Born on 25 June 1964 in North Dakota, Gregory Raymer practised as a patent attorney for over a decade before turning to professional poker. He started playing in 1999 while working for Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company. His first time to play at a casino was at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, after he moved to Stonington, Connecticut. He played at the 2001 WSOP in the Omaha High-Low Split event, which was won by Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, and again at the 2002 WSOP, which was won by Robert Varkonyi.
In 2003, a largely unknown poker player named Chris Moneymaker, who had won his entry at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) through the PokerStars online poker site, went on to win the WSOP main event. He took home $2.5 million and earned poker superstar status overnight. The event caused quite a stir in the poker world, hugely strengthening the popularity of online poker and encouraging players to feel that anyone has a shot at winning a world championship.
The following year, Greg Raymer went on to win the main event at the 2004 World Series of Poker. He too had been awarded entry to the tournament after winning an online satellite event worth $160. His winnings for that WSOP main event came up to $5,000,000.
Since beating David Williams at the 2004 WSOP’s main event, Raymer has embraced poker as a full-time career. He finished 25th in the following year’s WSOP main event, earning him $304,680.
Raymer also entered the inaugural British Poker Open in 2005, the biggest live poker event in UK history. March 2006 saw him take second place in the first quarterly tournament on PokerStars, winning $180,000 after playing against 1500 other players.
Greg Raymer continues to travel to poker tournaments around the world. His nickname, “Fossilman”, comes from his hobby of collecting fossils. He uses a small fossil to protect his cards as he plays and, at one time, was even known to sell his fossils to other players at the table.