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Interview with Barry Greenstein: Deel1 & 2 (Engels)

    • Lanfear81
      Lid sinds: 04.11.2007 Posts: 26,075

      It Was Good That Black Friday Happened

      We catch up with Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein while he is visiting Europe for the EPT & WSOPE. In part one of our two part interview, he discusses the impact of Black Friday and the merits of a life spent playing poker.

      Barry Greenstein
      Barry Greenstein
     As a predominantly live player, what has your experience been of Black Friday?

      Barry Greenstein: In the first few weeks the card rooms were full, it was very good for live poker. But since the WSOP I have seen a negative impact, because people have money tied up online, especially in the States. People are also playing smaller stakes than they were recently.

      Depending on how things go in the States, Pokerstars may not want me sitting around in the US, so I might have to play more in Latin America and Europe. The impact for me is more traveling to keep up my relevance to PokerStars. Have you found yourself having to defend online poker again, like in the days before the boom?

      Barry Greenstein: I didn't defend poker that much previously, I have always been totally aware that poker is a non productive activity. I always tell kids to stay in school, when I was in school I played mainly on weekends. In high-school I want kids to be playing sports & not poker. When I signed with Stars, I said if that I talk to young people I am going to tell them what I think and that's probably they are playing too much poker, they should do other things too.

      I told PokerStars this, so if they didn't like the message, don't sign me up. The management didn't want me to change a thing, they realise it is better for us if most clients are recreational anyway.

      "As much as it hurts, it was good that Black Friday happened" Have you found yourself reinforcing this message more since Black Friday?

      Barry Greenstein: Since Black Friday I had to talk to several players depressed, they feel like life is over, maybe they were not serious but several said wanted to kill themselves. What I really want to say to the poker community is that if your life is over because of online poker being shut down, maybe its good it happened now before you have a family.

      You need your eggs not to be in one basket, maybe this revealed a flaw in the way you arranged your life. I say in my book, you should arrange poker around your life, not the other way around.

      These kids who are lost without poker, maybe it is a good wake up call. If that's all your life was, you made a mistake, this was a wake up call, realise you need do other things besides poker. People are gonna be mad at me saying it, but believe me Black Friday has cost me money, I have a lot tied up in the online world. What would you suggest poker players do while they cannot play the game?

      Barry Greenstein: This is the perfect time to try other things, maybe get an education if you missed out in it, but to do something you care about. Even when I played a lot of poker when I was younger I did other things: I read books, I played golf, I started businesses. As much as it hurts, it was good that Black Friday happened.

      Poker is an unreal world, the players need dose of reality. As I approach my 60's, I am not going to say I wish I had played more poker, I wish done other things. I've done a lot, I've written books, started a software company, did a PHD, I raised 6 children - I've had a full life, but most of the players I look at don't.

      "Poker accomplishments are very shallow, some of these players will wonder what they did with their lives" It must be hard for some of these pros to do other things, when money seemingly came so easy to them previously?

      Barry Greenstein: Poker accomplishments are very shallow, some of these players will wonder what they did with their lives, maybe they didn't fall in love enough times because they were too busy playing poker - and that's if they were successful. If they didn't make money, now they really are going to want to kill themselves.  

      These are intelligent young people, they have something to offer the world, but success is not too much money these days. In my day success was making the world better. Poker pros do not achieve much by my way of doing things.

      Expect more of yourself in more areas than just poker, this is the opportunity to prove yourself. Lots of poker players haven't really tested themselves. I started a software company to prove to myself that I could do this, I pulled all-nighters to make it a success. It is not all intelligence, it is hard work, perspiration, the Thomas Edison school of success.
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    • Lanfear81
      Lid sinds: 04.11.2007 Posts: 26,075

      'I Don't Make Prop Bets on a Whim'

      In part 2 of our exclusive interview with Barry Greenstein, we discuss the crazy world of prop bets between poker players, including wagers he has made with Ted Forrest and Tom Dwan.

      Barry Greenstein
      Barry Greenstein
     We associate you with making a lot of prop bets, are they a big part of your poker career?

      Barry Greenstein: I like to make a lot of side bets, mostly things to do with playing poker like cross booking and last longers.

      Two people, friends of mine, who perhaps make the most peculiar prop bets are Huck Seed & Ted Forrest. Those guys have been involved in a lot of weight and calisthenic type bets outside of poker. How about the $500k Guitar Hero bet you are said to have made?

