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The Bernard Lee Poker Show 12-12: 2004 WSOP Main Event champ, Greg Raymer – Part 1

In this episode of The Bernard Lee Poker Show on the PokerNews Podcast Network, Bernard Lee interviews 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, in part one of a two-part interview. Greg describes his memories on his 15th anniversary of his incredible win. Greg discusses the difference playing at Binion’s horseshoe and the ESPN coverage. Greg recalls some of the players he faced when he as down to the final two tables. Additionally, Greg describes the origin of his holographic glasses and fossils.

Next week, I will be speaking with Greg about his 2005 WSOP run where he finished 25th out of a field of 5,619 and his 2012 Heartland Poker Tour Player of the Year run.

Show Time Stamps

0:00Welcome to The Bernard Lee Poker Show as this week’s guest is 2004 WSOP Main Event champ, Greg Raymer.
0:05Bernard describes the final day of the 2019 WSOP Main Event final table, which was captured by Hossein Ensan, earning $10 million and the coveted gold bracelet.
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5:04Bernard welcomes Greg Raymer to the show.
5:56Greg joins the show.
6:12Greg states how time has flown since 2004 WSOP Main Event.
7:06Greg explains the difference of Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas as compared to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino near the Las Vegas Strip. “It was a smaller, more intimate environment.”
7:29Greg explains that Binion’s Horseshoe had become too small to host the event and why they played 11-handed on Day 1 (in 2004 WSOP Main Event). “You had to sit with one shoulder pointing at the table and one shoulder pointing away from the table.”
11:12Greg remembers how crazy the 2004 WSOP Main Event turnout was after Moneymaker’s epic victory, but thankfully the tournament staff planned two Day 1’s. “It was a madhouse for sure.” “If there hadn’t been two Day 1’s, then obviously forget about it.”
14:36Greg discusses his poker experience prior to his victory in 2004. “I had been playing seriously for 12 years before I won the Main Event…It was an estimated 500th live tournament.”
17:28Greg recalls the ESPN coverage of the 2004 WSOP, which is very different from present day. “In ’04, they filmed the Main Event and filmed six to ten of the preliminary events. But none of it was live.”
23:13Greg describes Dan Harrington’s back-to-back WSOP Main Event final table run in 2004 and 2005. “He’s definitely the best story at the final table and he’s the only player with any great notoriety.”
24:39Greg remembers the crowd at the 2004 WSOP Main Event created by the largest WSOP Main Event at the time. “It’s (Benny’s Bullpen) a smaller setting…It cannot comfortably hold more than a few hundred. So people are jammed in.”
29:10Greg discusses the dynamic between him and Josh Arieh. “I had been at the same table with Josh for several days…(We) were butting heads constantly. He was definitely the toughest opponent I had to deal with the entire tournament.”
30:03Greg recalls some crucial strategy that he received from a friend from Foxwoods about Matt Dean. “Matt’s plan was basically to sit back, wait and probably fold unless he gets a really premium hand until we get down to five people where he locked up a million. And then try to win.”
32:19Greg discusses the final hand between him and David Williams and how quick his opponent called. “On TV, they edit it to make it look like he was thinking a little bit.”
35:52Greg tries to describe his feeling after he won. “It was quite overwhelming.”
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38:03Bernard continues his interview with Greg Raymer, the 2004 WSOP Main Event winner.
38:49Greg explains the origin of the hologram glasses and the fossils he uses as a card protector. “People found it very annoying to have to look at me…I think it got people to fold a little bit more.”
46:26Greg explains why he shifted to Blue Shark Optics glasses. “I misread a board one time in a huge pot unless it’s really well lit.”
48:55Greg recalls the public’s delayed reaction of his win due to the ESPN television coverage.
51:25Greg discusses why his wife surprisingly wanted him to wear poker logoed clothing.

Let us know what you think of the show - tweet about the podcast using #BernardLeePokerShow, and be sure to follow @BernardLeePoker on Twitter or Instagram.

You can follow Greg Raymer on Twitter @Fossilman.

The Bernard Lee Poker Show is now available on iTunes.

  • LISTEN: The Bernard Lee Poker Show interviews 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer

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