Monday, October 03, 2011

Barry Greenstein as judge of character

The news today is that Barry Greenstein and Doyle Brunson say they believe their friends over at Full Tilt Poker may have been incompetent businessmen, but they couldn't possibly have had any malicious, criminal intention.

I want to focus just on Greenstein here. He is quoted saying, “There’s no doubt in my mind that their thought wasn’t ‘We’re going to steal from customers’ but when Black Friday hit it came at the absolute worst time for them.” Further, “Most of these guys on Team Full Tilt are friends of mine and most of them definitely didn’t know what was going on." And, finally, “I don’t think anyone believes that the initial intent was to defraud the customers, it just worked out that way in their method of fixing the problem."

Well, that's fine and noble of him. But how is Greestein's track record as a judge of character?

Here he is in 2008, speaking of Russ Hamilton, after going to his house to interview him specifically to determine whether Hamilton was guilty in the UltimateBlecch scandal: “This is being investigated and there’s no doubt in my mind that it will end up that Hamilton knew who the cheaters were, but I don’t get the feeling that we’ll be saying that Russ Hamilton is one of the cheaters.” “I didn’t get the feeling that he was that knowledgeable about what was going on as we hoped he would be.” “Russ seemed like he knew a couple of the guilty parties, but in the end, I don’t think it was him.”

We all know how that story turned out.

So it seems to me we have to conclude one of two things:

(A) Greenstein is an astute reader of human minds, he correctly assessed Hamilton's soul, and the poor guy is wrongly accused, as pure as the driven snow, despite all the evidence (only some of which was known at the time of Greenstein's interview), and despite the formal conclusions of the investigating gaming commission.


(B) Greenstein is a nice guy and tends to assume that other people are also nice guys, and he has a blind spot to the evil that men do. Furthermore, he has a habit of trusting his own gut feeling about people in preference to objective evidence. As a result, his comments about Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson and Rafe Furst should be viewed as the product of friendship and wishful thinking, rather than a reliable, objective assessment of the whole situation.

I know which way I'm voting.


Josie said...

I'll pick B. as in Barry.

Anonymous said...

linky to russ scumilton not working?

Rakewell said...

Fixed. Thanks.

Sebastian X said...

Might be of interest about Full Tilt:

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget his (understandable) support for stepson Joe Sebok after Joe signed with AP/UB. And Barry encouraged people to deposit with UB after Joe signed on. As you put it, "we all know how that turned out."

It's almost as if skill at the poker table doesn't translate to other aspects of life!