Greg Raymer is another poker professional who carries a lot of responsability for the 2004 popularity explosion poker and online poker have gone through. Sure enough, he won the WSOP main event that year, having earned his seat in a $160 satellite on PokerStars. Not only did this fact come to establish online poker as a reasonable way to reach a fabulously generous live poker event, it has also established PokerStars as one of the biggest and most potent online poker rooms on the internet.
In his final hand, Raymer went up on 8s, 8d against Davis Williams’ Ah, 4s. The first prize was $5 million, which he promptly pocketed. That was the first time the world has heard about the "Fossilman”, it was far from being his first encounter with the game of poker though.
Born in Minot, North Dakota, Raymer’s childhood consisted of moving to new homes and constantly adapting to new environments. He first moved to Clearwater, FL, then to St.Louis, Missouri. In 1999 he moved to Stonington, Connecticut where he became a patent lawyer for Pfizer. He began playing poker there, in the Foxwoods Resort and Casino exhibiting an uncanny ability for the subtleties of the game.
He had taken part in WSOP events before his 2004 main event victory too. As a matter of fact, he finished in the money in 2001 in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event. In 2002 he achieved the same feat, that time in the NL Holdem main event.
In 2005, one year after his victory, he was once again looking strong with 25 players left out of a starting field of 5619 (!) when he trapped Aaron Kanter for an all-in with a Kd Kh against the latter’s Qh, Jh. It was a good call on Greg’s part, but he took a formidable bad beat when Kanter caught a runner-runner flush that knocked Raymer out of contention. Still, reaching 25th place was a formidable feat in its own given the size of the field he had to overcome. The money he pocketed on it wasn’t half bad either.
In his career, Greg Raymer ended up 11 times in money spots, in the WSOP events he took part in, and earned a champion’s bracelet (2004).
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His WPT antics resume to 2 money finishes.
Other events he took part in were the British Poker Open in 2005 (he walked away with GBP20,000 from there) and Poker Superstars III.
His latest achievement came in September 2007, when he won the $300+$20 PL Omaha event, in PokerStars’ WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker).
His nickname, Fossilman, stems from the fact that he has always been an avid collector of fossils which he uses as card protectors whenever he plays. Word has it, in his early days he used to wring out an extra buck or two selling such card-protectors to fellow poker players at the table.
He sells such fossils on his website to this very day.
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At first glance, Greg Raymer’s career achievements might not look as numerous as those of some of the other professionals featured on these pages. The explanation is probably that he is more of a family-man than a poker professional in real life. Spending time with his wife and daughter always comes first in this man’s life, and that is something I can definitely respect.