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Newly Crowned World Poker Champion Beats 400:1 Odds

3 Jun 2004

LAS VEGAS -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, who tonight earned a record-shattering $5 million, was a 400:1 long shot in this week's grueling seven-day 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP) at the legendary Binions Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas. Online bettors began wagering on the championship over a month ago, but placed little of their own financial confidence in Raymer, a Connecticut lawyer with a penchant for displaying fossils instead of a rabbit foot during his play, favoring better-known players in odds exclusively compiled by online site, Pokertropolis (

Raymer's final two adversaries at the table late Friday night, 23-year-old David Anthony Williams (who earned $3.5 million), and Josh Arieh (earning $2.5 million) were also ranked in the bottom half with 500:1 and 400:1 chances respectively by the same online bettors. The "Fossilman" dethroned his much written about 2003 predecessor, Chris Moneymaker, who was also given poor odds (460:1) to repeat his Rocky Balboa-like win. Meanwhile, both Pokertropolis' pre-tournament favorite Johnny Chan (50:1) and Moneymaker were vanquished in the very first round.

While the tendency in recent years has trended toward newcomers and upsets, the online betting community relied heavily on the supposed favorites. Pokertropolis General Manager Jim Silvers noted the fickle nature of the game, with its ability to send even the most talented of players to the showers early: "With the luck of the draw and some well-timed opportunities, it was truly a matter of last man standing."

The almost 2600 player field was triple that of last year, overwhelming many pro players used to smaller, more focused competition. Many of the famed poker-playing celebrities like Ben Affleck (500-to-1) and Leonardo DiCaprio (425-to-1) chose not to duke it out under the limelight of ESPN's 14 dedicated camera crews in this exceptional elbow-room-only year. Celebs Tobey Maguire (415:1) and James Woods (490:1) did, however, brave the masses, losing out early in the preliminary two-day elimination rounds.

Pokertropolis' odds were compiled by Robert Turner, director of the World Card Players Association and player development manager for internationally known Bicycle Casino in Southern California.

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