After years spent as one of the original members of Team PokerStars, 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer has found himself out of a job. According to a pair of Twitter posts by fellow pro player Kathy Liebert, the move comes as a response to cost cutting measures at the company.
“I heard that PokerStars was cutting many of their Team Pros’ compensation. Take it or leave it. Greg Raymer left it… I think it’s a bad business decision to cut their pay, but most won’t have a better offer, so they stay.”
Rumors of the action first broke, as one would expect, over a game of cards. While sitting together at a PokerStars table, sponsored pro Pat Pezzin asked Fossilman why he didn’t have a red star next to his name.
“Long story,” replied Raymer. “Call me if you’d like.”
So, for now, it appears as if the former champ has moved on from his perch at the world’s largest poker site. In a later post on the TwoPlusTwo forums, Raymer had this to say:
“There has been a lot of discussion about my representation of PokerStars, and it is true that right now I am not representing them. In the near future, I will have a more detailed statement discussing this situation, but I have no further comment at this time. For those of you who have been reading about and discussing this situation, I appreciate all of the positive comments I have received. It is very gratifying to hear so many nice things from so many good people, and I am touched by your support.”
Further speculation on TwoPlusTwo has gone so far as to say that the cost cutting could be an attempt by PokerStars to clear their books for the arrival of Phil Hellmuth, should he sign with the company. While this is a bit far fetched, it’s clear that PokerStars is committed to redirecting their finances somewhere.
As a key member of the Poker Players Alliance, Raymer has been a tireless crusader for the rights of pro’s and amateurs alike. Almost universally revered as a class act, it will be interesting to see if Fossilman signs another sponsorship contract.