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Poker Stories Podcast With Barry Greenstein

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Dec 20, 2017


Poker Stories is a new, long-form audio series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Age: 62
Nickname: The Robin Hood of Poker
From: Chicago, Illinois
Turned Pro: 1992
Live Tournament Earnings: $8.3 million
Best Score: 1st Place – 2004 WPT Word Poker Open — $1,278,370

The Highlights

On being recruited by Bill Gates…

“They wouldn’t let me meet Bill Gates when I was at Symantec. Because the way programmers were in those days, I would call them hackers, they weren’t trained. I had a degree in computer science, but most of them were learning by the seat of their pants. I was a top programmer, and felt like I was the top programmer in Silicon Valley at the time. Bill Gates snuck into my office and said, ‘They won’t let me meet you, I will double whatever they are paying you.’ I said, ‘I don’t work for money, I work for my project, and I can’t give up my project.’ And he left. I’ve met him a couple times [since] and haven’t brought it up, but one of these times I’m going to ask him about it.”

On comparing results with Chris Moneymaker at the 2003 WSOP…

“He won $2.5 million, I won $5 million [in cash games], playing $4,000-$8,000 at the World Series of Poker. We had two big winners, myself and Ming Ly. What happens is it kind of snowballs. When you’re doing well, if you manage yourself right, and people who have read my book know there is a lot of management stuff. I was always getting sleep. I was getting there to tired people the next day who had been losing, who weren’t getting sleep, and just crushing them. It was all the normal people. I mean, I don’t want to say what happened to Chip Reese, because he’s obviously one of the greatest players of all-time, but it wasn’t a good summer for him, and probably not for Doyle [Brunson], and a lot of the other known players. I think I was playing better than anyone else at that time… but management was so important. Another thing is that I never chopped and took a small win. I always beat people into the ground. If they were losing, I’d take advantage of the situation. And I did, to the max. It came out to at least $5 million. I remember my tax bill was $3 million that year.”

On his attitude towards money…

“The good thing is I never cared about money. A lot of people will say, ‘oh, well you play poker for money, so you must care about money?’ It’s actually the opposite. The people who end up doing well in poker, don’t care about money. If you cared about money, you couldn’t just bluff for something that would otherwise buy you a nice car. Money never meant to me. They’re chips. Even now, sometimes I’ll play small-stakes and sometimes I may be in a bigger game… it’s still just chips to me. I never really think about it being money. I think more about what’s the right play.”

You can check out the entirety of the interview in the audio player at the top of the page or download it directly to play on the go from iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

Catch up on past episodes featuring Daniel Negreanu, Nick Schulman, Chris Moorman, Bryn Kenney, Mike Sexton, Brian Rast, Jean-Robert Bellande, Scott Seiver, Greg Raymer, Maria Ho and many more. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes automatically when they are released.