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Gregory Raymer (born June 25, 1964 in Minot, North Dakotamarker), nicknamed "Fossilman", is a professional poker player. He is best known for winning the 2004 World Series of Poker main event, and for the opaque holographic sunglasses that he sometimes wears during hands.

Life before poker

Raymer's family moved numerous times during his childhood, from his birthplace of Minot to Clearwater, Floridamarker and ultimately to St. Louis, Missourimarker. After Raymer graduated from Parkway South High School in St. Louis, he enrolled at the University of Missouri–Rollamarker, where he majored in chemistry and became a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law Schoolmarker in 1992 and practiced as a patent attorney for more than a decade. However, he no longer works as a lawyer.

Poker career

After moving to Stonington, Connecticutmarker in 1999, Raymer began playing poker at Foxwoods Resort Casinomarker while he was working as a patent lawyer for pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer.

Raymer first finished in the money of a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event during 2001 in the $1,500 Omaha hi-lo split 8 or better event won by Chris Ferguson. The next year he could be seen in the background as Robert Varkonyi celebrated after winning the main event at the 2002 World Series of Poker.

At the 2004 World Series, Raymer defeated David Williams to win the $5,000,000 first prize in the $10,000 no limit Texas hold 'em WSOP main event. (In the final hand, Raymer's defeated Williams' .) Raymer received the entry fee to the tournament by winning a $160 satellite tournament on PokerStars, just like the 2003 winner, Chris Moneymaker. Raymer is now a representative of PokerStars, alongside Moneymaker and the 2005 World Series of Poker champion Joe Hachem.

As defending champion, Raymer went on to finish in 25th place (out of 5,619 entrants) in the 2005 WSOP Main Event, earning him $304,680. No player since Johnny Chan has come so close to repeating as World Series champion, and his deep finish has been described by his peers as one of the most incredible achievements in poker, considering the rapidly increasing field of players in the Main Event every year. On the second-to-last day of play, Raymer held   when he trapped Aaron Kanter into calling his all-in bet with  . Even though Raymer was a 9:2 favorite before the flop, Kanter came from behind to hit running hearts to make a flush and win, thus crippling Raymer and effectively ending his tournament.

In 2005 Raymer also entered the inaugural British Poker Open which was filmed in London and was the UK's biggest live poker event in history. As a firm favourite Raymer made the final table to come third in a live final and collect around £20,000.

Raymer appeared in Poker Superstars III but was eliminated in the preliminaries.

In March 2006, Raymer (as "Fossilman") took second place in the first quarterly $1,000,000 guaranteed tournament on PokerStars, winning over $180,000 in a field of over 1500 tournament players.

On September 17th, 2007, Raymer won the $320 WCOOP Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys Event on PokerStars, winning $168,362.

In the WSOP 2009 $40k event, Raymer placed 3rd out of 201 entrants and won $774,927.

As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $6,775,000. The majority of that figure, $6,487,512, have come from his 13 cashes at the WSOP.

Character and personality

Greg Raymer wearing his trademark holographic glasses
Raymer is nicknamed "Fossilman" because of his hobby of collecting fossils. He uses a small fossil as a card protector while he plays poker. Early in his poker career he would supplement his bankroll by selling fossils to other players at his table.

Aside from the World Series, Raymer plays few tournaments, choosing to spend time with his wife Cheryl and daughter Sophie instead of immersing himself in the poker circuit and the constant travel it requires. In November 2005, Raymer and his family relocated to Raleigh, North Carolinamarker.

Raymer stated that he was allergic to alcohol during his appearance on the European Poker Tour.

On December 20, 2004, two men attempted to rob Raymer at gunpoint as he returned to his Bellagiomarker hotel room after playing in a cash game. Raymer held them off until police arrived and was unharmed.

In a December 2006 interview Raymer said that he was considering running for Vice-President of the United States in 2008 as a candidate of the Libertarian Party. However, Raymer did not end up running.


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