Barry Greenstein has been a fringe figure in poker, popping in and out of the spotlight from time to time. However, the truth is that the “Robin Hood of poker” has been a true regular at the highest stakes of the game and almost always present at big tournaments around the world. Recently, Greenstein penned a blog entry about his choice of career and how poker was not necessarily his first option for a profession. Instead, the poker pro had plans to become a specialist in a completely different sport – golf.
Greenstein’s interest in golf started at the relatively early age of 12. With a first job as a golf caddy, the youngster learned the ins and outs of the game and was passionate about mastering his skills. During high school, he was a member of his high school team and was shooting in the 70s by the time he graduated. Unfortunately, there were several obstacles to pursuing golf while Greenstein was at college.
After barely missing the cut in his Freshman year, Greenstein was prepared for the challenge the next time around, despite having to walk six miles to make it to the course playing host to the tryouts. With several players vying for spots, only the top 5 would make the team. During the course of the tryouts, Greenstein noticed that several of his competitors were cheating to get a better score. In the end, Greenstein’s honest play could not match up with the cheats and he came up just shy of making the team. It was this cheating that convinced him to spend more time with poker rather than golf.
Still, situations did conspire to bring him back on the golf course – namely, money. Because Greenstein has a thin frame, many do not believe that he is capable of hitting long drives. In more than one instance, a day on the links has shown that not only is he capable of nailing a 300-yard drive, but can do it when real money is on the line. Even with these forays, Greenstein often spends years away from golf at a time.
From time to time, Greenstein returns to the game of golf and has been known to play for money with other poker professionals. At the same time, the same passion of his youth is no longer present and has been replaced by a true passion for poker. With a pleasant attitude and a commanding skill set, Greenstein is certainly one of poker’s great ambassadors.