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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

The Round Table – Barry G Collects some more Green

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Barry Greenstein is one of the most frequent faces appearing at the big cash games in Las Vegas and in Los Angeles. During the 2008 WSOP, though, Barry decided to take a little break and focus on his tournament play. This decision paid off as he won another bracelet to go with his other two. To date he has over $6 million in tournament cashes.

KL: You had a successful WSOP – you won a bracelet.

Yeah, that’s a good thing. I was hoping to do even better. Truthfully, I got good cards in the events that I did well. If I had played a little better in spots I would have won more than one bracelet and had an even better World Series.

KL: Is that how it always is, you can do so great and still look and think you could have done better?

Yeah, that is how it is. If you don’t play as well as you like but you win in some sense all your sins are erased. In the razz tournament I don’t have any hands that I am thinking about that I could have played better because I ended up winning it. Certainly in the 2-7 and the H.O.R.S.E. where I came in 3rd and 6th there are definite hands that I am mulling over in my head. At this point not to learn anything but more out of frustration that I didn’t do some different things.

KL: How long do hands stay with you for?

Sometimes forever. I can be in that situation a couple years from now and maybe not make the same bad decision I made this time. There are hands that stick with me for a long time. The Main Event is such an emotional thing that I can remember hands…I probably can remember almost all the hands that I was upset about to a certain level from Main Events of the past that I wish I had done differently. I am sure I remember many of the knockout hands from Main Events from the past.

KL: You like to do bracelet bets; does that have any difference on the pressure or your drive?

It isn’t the drive or the motivation; it just means that for instance this year was the first year ever for me that I focused more on the tournaments than I did on the Main Event. People see my results where I made a few tables and came in 2nd in the Player of the Year race. What they don’t realize is this is the first time I have been playing the tournaments where I have been reasonably rested. I played the side games maybe about 6-7 times where normally I played the side games through the night and then came to the tournament often on no sleep. I am better than the average player in the tournament that if I played on no sleep I am going to have some decent results.

KL: Do you think it helps in tournaments that you have played a lot of cash games that are heavy with pros?

They are heavy with pros but not everyone plays all the games like I do. The 2-7 no limit is the best event for me. It is a short field and I am very experienced at that game. Although you will see a lot of good players, three quarters of them really don’t play the game. It’s not a game that you see creeping into home games or casino games or whatever. It is normally these days just played less and less frequently and just in the highest games with people like Doyle. That gives me a big edge over the field and that was actually a very easy event for me. It was very disappointing that I came in third, actually. In the 10 or so times I have played that event 7-8 of the times I was in the final 10 players. It has always been a good event for me.

The H.O.R.S.E. is another good event, there aren’t that many people in the world that are good at all the stud games because the focus is on no limit hold ‘em and limit hold ‘em to some degree and maybe pot limit Omaha has been a big game recently. The stud games are kind of an older form of poker and I am one of the old people and I have played it a lot. I played it in the Larry Flint game so I got pretty good at seven card stud high, which use to be my weakest game of the normal games. I play mixed games all the time so all the other games in the rotation are very familiar games to me. I did well in these things, razz is another example, I won the bracelet. I kind of don’t feel it is necessarily that I played that great, I had a decent run of cards which is really important in limit games and limit tournaments and the other players didn’t fundamentally know the games nearly as well as I do.

KL: What is your favorite game to play and which do you think you are best at? Are they the same?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite, if you win and do well that becomes your favorite. Razz was my favorite this year because I won it. Like I said earlier, there is no doubt the 2-7 no limit is the event where I have the greatest chance to win a bracelet. I would even guess putting a percentage on it, I figured that was about a 5 percent chance for me to win if there are fields between 50-90 players. I have that good of an edge. For winning a bracelet that is in some sense my favorite event. I feel pretty even at all the games. When I was young no limit hold ‘em was probably my best game but against a field of good no limit hold ‘em players now the edge that I have isn’t to great because that is the game that most people have as their best game.

KL: When you are playing on PokerStars do you play tournaments or do you get into the big cash games?

The last week of the WSOP I hopped on the computer for the first time and saw they were playing $200-$400 2-7 triple draw so I played that and that was fun. The cash game that I am often playing on Stars is the $100-$200 stud 8 or better and also the $200-$400 H.O.R.S.E. The reason I play those, frankly, is I play to make money and as I said I usually can do well against the internet players playing the stud games because a lot of them aren’t as experienced as I am. Hands wise against the younger players, they have played more no limit hold ‘em than I have in my lifetime just because they get so much of it on the internet.

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