PCA 2016: Father and sons

In any major poker tournament, and especially here at the PCA, there are almost as many people milling around watching the action or talking to friends as there are people playing poker. I was marching back to my computer to write up a hand involving Jason Mercier - a hand that he lost, putting him down to just twenty big blinds - when one of the milling throng tapped me on the shoulder.

Pointing at the huge swathe of tables in the room, he said, "are all of these people here for the Main Event?" As I explained that they were, I pointed over to the far corner of the room and noted that over there they weren't playing in the Main Event, but the $50k High Roller instead.

Here's where things got weird, and also pretty cool.

"Oh, I know about that - my son is playing in it." I wasn't expecting this. He went on. "I have two sons here actually, one is playing in the High Roller and the other is in the Main Event." It turns out that the friendly gent I was speaking to was Mr Greenwood, father of high rollers Sam and Luc.

His third son, Max, is also part of the Greenwood poker empire and has a WSOP bracelet to his name. Together they have accumulated over $4.7m in tournament winnings - and made one father milling around in the Bahamas very proud.

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Luc Greenwood

"It was the last thing we imagined they'd do," said Mr. Greenwood, "but they do pretty good. Sam was in the top 20 for player of the year last year."

"Pretty good" was a bit of an understatement.

I asked what he thought of their chosen profession. Greenwood said, "it's crazy" before adding that one of the best bonuses for the Greenwoods was that most of the poker tournaments pay out in US dollars. "Because we're from Canada, there's a 40% premium on the Canadian dollar - it means that for every $1,000 they win it turns into $1,400 by the time it goes across the border!"

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Sam Greenwood

When you are so immersed in this weird and wonderful world of ours it's easy to forget that the poker superstars and grinders in front of us all have normal lives like we do - they are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers. And, in the case of the Greenwood family, success and pride are running deep here at the Atlantis resort in The Bahamas.


Ross Jarvis is a writer at PokerStars. He also really likes craft beer and professional wrestling.