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EPT Season 5 Player Spotlight on Greg Raymer

With Greg “Fossilman” Raymer ready to take his seat at the European Poker Tour Season 5 opener in Barcelona, here is the inside scoop on this famous professional poker player, his poker tournament success, how he got there and where that nickname and those sunglasses came from!

WSOP 2004 Champion

Raymer is most famous for winning the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2004.
Raymer played at the World Series for the first time in 2001. He almost made the final table of the $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo event, finishing 12th for a small cash of $5,345.

In 2004, the Main Event attracted a massive 2,576 players. Greg played a solid game and emerged as the winner, earning prize money of $5,000,000. Just like fellow PokerStars qualifier Chris Moneymaker, who won the WSOP Main Event the year before, Raymer got into the WSOP by qualifying through an online satellite at PokerStars.

Raymer came close to winning the Main Event again in 2005, finishing 25th for a prize of over $300,000. Since then, he has achieved success in other WSOP events, including four final table appearances and cash finishes that have contributed over $650,000 to his earnings. He’s even finished 2nd in the PokerStars Sunday Million on two separate occasions.

Pathway to Professional Poker

Originally from North Dakota, Raymer got his gambling career started in college in Minnesota as a card-counting blackjack player at Indian casinos.

After graduation, he worked as a patent attorney working for a big litigation firm in Chicago and then as Biotechnology patent lawyer for a firm in San Diego before deciding to get out of the 80-hour work week law firm lifestyle. Raymer moved into the private sector, accepting a position with Pfizer’s research facility in Groton, CT from 1998 until his big WSOP win in 2004.

In Chicago, Raymer discovered that there were no easily beatable blackjack games around. Instead, he began playing 3-6 limit poker. To improve his game, he studied The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky, moving up blinds, learning tournament poker and gaining a reputation as one of the best tournament players at Foxwoods Casino.

The “Fossilman” Nickname]
The nickname “Fossilman” comes from Raymer’s habit of using fossils as card protectors. In 1996, Raymer’s wife took him to a mineral show in San Diego, where he bought a fossil thinking it would make a cool card protector. When he noticed that other players at the Oceanside Card Club also thought it was neat, he realized that he could add to his bankroll by buying fossil card protectors and selling them at the table for profit.

The Lizard-Eye 3-D Hologram Sunglasses

Just before Raymer’s first WSOP main event in 2002, he was on a family vacation in Disney World in Orlando,FL. When visiting the Tower of Terror ride at MGM Studios, he saw the lizard-eye 3-D hologram sunglasses at the gift shop and thought it would be funny to put them on in the middle of an important hand.

To his delight, rather than cracking the table up, the glasses freaked out his opponent, causing him to fold. The discovery that some opponents are very uncomfortable playing against the lizard-eye 3-D hologram sunglasses proved very valuable and therefore, since then Raymer has continued to wear them during major tournaments, becoming an iconic figure on tour.

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