Greg 'the Fossilman' Raymer is the current WSOP Main Event Champion. He is endorsed by online poker room Poker Stars, the room through which he qualified into last year's event.
How long have you been playing poker?
I have played seriously for 13 years.
What is your favorite poker game?
Omaha Hi-Lo and Seven-Card Stud High/Low. I don't like Limit Hold'em.
Describe your playing style?
It depends on the opponents at the table and whether or not the stacks are deep.
What tells do you usually look for in your opponents?
Looking for tells are a big part of my game. I look at the way a player bets but, even more so, I look at the way he breathes. Usually players act emotionally during play and their heart beats faster and breathing will respond to that. I learnt about this partly from chemistry, about what adrenaline does to your body and such. Usually fast breathing means strength. Pulse is another factor. For some players, like Gus Hansen, their pulse doesn't really change whether they are bluffing or have a big game. This type of player just plays the game and it doesn't matter what the stakes are. I was told my pulse stayed pretty much the same during a taping of the European Poker Tour.
How has your game changed since you won the 2004 WSOP Main Event?
I don't have any bluff equity anymore. It seems like players will call me down much more these days because they want to tell their friends that they have knocked out the World Champion of Poker. This makes it harder to play with a small stack in a tournament.
There was an attempt to rob you quite recently, what happened?
It was last year (2004) at the Five Diamond at the Bellagio and these guys were waiting for me upstairs when I returned to my room. They pulled a gun and tried to shove me in my room. Being that I had seen their faces I thought they were going to kill me, so I knocked one of them down and then they ran away. In fact, they were caught a few weeks ago in San Diego and I will go to court there during this year's WSOP and probably miss an event or two that I had planned to play in.
What are the odds of winning the main event this year for a top player?
I say no matter who you are the odds are 1000-to-1. Also, I think you have to be physically in great shape to win it because the tournament is so long now. Dan Harrington said that no player over 45 years old will ever win it again, I believe him.
What are your poker ambitions?
Win the main event every year (laughs).
You can read more about Greg at www.fossilmanpoker.com and more about PokerStars at www.pokerlistings.com/poker-stars.
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