WSOP Main Event: Barry Greenstein on camera
Every day during the WSOP, selected stars from the world of poker and beyond are making their way down to the corner of Harmon and Polaris, a couple of blocks from the Rio, to take part in PokerStars.com Vegas Daily, a TV show presented by "Shut Up and Deal" author Jesse May and sponsored by PokerStars.
So far Joe Hachem and Greg Raymer have already taken a spin on the red sofa, and others due to appear include British snooker champion Steve Davis, heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, Daniel Negreanu, Chris Moneymaker, Vanessa Rousso, European Poker Tour founder John Duthie and Padraig Parkinson.
But today it was the turn of Team PokerStars' Barry Greenstein. Barry was a superb guest on the show - the word sagacity could have been invented for his measured attitude both towards poker and the lifestyle of a pro player. But he's also highly entertaining, keeping me scribbling furiously throughout his interview.
Barry on TV
Barry in make-up with make-up artist Carissa Ferreri
Jesse: How do you feel about the WSOP? Is it really just another day at the office for you?
Barry: "No, no way. The World Series main event is the biggest sporting event in the world. It's a big party, a very special event. But with thousands of people entering these days, it's a pipedream to think you might win it. All you can hope for is a run at it.
Jesse: You ended Day 1 with $28,500 in chips - are you ecstatic?
Barry: Well, not really because I had $40,000 at one point and you always want to keep building.
Jesse: Is the winner of the WSOP really the best player in the world?
Barry: No tournment in the world can test who the best player in the world is.. but you would certainly feel on top of the world after winning it.
Jesse: Tell me about your first WSOP...
Barry: Well, it was 1992 and I came 22nd. I was pretty upset because I really thought I had a chance to win it. In those days, coming 22nd, you didn't even get your buy-in back. There were only 201 entrants and I won just over $8,000. So I went over the road, from Binions to the Golden Nugget, and lost the lot in half an hour playing blackjack. And when I got home, my local club in Palo Alto - the Cameo (it's not there anymore)- had put a banner up saying "Congratulations Barry". But I was just really upset.
Jesse: "What do you think about the new generation of online players?"
Barry: "Well, these internet whizzkids - they're probably putting in a lot more hours than I do and to be honest, if they're playing in the games they're good at - they would probably beat me."
Jesse: What's your advice to younger players?
Barry: Read my book!!! (called Ace on the River) No, but seriously, I get about 50 emails a day from young players asking my advice, wanting to drop out of school, and I always tell them to get their education first. As we say in poker, you need outs. If you haven't got the discipline to get your education, then you don't have the discipline to be a good poker player.
PokerStars.com Vegas Daily is broadcasting daily during the WSOP in the UK and Germany with webcasts in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.