In a bit of a surprise to the poker world, prominent high stakes poker player Barry Greenstein has announced that he is joining up with the second largest online poker site, The announcement was made today on PokerStars' website, where PokerStars mentioned that they were "ecstatic" to receive Barry as part of Team PokerStars.

Barry Greenstein, while not shy from the press, has always maintained a dignified composure in his dealings in and out of the poker world. Having gained quite a bit of popularity for his "Robin Hood" ways of donating all his tournament winnings to charity, Greenstein has generated much popularity and goodwill from both the poker and popular press. Given his wholesome image as a champion of the less fortunate, one that strikes stark contrast to that of the stereotypical poker player, his reluctance to lend his name to any of the online poker sites has been a subject of speculation.

One source close to Tight Poker mentioned that Barry had actually turned down an offer from Full Tilt Poker. Full Tilt is well known for their impressive line-up of poker celebrities such as Phil Ivey, Chris Fergusen, Erik Sidel, Jennifer Harmon, Howard Lederer and Phil Gordon. Given that a number of high profile Full Tilt players play in the "Big Game" alongside Barry Greenstein, it almost seemed like a shoe-in to have Barry's face grace alongside the other poker personae on Full Tilt's website. Obviously, this hasn't shown to be the case given Barry's announcement with PokerStars today.

This news about Barry comes as a coincidental timing, as our review of Barry Greenstein's latest poker book, Ace on the River, has recently been added to the Poker Books section. Ace on the River is an entertaining book that received a four-star rating from our reviewer. Barry offers compelling stories and interesting perspectives on the poker world that only a high-stakes player like himself can deliver. For the poker minded players as well, Barry also has an entire section dedicated to his own analysis of poker hands played at the highest stakes of the game. An entertaining read indeed and one that I recommend as well.

Greenstein and PokerStars – Partners in Charity

For Barry Greenstein to join PokerStars is almost a melding of synergies when it comes to the poker world. PokerStars has been at the forefront of giving when it comes to charities, with events such as Hurricane Katrina Relief and Tsunami aid, where players at the site ponied up to raise over $500,000 in charity tournaments. Not to be outdone by their own players, PokerStars went ahead and matched this amount, making their contributions to the pool over a cool one-million US dollars.

Now Barry, affectionately referred to as the "Robin Hood of Poker" by fans, media and fellow poker players, is no stranger to charities himself as earlier stated. Having donated nearly $3,000,000 to charities such as Children Inc, which has been the primary recipient of Barry's goodwill, Barry has shown himself to be the most generous ambassador on the poker scene. The partnership between Greenstein and PokerStars seems fitting in the context that both are not only good at what they do, but maintain a humanist outlook beyond that of poker.

So what lies in store for this convergence of a socially aware poker player and poker site? I guess the world will find out soon.

If you're looking to play against Robin Hood himself, head over to PokerStars where you can also find other professionals such as Chris Moneymaker (WSOP Champion 2003), Greg Raymer (WSOP Champion 2004) and Joe Hachem (WSOP Champion 2005).

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