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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Where Are They Now - David Grey

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Where are They Now is a series of an in depth look at all poker players - not just the pros - as they travel through one long game. Some of the players profiled are deceased but not forgotten.

David Grey seems to be a never changing presence around the Las Vegas poker scene—his unique sense of humor, positive outlook and even his looks remain relatively unchanged since his arrival in the gambling capitol of the world more than a quarter of a century ago. One thing that has changed though, is his verbal contribution at the table—or lack of—it seems that he has decided to leave the continuous jabbering to some of the real pro’s—like the Poker Brat Phil Hellmuth or Mike ‘the mouth’ Matusow.

Although the man seems never changing, David can change his poker strategy and play on an instant’s notice. He has no problem folding his hand if he feels his cards are second rate, but if he thinks for a moment that he is leading the hand, he will turn on his super aggressive play, usually costing his opponent a great deal of chips. His experience and spontaneity makes Grey very hard to read, even by other professionals—making him a very dangerous player.

Often referred to as Mr. Self Control, David is very level headed and his play is commonly referred to as, “by the book.”  ‘By the book!’  In the game of poker exactly what does that mean??

Growing up in Long Island, New York, Grey started gambling at an early age, but he never thought about being a professional poker player. His forte was betting on the ponies, and he became so good at it that for quite some time he made his living as a track handicapper. He would rate the horse according to past performances, age, weight and ability, along with the length and surface of the track at gate time.

The horse racing circuit, like county fairs and carnival season, has its down times—it was during these slow times that David began playing poker.  He started playing 7 Card Stud at first just to occupy his time, but then he found he was booking a win more often than not.

In 1984 Grey found himself bored with his everyday existence, so he packed his bags and headed for gambling central—Las Vegas—still never entertaining the thought of being a professional poker player. But when he got settled, it wasn’t the sportsbooks that drew him in, it was poker and all of the action that went with it—high stake games that included legendary players like Doyle Brunson, Stuey ‘The Kid’ Ungar, Berry Johnston, Bobby Baldwin, and Chip Reese.

Grey’s first expertise came in 7 Card Stud, which was also to be the game that he won his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in at the 1999 tournament. As his poker skills increased and he began to master Omaha, Razz, and Holdem, David may have become a professional poker player with out even realizing it. Soon he found himself sitting in the “Big Game,” along with other young players like Johnny Chan and Barry Greenstein.
The “Big Game” is the famous high-stakes ring game held at the Bellagio Casino, where only the poker elite dare to tread, where wagers can reach $100,000 per hand and where “The Corporation” played against Texas billionaire Andy Beal. Grey, who often represented “The Corporation” during these nose-bleed stakes, heads-up games against the banking giant said it was like the ‘Durrrr challenge’ on steroids—and maybe that wasn’t even an accurate description of the action on any given day.

Although Grey is regarded by his peers as one of the best high limit, cash game players in the world, he is also a formidable opponent when it comes to tournament play, winning his second WSOP bracelet in the No limit Deuce to 7 tournament in 2005, taking home $365,135. David plays in his share of tournaments, but rarely travels to one, so if it isn’t played in his home court in Las Vegas (where he shares his love and life with his wife) he generally opts not to participate.

His choice not to travel is his own, just like his choice to spend the day playing golf or watching TV rather than playing poker. Other than large events like the WSOP or the World Poker Tour (WPT), Grey never actually makes plans to play poker, except for the time he devotes to playing on Full Tilt Poker, where he is a sponsored Pro.

He used to spend a lot of time playing with Larry Flynt at the Hustler Club and he often meets Celine Dion’s husband, Rene on Friday nights to share a game of poker and some friendships. Other than that he does what he wants during the day, plays golf, watches a ball game, or maybe takes his wife out for food and then towards evening he calls Bellagio to see who is prowling around, whether there’s a good game or the potential for one, if not he just stays home.

Grey is recognized for taking 8th place in the 2003 WSOP Main Event—won by Chris Moneymaker—placing 2nd behind Daniel Negreanu on Poker After Dark—and appearing in the second seasons of both the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament and High Stakes Poker. He is also fondly remembered for some of his proposition bets, especially by professional player Howard Lederer—who has been vegan for many years.

David bet Lederer $10,000 that he couldn’t—or wouldn’t—eat a cheeseburger. The thought of having a hot, juicy (or greasy) cheeseburger with all of the condiments almost turned Howard’s stomach, but the thought of pocketing $10,000 took away some of the nausea.  He ate the cheeseburger. Lederer offered to send the $10,000 back if Grey would eat green olives, no olives passed Grey’s lips.
In prop betting, like poker, there is always a gamble—will the prey take the bait—will they win or lose—who has the best odds of winning—is there any luck involved? Depending on the bet, there is probably little to no luck involved in a proposition bet, but when Grey was asked if he believed in luck at the tables, he said it didn’t matter if he believed or not—just look around and you can tell that luck is a big part of poker.

Grey, like many other professional players is always hoping that the poker Gods smile upon him, but luck or not, David will be raking in the pot more often than not.

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