Greg Raymer is a poker world champion but there’s a lot more than meets the eye: “I almost never play more than two games at a time online. For one thing, I’ve never bothered to get a really big monitor”

Greg Raymer, the 2004 World Champion, mutes Matusow on his way to the Big One

What’s your game?

I prefer hi-lo split games to Hold’em and Stud. Online you don’t have the physical tells, so I’m happy to play nolimit Hold’em in a live game and feel like I have an advantage. Online I mostly play limit Omaha Hi-Lo, though, because I see people making mistakes. Those games are more mathematical and players don’t play those games as well.


I’m usually on the $75-$150 Omaha Hi-Lo, or the next step down if that game isn’t running – the $30-$60 Omaha Hi-Lo. I’ve been trying to get the pot-limit Omaha Hi-Lo game going, so I’ll sit down at an empty table and that will usually fill up after a little while. I almost never play more than two games at a time online. For one thing, I’ve never bothered to get a really big monitor.

Best upcoming player?

John D’Agostino is someone I played hundreds of hours of cash games with in Connecticut before he appeared on TV. He hasn’t won a major event yet, but he’s made five or six televised final tables. He’s a player that seems to run luckier than anyone I know, but he plays it better too. For some reason he always seems to do well when we’re at the same table.

Dream heads-up?

If I’m putting up my own money, I’ll just take whoever’s the worst player you can find on the planet. Dead money please! Otherwise I’d pick someone who has truly had an impact on world history, like Einstein. I really don’t know if Albert Einstein was that interesting, but someone like that.

Lizard specs?

It was meant to be a one-time gag after I bought them at Disney World. I got involved in a big pot on the first day of the WSOP, raised my opponent and he went into the tank. I pulled out the glasses and stared at the guy. When he looked up at me, he almost jumped out of his seat. Three times during the Main Event, players called over the tournament director and asked for a ruling!

How do you deal with Matusow?

He doesn’t affect me that much. I was relatively angry with Mike throughout that WSOP episode, but not to the point that it was going to influence my judgement. I knew what he was trying to do – it wasn’t the first time I’d played with Mike. You can’t let it get to you or they win, and the guy who is acting like a jerk is not the guy you want to win.

Can you win the WSOP again?

I can’t have any reasonable expectation to ever win it again. Even if I were to make the mistake in assuming that I am the greatest ever Texas Hold’em tournament player in the world (and I don’t) I would still have no reasonable expectation to ever win it again in my lifetime. In terms of ‘doing well’, I think my chances of making the final table again are reasonable.

Has the win changed your game?

It only affects me because my opponents play me much differently now. I really can’t bluff much anymore. I expect to get called in situations where almost anyone else would be able to successfully bluff. So I have to play my game much differently, but there’s no pressure – pressure’s all in your mind.

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