Raymond Davis: Looking Good, But Playing Even Better

Raymond Davis
Ray Davis playing in Day 1 of the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

You may not like it, but professional poker player Raymond Davis has got style.

Always well dressed and certainly outspoken, Raymond has made his share of enemies at the tables. But he's also made a few fans and at least he's not afraid to tell it like it is - or at least how he sees it.

Davis: I'm Great at Every Game

PokerListings.com caught Davis railbirding at the Pot-Limit Hold'em Final Table heads-up between Jeff Lisandro and Allen Cunningham and he took some time to tell us how the 2007 WSOP is shaping up for him so far.

So Raymond, how goes the 2007 WSOP thus far?

Actually it's been kind of shaky. A couple of tournaments I've had big stacks. The first tournament I was in a position to win it. I had 120,000 in chips with about eight minutes to go to the money.

Needless to say I didn't even make the money and people with 1,800 made the money. I had aces twice in three hands and I busted out. It was one of the most frustrating things, but that's the World Series, you've got to chug along and hopefully good things will happen - I'm not giving up.

With 55 tournaments the WSOP is a long haul, are you ready for it?

Raymond Davis
On Top of His Game

Yes, I'm mentally and physically prepared, I'm playing the best poker of my life. I'm playing at a very high level. I played a great Omaha tournament and came in 43rd. But I think I was playing No-Limit Omaha the blinds got so big by the end. They should change the structure.

Are you going to play in every event you can?

I want to play anywhere from 20 to 25 events. It depends on how I'm playing, if things start running better I might play more. My main focus right now is trying to get in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event. If I win $50,000 or win a seat by then, then I'm going to play. I may end up ponying it up myself, it depends on how I feel that day.

Do you figure the H.O.R.S.E. Event is the real Main Event?

It's a very prestigious event, I think it's the most prestigious event in the world. It's all the best names in the game, and I want to be there. It's truly a test of a great poker player. If you are looking for dead money in that tournament you are it. It should be the world championship, because it is a total test of poker knowledge and poker abilities.

So you figure you've got the chops to take it?

Johnny Chan
Ready to take on the Best

I figure I'm great at every game. There's no game I don't know. They can play anything and I can play it. So, to test myself against the Doyle Brunsons, Phil Iveys and Johnny Chans of the world, I think it's great.

They are great friends of mine and I love to play against them. That's what I live for; to play against the best. It's not the money, it's not the fame, it's not the glory, it's to play against the best.

You've always been an outspoken player and some don't like it. What do you say to those critics?

I give people what they got coming. I'm a very vocal poker player and if somebody plays a hand badly against me, I'm going to tell them all about it. You take the WPT Championship Day 4: I raise a guy and he put me all in. I had two Aces and he had A-Q. The flop came Q-Q-3, and I hit a one outer on the river.

He called me with A-Q and he played horribly. I mean, what is he doing with all his chips in the center of the pot with A-Q? So I didn't hold anything back in telling him how bad he played. I guess that's what makes Raymond Davis, Raymond Davis.

It don't matter who it is, Phil Ivey or some Internet guy, I'm going to tell them how I feel about their play. I'm not going to berate them, I'm just going to tell them my opinion of it. If they take it the wrong way I can't do anything about it. I like to speak my mind and that's it.

So do you talk smack to knock players off their game?

Raymond Davis
Talking Smack

I like to get under their skin - get them on tilt. I like to rattle them. There's so many great players, and it's hard to get under their skin, but the amateurs, you can really needle them and get up under there, and they'll make bad plays.

You can dare somebody to raise your blinds, tell them you are going to move in. There's a lot of things I can do. I challenge people. It's irritating to people, but I don't know why. It's just who I am. But it's really just done in a fun, good natured way. Everybody knows I'm not a bad person. I'm one of the nicest people out here.

You've got style Raymond, but what's more important, looking good or playing good?

To play good. But I like to look good when I'm playing because I get a lot of press. I don't want people to say "There's Raymond Davis. He just won $100,000 and he looks like a bum." I like to dress for the part. I brought $100,000 worth of clothes down here because I know I'm going to be here 45 days, so I brought a whole wardrobe with me.

You're from Cali, but where are you staying while you're in town?

I'm staying here at the Rio. They comped me 45 days I lost so much in the pits. They're waiting for me to win big. But since I've been here, I'm only a $30,000 loser in the pit, and that's pretty good for me. I think I'll be in the six figure numbers by the end.

So what's the leak?

Raymond Davis
The Dice Man Cometh

I like to roll dice. Sometimes I'll bet a couple thousand dollars a hand in Pai Gow.

But I play pretty big in Craps. I like Craps.

Not Ivey numbers. Not even 10% of Ivey numbers, but I bet pretty good.

That's why the Rio wants me to win every tournament; they're my biggest fans.


* * * * * * * * * * *

Well Raymond, I'm sure there are a few others out there too and they are all hoping you do win big at the Word Series of Poker this year.

Or at least let your personality shine at a few TV tables. Just don't blow all your winnings on dice - places like the Rio were built on games like that.

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