2008 PCA: Finding a Fossil in the Caribbean

Before Greg Raymer was "World Champion Greg Raymer," Greg Raymer was "Fossilman." The moniker was his online identity as well as his live poker nickname, prompted by the distinctive fossil card protector that he brought to the tables.

During his spectacular run to the World Series title in 2004, a feat achieved after qualifying on PokerStars, Raymer earned himself another colloquial nickname. Across the card rooms and home games of the world, he was "the guy with the lizard-eye glasses." Everyone, it seemed, had seen the iconic images of Raymer with his reptilian shades, and felt a shiver at his piercing, cold-blooded gaze.

"People used to stop me in stores and say 'Where are the glasses?'" he told me during an interview at the time. But strangely enough he didn't take them grocery shopping; the cashiers wouldn't budge on the total, no matter how icy the glare.

Raymer these days is a fixture on the poker circuit, as well as a founder member of Team PokerStars Pro, and the fossils and the specs are still very much part of the experience. There's also the small matter of a shimmering, platinum bracelet on his right wrist, which will blind anyone whose eyes stray in that direction.

What's more, Raymer today has added a neat Caribbean touch: he's also wearing a wonderful straw hat above a peach-coloured polo-shirt and beige slacks. He's every inch the relaxed, amiable adventurer, who just so happens to be ruthless at the tables. Moments ago, he took down a pot with the mighty jack-three; no one fancied tangling and the chips were his.


Raymer is among a strong Team PokerStars Pro showing today, and we'll be keeping our eyes locked on his progress. Just as long as he doesn't stare back.

Photo © Neil Stoddart