      Barry Greenstein: It was a really funny thing. My nephew is pretty well known in the forum community and is pretty mischievous. He was staying at my condo in Vegas and saw that I was still logged into my 2+2 account, so he posted on it twice as me.

      The first time was a prop bet that I would give a local service at my synagogue. The second time, he wrote that I bet could get a perfect score on the hardest level of guitar hero, for $500k. So you are not a Guitar Hero legend then?

      Barry Greenstein: I have never played Guitar Hero, it was totally fake, but believe it or not, last year someone from the IRS contacted me to ask if I won or loss, because if I had, I didn't declare it as taxable income. I told them my nephew won the bet and they would have to speak to him. You mentioned Ted Forrest and Huck Seed, do you ever worry they might seriously hurt themselves with some of the wagers they make?

      Barry Greenstein: Ted has hurt himself really badly several times. One time he bet he could bench 235lbs ten times and injured his arm, and five years on he still hasn't recovered.

      He also nearly killed himself one time. He bet he could run a marathon on the hottest day of the year in Vegas, under a certain time. It wasn't that he chose 110 degree day in Vegas, the track he chose was a red rubber track, which was probably 125 degrees in the sun.

      Believe it or not, Huck ran it with him, which a lot of people don't know. Huck was like the rabbit for Ted as he is a much better distance runner. Huck did it to get out of a bet, he was in the middle of a different prop bet where he had to do some tennis thing every day for a certain amount of time, and he got a month off if he ran the marathon with Ted.

      Huck was ok, but Ted really thought he would kill himself, he was delirious for the last few miles.

      "One time he bet me that he and Larry Flynt's bouncer could beat Mike Tyson in a fight" Some of these bets are outrageous, what do you think drives Huck and Ted to make them?

      Barry Greenstein: They always think they have an edge, its always something that sounds impossible, but they know they can do it. Ted used to make a bunch of weight loss or weight gain bets because he knew he could do it. Obviously its not very healthy, but its about the money.

      If Ted makes a proposition he can do something, even if sounds ridiculous, I'm not gonna bet with him. He probably knows more about it than I do. What are the sort of ridiculous bets he has offered you?

      Barry Greenstein: Ted is more ridiculous than anyone I know in poker. sometimes he comes up with stuff nobody can prove. One time he bet me that he and Larry Flynt's bouncer could beat Mike Tyson in a fight. Another time, he bet he could beat a professional woman golfer in a decathlon style event.

      Things where unless you get that specific person to go along with it, there was no way you can ever judge.

      There was one bet he offered, which if I still may take if it's still available. Ted was very good at gymnastics, a good all round athlete, but he wanted to bet me he would make the US Olympic team in some sport.

      He wouldn't say what it was, maybe he thought poker would be a sport, he was doing a lot of weight lifting so maybe something to do with that. I was willing to bet that one, but he wanted bigger odds than in was willing to give.
      Ted Forrest
      Ted Forrest after an infamous
       weight loss bet
       What tournament side bets do you currently have going yourself?

      Barry Greenstein: Every year Jeff Lisandro and I try and bet we will get more POY points than Daniel and Erick Lindgren. Phil Ivey and I also will bet anyone that we can get more points than any other two players but nobody takes it.

      I am an old man now, how can they not beat me? But people respect and fear Phil's game so much, that many poker prop bets include 'no Phil Ivey' stipulations.

      "Most people would rate the internet players as better than me, but in 9 handed live games, maybe not" Do you always think you have an edge when you make these bets?

      Barry Greenstein: I am at the end of my career, I have a family, 3 kids in college. I don't make bets on a whim. It's not that I always have the best of it, because I will give up the best of it, maybe, if in return in the future I will have the best of it.

      Sometimes there is a sporting element, if I make a bet, I will either have he best of it or trying my hardest to win. Like POY bets, maybe they are better, but I have to up my game, and I plan on winning once I make the bet.

      One guy who is known for making reckless bets, but is getting better, is Tom Dwan. Tom & I usually crossbook, I usually to lay odds to Tom. They come into poker playing lots of 6 max, most people would rate the internet players as better than me, but in 9 handed live games, maybe not.

      I played 7 card stud with tom a week ago, he played better than I have ever seen him play limit poker, and now I have to inform him he has lost his spot, we'll have to play even. I tease him saying the internet says he is the best in the world but he won't give me evens. No Limit and PLO we play evens, he is better at those, but he will have to start laying me odds.