Greg “Fossilman” Raymer Selling Pieces of His 2016 Action



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2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Greg “Fossilman” Raymer is looking to make 2016 a banner year at the poker tables. And if you want, you can place a bet on him and sweat him the entire way. Raymer has posted a staking package on the site YouStake.com in which he seeks at least $100,000 in backing for his poker play this calendar year.

Staking (or backing as they are also known) deals can get complicated, but Raymer has kept it simple. He is putting up $20,000 of his own bankroll and is inviting anyone else who would like, the “investors,” to put up the rest. He will keep 40 percent of any winnings he earns and the investors will divvy up the remaining 60 percent proportionally based on the amounts invested.

Raymer gives the example of finishing the year up $400. If that is the case, he would receive $160 and the investors would split $240. Taking it a step further, if there are three investors and they each contribute equally, they would each receive $80.

Players can purchase “shares” in Raymer’s action in $105 increments, which equates to a 0.10 percent stake. $100 of that portion goes to Raymer’s bankroll, while the other $5 is a fee taken by YouStake.

It is a common practice for poker players, even the most successful ones, to sell pieces of their action to investors. Poker, particularly live tournament poker, can get expensive, and bringing on backers to shoulder some of the buy-in load is a way for players to not only afford to play more than they might otherwise be able to, but also buffer some of the downside risk, should they lose.

Raymer gives his reasons for posting the staking package:

Since I no longer receive a guaranteed source of income, my wife has become more nervous about poker.  Although I have a 23 year track record of winning results in both tournaments and cash games, she is not a poker player, and is worried that I will start losing.  And without a paycheck to immediately recoup any losses, she gets anxious.  So, to make her happy, I have chosen to sell off a big piece of my bankroll, so that my downside risk is a lot more limited (and my upside potential, but try explaining that to her, lol).  Even though this move is costing me EV, it is worth it because it provides marriage EV.  Happy wife, happy life!

While some in the poker community believe this is Raymer’s way of saying he’s “busto,” this is not necessarily the case. He could really just want to limit his risk of ruin and is voluntarily limiting his upside in order to do so.

He added that he sold pieces of his action in 2004 when he won the WSOP Main Event, so that was an investment that certainly worked out very well for his backers. After that, he used only his own bankroll until two years ago, when he also sold pieces to appease his wife.

Interested investors should understand that it is entirely possible that Raymer could lose it all and thus the return on investment would be zero. He could also win, but not enough for backers to recoup their investments. He himself noted on Two Plus Two that 2015 was his worst year ever, as the entire bankroll was lost a few weeks ago.

According to the counter on YouStake, Raymer has received $55,335 pledges towards his $100,000 goal, but $20,000 is from Raymer himself, $30,000 is from backers he already had lined up, and $2,500 is from a “YouStake discount,” so there has not been much interest from the poker community yet.

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