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Greg Raymer

By Paul McGuire

At the 2004 World Series of Poker, Greg Raymer was first known as the guy with wacky sunglasses, which he had purchased on a trip to Disney World with his family. By the time it was all over, he had outlasted 2,575 other players in the largest field ever to play in the main event. He took home his first WSoP bracelet and won $5 million, the biggest first place cash prize in the history of tournament poker. Greg Raymer worked his way up the ranks and began playing $3/$6 limit. These days, he plays in the biggest No Limit tournaments all over the world.

Greg Raymer
Greg Raymer - Source: Las Vegas & Poker

Greg Raymer was born in North Dakota and grew up as an Air Force brat. He studied bio-chemistry in college in Missouri and played poker with his fraternity brothers. As a law student in Minnesota, Greg Raymer started counting cards in blackjack at local Indian casinos to supplement his income. When he got his first job after law school, he moved to Chicago. He was introduced to Texas Hold'em and quickly picked up the fascinating game. After reading David Sklansky's Theory of Poker and other poker books, he decided to play more seriously. When he moved to San Diego, California, he honed his poker skills in local casinos. When he and his wife decided to move to Stonington, Connecticut, he used some of the prize money he had won in a recent tournament as a down payment for his new house.

The well-mannered patent attorney did not come out of nowhere like a lot of players originally thought. Greg Raymer made the final table and took third place at the 2000 World Poker Finals at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, located just a few miles down the road from his house. Raymer regularly played in weekly no limit tournaments at Foxwoods, winning several of them and cashing in dozens more. He finished in 80th place at the 2002 World Series of Poker after he was bad beated by Tony D's 10-4o. At that point, Raymer knew he could hold his own against some of the top professional players in Vegas.

Greg Raymer has an astute poker mind. If you read any of his posts on various poker message boards (rec.gambling.poker or Two Plus Two forums), you could easily tell that he was thinking about poker on a different level. He is also an excellent online player. He qualified for the 2004 WSoP by winning a seat at Poker Stars. I think that Raymer is a good example of a "hybrid player" who knows how to effectively play against both live game players and online players.

A couple of years ago, his bankroll took a big hit. He decided that he would sell shares of himself for $500. One investor bought ten shares. He raised over $30,000 and continued to play. He ended up retaining 57% of all his profits. His investors were pleased when he won the 2004 World Series. Their cut was well over $2 million.

Greg Raymer was given the nickname "Fossilman" because he is a passionate collector of fossils. He often uses them as card cappers at the poker table and has been known to sell his various fossils to different players. Greg Raymer currently lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter and is no longer an attorney. He is a spokesman for Poker Stars and can be found playing on their site. He will be back in Las Vegas in 2005 to defend his World Series of Poker Championship title.

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