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second series 1: gambling troubles
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Barry Greenstein: a gambler without troubles
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Barry Greenstein: a gambler with no troubles (page 1 of 2)


INSTRUCTIONS
- put one word from the word list in each of the blank spaces below
- each word in the list is used once and only once
- the complete word list is repeated on the second page of this exercise
- there are two common words in the word list; they are the first parts of a two-word verbs



Barry Greenstein ______________ up in Chicago, a city in the central United States. He was an excellent student. Once, he got such a high score on an IQ test that his father, who was a high school ______________, was sure there was something wrong with the test.

Mathematics was always Barry’s favourite ______________. When he was in high school, he took a test called the SAT. This test is taken by students all over the United States who are trying to get into university. Barry got the right answer to every question on the mathematics ______________of the test.

He was also good with computers. Once, one of his teachers gave him some old computers to play with and a ______________to read. Over the weekend, Barry wrote a ______________ for a computer golf game.

By the time he was twelve years old, in 1968, Barry was playing poker with his friends. Poker is a card game in which players make ______________ with each other about the cards they are holding. At first, Barry and his friends ______________ for small amounts of money, but before Barry left high school they were playing for much larger amounts.

At university, Barry started playing with serious gamblers — rich businessmen. He was a very good player by that time, and he made a lot of money. He easily won enough to pay for his ______________.

Barry’s mathematical ______________ helped him in his poker playing, but it wasn’t the only reason for his success. While he was still in university, he developed a ______________ that helped him win. He discovered that if he played for a long time his ______________ eventually got tired and stopped playing well. Then Barry played even more ______________ than usual and he often he won a lot of money.

In those days, his favourite place for playing was a bar in a______________ neighbourhood. It was too dangerous to go into the parking lot when it was dark, so the poker games went on till ______________. Toward the end of the night everyone except Barry got very tired. He stayed awake and won their money.

After he got his ______________, Barry went to graduate school in mathematics. By the time he was twenty-nine, in 1984, he nearly had his Ph.D. He was also ______________ around $100,000 a year playing poker.

He had bought a Jaguar — a very ______________ car. And had he had married a woman called Donna who had three children from a ______________ marriage.

Barry wanted to have legal custody of Donna’s children; in other words, he wanted to have the same rights and ______________ as he would have had if he had been their real father. He talked to his lawyer about this, and his lawyer told him he had no chance of getting custody. If Barry said he was a gambler, no judge would give him custody because gamblers are not ______________ people. And if he said he was a graduate student, then no judge would give him custody because graduate students don’t make any money.


continued on page 2









word list

ability
aggressively
bets
brought
casinos
dawn
debts
degree
determined
divorced
donate
education
enormous
entertainment
expensive
famous
financial
gambled
grew
learning
luxurious
manual
opponents
organizations
participating
pressure
previous
principal
private
program
realized
respectable
responsibilities
section
software
strategy
subject
tough











Barry Greenstein: a gambler with no troubles (page 2 of 2)

Barry was ______________ to get custody of Donna’s children so he stopped studying mathematics and went to California to look for work. He found a job in a software company called Symantec. He didn’t make nearly as much money there as he could make playing poker — only $40,000 year. But having the job did make him more respectable and he was able to get custody of his wife’s children.

Barry worked for Symantec, writing______________ , from 1984 to 1991. He quit his job in 1991. He was tired of the long hours and tired of working under ______________ . Beyond that, he was badly in debt.

Since coming to California, he had continued to live the expensive life he was used to, but he hadn’t been earning enough money to pay for it. So he sold the shares in Symantec he’d been given as part of his salary, used the money to pay his ______________ ,and became a full-time poker player.

Once he had gone back to playing poker, Barry’s ______________ problems were over. He quickly became a very rich man. He built an ______________ house near Los Angeles with an indoor swimming pool, an art gallery, and a curved, 4000-litre tank for tropical fish under the staircase. Barry got the ideas for these things from the ______________ where he played poker.

In 2003, because of tournaments shown on a television program called ‘The World Poker Tour,’ poker became a very popular form of ______________ in the United States. At first, when these tournaments became popular, Barry wasn’t interested in ______________ . He thought they were just a sort of show. He didn’t care about getting on television. He was playing poker to make money, not to become ______________ . Before long, however, he changed his mind.

Barry and Donna were ______________ by that time, but Barry still had custody of the three children from Donna’s first marriage and of the two other children that he and Donna had had together. He was worried that they were becoming too materialistic and that they didn’t ______________ how many children everywhere were poor and unhealthy. He felt guilty about how he had ______________ his family up and he wanted to make them more aware of how most other people lived. So he decided that he would play in tournaments, but he would ______________ everything he won to poor children.

That is what he did. By early 2005 he had given over three million dollars to ______________ that help poor children. Giving his money away, he said, has brought him ‘indescribable joy.’

Despite the pleasure he gets from playing in tournaments and giving his money away, Barry still plays quite often in ______________ games. He keeps the money he wins in those games. He uses some of it to pay for his ______________ life and some to pay income tax on the money he gives away.


- information from "The Los Angeles Times," 05.05.08 (Michael Kaplan and Brad Reagan); "Las Vegas Review Journal," 04.05.21 (Phil Hevener)




word list

ability
aggressively
bets
brought
casinos
dawn
debts
degree
determined
divorced
donate
education
enormous
entertainment
expensive
famous
financial
gambled
grew
learning
luxurious
manual
opponents
organizations
participating
pressure
previous
principal
private
program
realized
respectable
responsibilities
section
software
strategy
subject
tough