Barry Greenstein, 62, finds fountain of youth at World Series of Poker

Updated June 15, 2017 - 6:19 pm

Barry Greenstein isn’t surprised by his success this summer.

In fact, the legendary high-stakes professional poker player predicted it five years ago.

“I said, ‘You’re going to see, when I turn about 62, I’m going to be too old to play the tournaments till 2 or 3 in the morning and then play the cash all night, and I’ll get some sleep,’ ” Greenstein said. “And then people will see me doing well in the tournaments and they’ll say, ‘Boy, it’s like he had a resurgence or he’s gotten better.’

“But what they don’t realize is, because I’m getting more rest, I’m just going to be a little sharper and do better.”

Greenstein cashed in six events during the opening two weeks of the World Series of Poker and continues to find success against players more than half his age.

Greenstein said he was undecided whether he will play in the $1,000 buy-in Seniors No-limit Hold ’em Championship that starts Friday at the Rio Convention Center.

“I probably don’t think the game has evolved as much as some other people do,” Greenstein said. “There’s just more players, so there’s more good players. But I think poker’s poker. I think I could have taken myself at 21 years old and put myself in this environment and done OK.”

Greenstein is a three-time WSOP bracelet winner and has accumulated more than $3.1 million in lifetime WSOP earnings. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2011.

Greenstein finished 11th in the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em event on Wednesday for more than $9,000 and was ninth in the $2,500 buy-in Mixed Triple Draw Lowball ($9,502) on June 5.

“I’ve gone reasonably deep and haven’t final tabled … so I really haven’t made that much money, even though that’s pretty good to cash that many times already,” Greenstein said.

Greenstein, who remains a regular at the high-stakes mixed games in the Los Angeles area, was opposed to playing in the Seniors Event at the WSOP until two years ago when his fiancee convinced him to finally enter.

“She said, ‘You’re just vain, that’s why you won’t do it. There’s a lot of money to be made there. There’s value. Why wouldn’t you play in the tournament where there’s the most value?’ ” Greenstein recalled.

Greenstein was unable to play in 2015 despite the needling — he was still alive in another tournament — but he entered the Seniors tournament last year.

“I didn’t last very long,” Greenstein joked.

The Seniors tournament, which is open to players age 50 and older, drew 4,499 entries last year. Also, the $1,000 Super Seniors event for players 65 and up, begins Sunday at the Rio.

“I never even planned on playing any senior events because I always felt it was for non-professionals, so they could play against each other and have a shot,” Greenstein said. “I’m going to play something (Thursday), and hopefully I’ll stay in it long enough that I don’t have to play the Seniors tournament, even though it’s not a bad tournament to play.”

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Contact David Schoen at or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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