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Poker Stories Podcast -- Greg Raymer

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Jul 19, 2017

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Poker Stories is a new, long-form audio series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Click here to download or subscribe to the Poker Stories podcast on iTunes.

Age: 52
Turned Pro: 2004
Lives: Raleigh, North Carolina
Live Tournament Earnings: $7.6 million
Best Score: 1st Place – 2004 WSOP main event ($5,000,000)

The Highlights

On getting heat from pit bosses as a blackjack card counter…

“I didn’t have a very big bankroll, so I was only spreading from $5 to $25 on my bets. And I was averaging like $7 an hour. Minimum wage back then might have been $3 or something. At that time, in that casino, there was no heat. There was another guy who I would see all the time, and he would be spreading from $5 to $500, and you could hear him mumbling the count under his breath. And they just didn’t care!”

On the state of poker in the 90’s…

“Most players were way too loose and passive. When I started playing in the Rockford Charity Games, one of the games was $3-$6 Omaha hi-lo. We were ten-handed, and if someone other than me folded preflop, I would look at my watch and note the time. And then the next time anyone other than me preflop, I would look at my watch again. It would often be two hours or more. All nine of them, with or without me, seeing every flop, almost every hand. Everyone other than me had a VPIP of 98 percent. It was that loose. So you could just sit back and wait for a great hand… and still make money.”

On the night he was robbed at gunpoint in the Bellagio…

“Almost every night I had been playing a $300-$600 mix game. I emptied my box that night. The two guys were known to hang around the poker room, and I don’t know if they had overheard things, or whatever, but they actually had this well planned out. I go to my door and put in the key, and just as I’m starting to open the door, there’s a second person coming from I’m not sure where who is grabbing me from behind. And now the small guy on my right is now joining in and they are trying to push me into my room… I’ve seen their faces. I’m pretty sure I’m dead.”

On the termination of his PokerStars sponsorship…

“They slashed the budget for Team Pro. So they were offering me the same money for three years as I had been paid for one year. At the time, I thought there was better than a 50 percent shot at getting federal legislation passed this year, or next. And I don’t want to be tied down to a three-year contract with low pay if we get a bill passed in the next four, five, six months. I presumably could get a much higher deal. So that’s why I said, ‘no thanks.’ Now, in hindsight, I should have taken the deal.”

Click here to download or subscribe to the Poker Stories podcast on iTunes. Catch up on previous episodes and subscribe to have new episodes automatically appear in your podcast app so you can listen on the go.