanda were crushing those juicy games and told Greenstein he needed to get in the mix. Greenstein said if he could go back in time, he'd probably move his family to China so he could dominate those super super juicy games. That was a valuable lesson for Greenstein, who learned the hard way that he should check out something himself before he dismissing it.
Greenstein has been involved with PokerStars for over a decade as a sponsored player and confident to its former owner. Greenstein spoke candidly about the clunky transformation of PokerStars from a family-run business to a corporate-run company. Greenstein mentioned he wasn't in agreement with the current strategy from Amaya (or "whomever is running it" as he said). It's a vastly different environment versus the old days and it appears that Greenstein doesn't have the input he once had when Isai would call him at 3 o'clock in the morning to discuss a final table he was sweating.
Greenstein also said that California is a huge key for legalization of online poker and the return of PokerStars. Greenstein cited that it was really the competitors of Stars that were the actual hurdles toward legalization.
The peanut gallery asked for some Viffer stories. "Almost all of the Viffer stories I can't say!" explained Greenstein. "Viffer gets into some weird spots."
Greenstein played Deuce to Seven NL at Commerce Casino. It was known as the “Billy Baxter Game” with a $50K buy-in. Viffer didn't know how to play, but he was staked by Dwan and took a shot anyway. Yup, good ole Viffer made that 2-7 game juicy.
Greenstein played poker against coke-addled Hollywood producers at Larry Flynt's house on numerous occasions in the Hollywood Hills. The porn king decorated his house with nude art and porn-related artifacts. Greenstein admitted he lost "hundred of thousands of dollars in pots against Larry Flynt."
Apparently when Flynt was winning, the game wasn't worth it. However, when he was losing, the game was juicy and fun. "Everyone thinks he's a total fish, but he got really good playing against the best Stud players (in the world at the time)."