Name: Barry Greenstein
Birthday: December 30, 1954
Location: Ranchos Palos Verdes, CA
Online Screen Names: barryg1 and crazyplayr (both Poker Stars), Crazy Zachary (Ultimate Bet)
Barry Greenstein didn’t take the conventional route into poker by any means. Instead, he danced around the game for years before finally deciding to become a professional poker player.
Growing up in Chicago, Greenstein was academically gifted and achieved a degree in computer science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before commencing a PhD in mathematics. He left before handing his dissertation in and embarked on a career as a software developer instead. Greenstein worked for Symantec and made a name for himself, but without earning the riches that one would expect.
He left Symantec for the world of poker in the early 1990’s and made his fortune that way. He was always going to try his hand at poker, after being brought up on the game. His father loved the game he picked up in the army and passed that enthusiasm onto his son.
Now Greenstein is one of the most prolific players in the world, and has won a variety of tournaments and cash games in the years since beginning to play on a full time basis. In fact, Greenstein has earned millions as a result of the game he loves and uses it to help others in need now. The majority of his current earnings are actually donated to various charities, but mainly Children Incorporated. He ensures that his wealth can actually benefit others in this way because they sponsor children in 21 countries at the moment. This earned him the title of “The Robin Hood of Poker”.
In terms of his poker skills and credentials, Greenstein is in a league of his own. He has conquered a pair of World Poker Tour events, the 2005 World Poker Open and the 2006 WPT Invitational, and has three World Series of Poker bracelets and to his name.
Ironically, it is his knockout ritual that has earned him more fame than anything else. He always keeps a copy of his book, Ace on the River, under the table. If Greenstein gets knockedout, he signs the copy for the player that sent him packing. This is certainly unusual, but symbolizes the kind of guy that Greenstein is.