After his graduation from the University of Illinois with a degree in computer science, Barry Greenstein played poker in his free time while going for a PhD in the field of mathematics. He could have gone on to have a very lucrative career in the software industry, but came to the realization that there was a fortune to be made somewhere else.
By 1991, Barry was making such a great living from playing poker, he was able to abandon his day job and become a full time poker pro. Fast forward to today and it is clearly a decision that has paid off greatly. There aren’t many players with a list of accomplishments as long as Barry’s, especially at the World Series of Poker and on the World Poker Tour. In events at the WSOP, Barry has been at thirteen final tables and made over thirty significant placements. This includes bracelet wins in 2004’s $5k No Limit 2-7 Draw event, the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event in 2005, and 2008’s $1,500 Seven Card Razz event.
On the WPT, Barry has reached six final table appearances and won two titles. The first came in 2004 at the World Poker Open, where he was awarded prize money of $1,278,370. His second victory was at an invitational event at the 2006 L.A. Poker Classic, worth another $100k. His WPT earnings have helped add over $2M to his total career tournament winnings of almost $6M. Barry is also one of the most successful cash game poker players on the planet. Whether it is on episodes of High Stakes Poker or in the Big Game at Bobby’s Room, he has played at them all, and usually goes home a winner.
Outside of poker, Barry has written a strategy book titled ‘Ace on the River’ and can often be spotted giving away signed copies to those who knock him out of a major event. Possibly the most important aspect of Barry’s career is that he has contributed a large chunk of his tournament earnings to charity, most recognizably, Children Incorporated.
Many of the poker players have the title ‘legend’ before their name but most don’t earn it. Barry certainly does. This is a man who’s been there and pretty much done it all in the game of poker.