2007 World Series: Multi-Casino-ing With Barry Greenstein (Updated)

June 01, 2007

(Updated below)

Before the first cards leave the dealers’ hands, the first major story of the 2007 World Series has already begun.

I just got off the phone with Team PokerStars’ Barry Greenstein. It was the kind of conversation I shared with him during last year’s World Series. In 2006, Greenstein slept just a few hours a day in between his tournament play and his marathon side games. He was a man bent on both winning another World Series bracelet and making a lot of money in the juicy cash games.

Marathon man, Barry Greenstein, during the 2006 World Series

Greenstein is no stranger to playing two tournaments at once. I recall a couple times last year in which he left one chip stack abandoned during a WSOP event while he he started another event. This year, he’s taking that multi-tabling strategy to a whole new level.

Last night, Greenstein realized he was in a pickle. He knew very well that the first event of the World Series starts today at noon. He had no intention of missing it. Not only is he a constant competitor. He’s also very aware that people are counting on him. A lot of fantasy poker players have Greenstein on their teams. He doesn’t want to let them down.

“I feel when people are putting their money on me, I’ve got give my best effort,” he said.

That said, he’s not going to be sitting in his seat at the Rio when play begins. That’s because, at the very same time at the opposite end of the Strip, Greenstein will be sitting down as one of the final ten players in the WPT Mandalay Bay Poker Championship.

“That’s a bit more than multi-tabling,” I mused.

“I’m multi-casino-ing,” Greenstein said.

So, what to do? Well, it’s going to involve a bit of good luck, a mix of Greenstein’s poker skill, and a lot of fast driving. His plan at the moment is to play hard in the WPT event and try to build a winning stack. Today, they are only scheduled to play down to the final six players. Greenstein figures that will take a few hours. His hope is that, in his quest to win another WPT title, his World Series stack will survive. Then, when play breaks at Mandalay Bay, he will rush to the Rio and start playing hard to build a big stack in the $5,000 Mixed Hold’em event.

We spent a few minutes discussing his strategy (which, just in case 2007 PCA winner Ryan Daut or Chau Giang–still alive at Mandalay Bay–are reading, I’m not going to reveal). One thing he did say is, “I feel absolutely no pressure at that WPT event. I’m going to be winging it in, get a hold of chips, and get over to the Rio. The first event is a good event.”

I don’t know who keeps records on this, but I’m not sure this kind of thing has ever happened before. Of course, if it has, I’m sure Greenstein was somehow involved. It takes one kind of talent to play four tournaments at once on a laptop screen. It takes another kind of talent to simultaneously play two big buy-in events at two casinos at opposite ends of the Strip.

Good luck, Barry.

And good luck to anyone who happens to be on the roads between Mandalay Bay and the Rio this afternoon.

Update: Make way at the Rio. Barry Greenstein is on his way. The exact details are still up in the air, but suffice it to say, Greenstein just missed the WPT televised final table. He placed seventh for $54,665. Now, he’s off to see how five hours of missed blinds treated his stack in the $5,000 Mixed Hold’em event.

Previous coverage: Dawn breaks on the 2007 World Series


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