March 30, 2012
Me: Do you have a minute so I can pick your brain
Greg Raymer: Yeah sure
Me: Hello Greg
Greg Raymer: Hello
Me: Did you ever hit a wall in route to become a professional poker player
Greg proceeds to speak solely about himself for the next hour and fifteen minutes on various point of my interest. I will warn anyone that plans to sit-down with Greg Raymer, be trained, prepared, and ready for listening to him speak for lengthy periods of time without brakes. This is not a knock on Greg! All this means to those reading this article is that if you happen to meet & greet Greg Raymer do remember he’s a lengthy conversationalist.
Greg foremost started our 1 on 1 engagement pointing out the fact he played poker 12 years before he became the 2004 WSOP main event winner. He started with his teenage as a highly ranked U.S Amateur Racquetball to young adult years which consisted playing poker in college at the University of Minnesota with friend using coins. Briefly mentions that he did not know, ‘what the hell he was doing’ despite it all showed the most promise of the group. Naturally during this period Greg worked on a casino river boat to support himself through College taking the opportunity to expand his knowledge of poker games of all type.
After College Greg pursued law, I did overhear him talking about patents specializations with a gentleman casually for about 10-15 min. I’m not one to speculate which means Greg may very well have been a patent lawyer but in our hour and fifteen minute sit down it was not discussed.
An older Greg is now established in the field of law working as a corporate lawyer for phizer. In addition he managed to create a family that consist of a wife and daughter.
Later a job transfers has Greg and his family moving to the state of Connecticut, coincidentally ends being 6 miles away from the foxwood resort casino. Greg mentions around this time he tries a variety of poker including Badugi, Stud Poker, Omaha Hi\Lo, and of course improving on his No-Limit Hold’em game.
Remember we are seated in a empty room for racetrack observers at Delaware Park, Greg continues to wait for a dealers choice game.
I recall this is the part about 35-40 min into our discussion when Greg gets pretty blunt about the lifestyle of ‘professional poker players.’ He even began by naming none other than Eric Lindgren WPT champion/WPT player of the year and the rumors on twoplustwo website of financial troubles that stem from wild sports betting.
I could clearly see Greg was very passionate on the topic as he revealed the reckless culture of so-called professional poker players, mainly about the gambling element. Not one to shrink a message he specifically goes into players going broke off reckless betting activities. Greg made it apparent that most guys go broke simply because they major only in Texas No-limit Hold’em.
Imagine being at a table full of poker pro’s in Las Vegas playing a game of Omaha hi knowing in the back of your mind saying these guys ‘suck.’
Greg made it clear about Eric Lindgren, he wasn’t indicting him but heard of many stories of Lindgren owing (fantasy) sports betting money. Even went into how Lindgren created a team of sports bettors that calculate not just about odds and chances but even investigating the personal lives of sports players to get an edge over the competition. All this seem frivolous as wild sport bets which seem to match his No-Limit Hold’em playing style comes to a crash then burns.
We were hitting the hour mark of our sit down, when Greg reminded us of the 100 big blind rule which should be applied to anyone that wants to buy into cash/tournament poker game. He stated this rule does not reasonably happen this way you can imagine but you should not be buying into a game that exceeds one hundred big blinds. An example is playing $1/2 cash game with $100sb/200bb blinds or $100 poker tournament with 10,000 starting chips.
When I heard these rules instantly disagreement came over my face yet with respect to Greg policies I remained quiet.
As thing wrapped up, I listen to Greg now face to face with Delaware Park microblogzone manager who presents a bunch of pictures of himself to be autographed. While all at that is going on the Delaware Park microblogzone manager slides in a question about his fossil man glasses. I spend the next 5 min listening to Greg give a background explanation on the famous shades. The most memorable explanation of the fossil man shades is Greg stated reason, ” Don’t fuck with my big blinds.” A side note the shades were produced according to the room lighting.
At this point I slowly get out my seat to thank him for a hand shake when we posed for pictures. We thank Greg Raymer for providing such a casual base for us to talk for nearly hour and half.