With nearly $7M in live tournament cashes as of March 28, 2011 - $5M of which came from his 2004 WSOP World Championship win - Greg "FossilMan" Raymer has done enviously well for himself in a profession that was far from his first career choice.
Born in North Dakota in 1964, Greg Raymer's family moved about the country several times during his childhood, eventually settling in St. Louis, Missouri where Greg attended high school
and the University of Missouri-Rolla. A science enthusiast, Greg Raymer majored in chemistry, then went on to earn his Masters Degree in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1989.
In 1992, Greg Raymer graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School, and went to work as a patent attorney. Before turning to poker as a full-time job, Raymer spent his final years as a lawyer employed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
Learning to play poker
in small home games while attending college, Greg Raymer also picked up card counting at the local tribal casinos' Blackjack tables. It was while searching for a good blackjack game in a Chicago casino that, not finding one, Greg Raymer decided to take a seat at a poker table. He soon became a familiar face at the low stakes games.
By the time he moved to Connecticut to work for Pfizer in 1998, Greg Raymer had risen through the stakes to join in the $150/$300 cash games at Foxwoods. He also began playing the tournaments at Foxwoods on a regular basis, and soon expanded his tournament play to the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour events.
Following a first place finish in the New England Poker Classic Limit 7 Card Stud event in 2001, Greg Raymer cashed in 12th place at the 2001 WSOP Limit Omaha Hi/Lo event. The next year, Greg went on to make two WPT final tables in the first season of the World Poker Tour, both at No Limit Hold'em events.
Two short years later, Greg Raymer outlasted 2,575 other WSOP Main Event players that included Chris Ferguson
, Dan Harrington
, Gavin Smith
and Doyle Brunson, to become the world champion. The win earned Greg Raymer the coveted gold bracelet, $5M, and a sponsorship deal with the online poker room
Since Greg's fateful win, he has gone on to earn money finishes in a variety of poker forms at WSOP events, including the HORSE World Championship, Deuce to Seven Lowball, and 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo. Greg's biggest online poker
successes - under the PokerStars
screen name "FossilMan"; a nickname Greg picked up in live tournaments for his tendency to use a fossil as a card protector - have come from Badugi
, Deuce to Seven Lowball, Razz
, and the myriad of mixed games available at PokerStars.
Greg continues to travel the tournament circuit, and offers poker coaching services and seminars in his current home state of North Carolina - where he lives with his wife and daughter - as well as on location at the poker events along his scheduled route.