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Player Profile - Greg Raymer

Greg ‘Fossilman’ Raymer is the instantly recognisable 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion. A patent lawyer by original profession, his analytical and people-reading skills obviously transferred rather well to the field of high stakes poker. Following hot on the heels of Chris Moneymaker who won the previous year, he turned his qualification on into the $5,000,000 first place, making history by taking down the largest cash prize in poker to that date. But this was not the one-off victory many sceptics might have thought – Greg was no stranger to tournament poker before his World Series win turned the limelight full on him.

Back in 2000, he came third in the World Poker Finals, Mashantucket, netting nearly $50,000, and, perhaps more interestingly, followed his bracelet win by placing in the money in two WPT events in 2005 (the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure and the Five-Star World Poker Classic in Las Vegas) as well as in three WSOP events. 25th in this year’s Main Event, this time out of an astronomical field of over 5,600, he has shown that it is perfectly possible for him to repeat his success.

Born in 1964 in Minot, North Dakota, his introduction to cards came through little homegames with friends, and blackjack, played while at school in Minnesota (he has a Masters degree in Biochemistry). Finding himself in Chicago short on blackjack, he properly discovered poker, moving up slowly from the little games to the $150/$300 game he now plays at Foxwoods. Starting small, and devouring resources in the form of strategy books and online discussion groups, he considered himself to be prepared for the 2004 World Series, having played in two previous Main Events. So his satellite win on Pokerstars was just a discount, then.

As a paid representative of the well-known site, he’s been wearing the Pokerstars shirt on the professional tour which he seems to be enjoying (more than patent law? Surely not), and in return he’s a genuinely good ambassador for the site, at which he plays exclusively. An all-round friendly guy as well as a savvy businessperson, Greg Raymer, from what I saw at this year’s WSOP, always had time to give his fans an autograph, or have a chat in the hallway during a break.

So, you probably knew that the nickname ‘Fossilman’ comes from his distinctive fossil card protector. But you probably didn’t know you can buy one, signed by him, from his site Aware of the joys of merchandising, you can purchase a variety of such things, or even arrange for the personable Greg to show up at your event or business for just $10,000, subject to convenience. It’s probably easier to just head to Foxwoods, if you’d like to meet him, as he resides in Connecticut with his wife and daughter, and as a professional player now presumably spends a lot more of his time playing live.
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