Greg Raymer often gets grouped together with Chris Moneymaker. Both players maneuvered through huge fields to take down the World Series of Poker, Chris Moneymaker in 2003, and Greg Raymer in 2004. There are a lot of people who think these two players are similar: that both are lucky players that qualified online and took down the World Series of Poker.
Watch the 2003 World Series of Poker. Chris Moneymaker got UNBELIEVABLY lucky a number of times to win the tournament. All-in with pocket eights preflop versus pocket Aces? Spikes an eight. All-in against Phil Ivey with trips versus Ivey's Full House? An Aces comes on the river and gives Moneymaker a better full house. Moneymaker was lucky to win, and hasn't really been heard of since. I would doubt that anyone would argue that Moneymaker is a solid poker player. However Greg Raymer..
Raymer certainly was lucky to win the World Series of Poker in 2004. You can not win a week long poker tournament and not get lucky sometimes. However, Raymer is a highly skilled poker player who has the respect of most of his peers. Raymer followed up his 2004 victory by going deep into the 2005 tournament, finishing up 25th out of thousands of people. Raymer received a standing ovation when he was dispatched from that tournament. Why? Cause people respect him as a player and because he is a great ambassador of the game.
It seems as though anytime Raymer logs onto Poker Stars and plays one of the big tournaments there, he does well. Just this past weekend, he took second in the $1050 tournament that was going down. Raymer took down over 180k for coming in second, and pretty much dominated the tournament from about 200 players left right until they got heads-up. Raymer accumulates chips like no other, and is almost unbeatable when he gets a big stack.
Moneymaker was a fluke. Raymer? No way, my guess is that you will see him take down a number of tournaments in the future. Don't be surprised to see him go deep into the World Series of Poker again in 2006.
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