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2004 WORLD SERIES OF POKER



Greg Raymer wins 1st Prize - 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event
by Greg Cavouras  


Greg "Fossilman" Raymer - 2004 WSOP Winner - Source: LasVegasVegas.com

As the Poker community congregated for the annual showdown at Binion’s, lots of big questions came up before the cards were dealt; Would the record attendance growth continue? Could the pot really be much bigger than last year’s $2.5 million? Would the established live players re-assert their hold on the game? Would the march of online players continue? Turns out the answer to all four would be yes. Attendance skyrocketed, the pot was an enormous $5 million, the top professionals were out in full force, and finally, when it was all said and done another online qualifier had taken home the big prize.

 

Greg “Fossilman” Raymer came into this tournament as a relative unknown; certainly he wasn’t considered a threat to top players like “Action” Dan Harrington, Josh Arieh, or David Williams, but he sat down at the final table and outlasted all of them. The first victim of Raymer at the final table was the very unlucky Michael McClain who had drawn a call out of Raymer. McClain held pocket aces against Raymer’s pocket 10s. Sure enough a 10 came, and McClain’s tournament was over. This was a sign of things to come, as Raymer hit draw after draw and played his hands just right, essentially having his way with the table.

 

After five hours of intense play, the table was whittled down to Raymer, who maintained his chip lead, David Williams, and Josh Arieh who was considerably short stacked. Arieh would need to make a move, and once he looked down at pocket 9’s, he moved all-in; Raymer continued his lucky streak, as his A-Q hit twice, making trip queens, and sending Arieh home.

 

With Raymer and Williams heads-up, Fossilman holds a 2 to 1 chip lead. The final hand had a ragged looking flop, with minor betting action as it came down 5-4-2. The turn brought another 2, and a $2 million bet was called. The River brought a 3rd deuce, and Raymer went all in. Holding A-4 and the middle full house, Williams called; when Raymer turned over pocket 8s, the tournament came to an end and a new champion was born.

 

Greg Raymer came into this tournament as an extremely distant longshot; he took on the best players in the business, and had the cards to back him up. The result was a confident solid player who held the chip lead at the final table from start to finish and was rewarded with a $5 million dollar payday, the largest in Poker history!
 


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