WSOP 2017: A dozen cashes for Greenstein, but summer's not over yet

Of all the Team PokerStars Pros making it through the first three Day 1 flights, Barry Greenstein had one of the better starts of all of them. He nearly tripled his starting stack back on Day 1B to position himself nicely for his return to today.

Of course, Greenstein knows better than to get overly enthused about a nice first day. His first WSOP Main Event cash was exactly 25 years ago when he took 22nd in 1992. He's had plenty of good starts as well, including being the chip leader after Day 1 in the famed "Moneymaker" year of 2003.

In fact, it's been a summer full of good beginnings in tournaments for Greenstein at the WSOP. And some good middles, too, with a career-high 12 in-the-money finishes.

"I cashed almost half the time," he explained to us on today's second break.

As noted, though, Greenstein well knows how in tournaments starting well is only part of the goal.

"I had a lot of good runs, but didn't convert any," he continued. "I think I was chip leader four times with 20 or fewer people left, and I ended up with a seventh place being my best finish [in the $2,500 Omaha/Stud Hi-Lo]. So I had opportunities and didn't convert."


Barry Greenstein_2017 WSOP_Main Event_Day 2A_B_Giron_8JG9978.jpg

Greenstein, at the start

Greenstein started today on one of the feature tables, now broken. He added to his stack to climb up around 170,000, then fell back to 45,000, then chipped back to 72,000 by the end of Level 7.

"Unfortunately the worst hand hasn't been drawn out," he shrugged. "I played some flush draws fast and missed them, so it hasn't been a good one so far."

Just as good starts can sometimes lose momentum, the Poker Hall of Famer similarly has the experience to know how things can also go from not-so-great to heckuva-lot-better. Take the World Series of Poker Main Event, for example, which this year is enjoying a big upswing in entrants that has everyone thinking optimistically.

"We're back to people saying 'hey, it's the Main Event... it's a good time to play,'" said Greenstein. "In 2008 the economy was going down, then a few years later online poker was down, to a large degree. But now we're starting to come back, and if we get online poker back [in the U.S.], we might get back to where we were before."


Barry Greenstein_2017 WSOP_Main Event_Day 2A_B_Giron_8JG9988.jpg

Greenstein, looking forward

Greenstein's once-packed live tournament schedule has been scaled back somewhat of late, with the WSOP in Las Vegas consequently becoming a more prominent part of his poker calendar. The rest of the year he can be found playing cash games -- especially his favored mixed games -- in Los Angeles.

He's in no hurry to get back, though. In fact, when asked about his cashes this summer, his answer of "12" was accompanied by a meaningful modifier, one suggesting where his focus is trained as play resumes for Level 8.

"So far."


WSOP photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com.