Fossilman Floats Year-long Poker Backing Deal

Looking to back a former WSOP world champion on a year-long basis?  If so, 2004 main event winner Greg Raymer might want to hear from you.  Fossilman, as he’s been known for years throughout the poker world, has recently floated a crowd-funding package via poker backing site YouStake that seeks people willing to pony up anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousands to share in Raymer’s 2016 tourney wins and losses, whichever they may be.

raymerPoker backing sites have been around for several years, despite the thin but looming legal possibility that such arrangements might run afoul of securities or investment laws in one or more US states.  Most people don’t seem to mind, however, and since backing deals tend to be personal relationships for smallish stakes, authorities haven’t bothered to give the whole niche a deeper look.  Lots of players offer slices of themselves, both live and online, often with wide expectations for profit and deeply differing rules as to how any profits are to be divvied up between the player and his backers.

In other words, it’s always best to read the fine print.  And we at FlushDraw aren’t doing any endorsing of Raymer or his public backing offering; we’re just deeming it newsworthy for a couple of unusual properties.

First, it’s not every day that a former Main Event winner offers pieces of himself on backing forums.  Most such poker names are either well financed themselves or have long-standing relationships with other well-heeled poker players and gamblers that help them slide through the inevitable lean stretches that any tourney player endures.

The other thing that’s unusual is that the deal that Raymer has assembled covers the entire 2016 calendar year, instead of just one of a small handful of closely related events, such as a WSOP package deal.  Raymer laughingly blames his wife for the whole concept coming to fruition, writing:

Since I no longer receive a guaranteed source of income, my wife [Cheryl] 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!

As for the deal itself, Raymer is seeking to raise just over $100,000, which he will use to buy his way into poker action throughout the year as he tours the nation and world putting on his instructional seminars, which is one way a well-known, still-marketable pro can generate some guaranteed income.  Raymer had already chipped in 20%, or $20,000, and several of his long-term backers were already on board for another 30% ($30,000) at the time he took the rest of the backing offer public earlier today.

Poker fans wanting to join the Fossilman 2016 parade can buy in for as little as a tenth of one percent ($105), on up to five percent ($5,250) based on affordability and interest.  The prices also include a 5% YouStake processing fee.

Raymer, who plans to offer detailed monthly updates to his prospective backers, also noted that he had such backing even before his breakthrough win back in 2004.  As he wrote:

Prior to the 2004 Main Event, I had done something similar. I sold pieces of my action to a group of about 18 individuals, who bought 1-10 shares each, while I bought a much larger portion. We did this for a series of 4 consecutive 6-month periods, ending in the spring of 2004. For the first three periods, the share price went up by about 20% total. In the fourth period, the share price went up by about 6000%. Since then, I have played entirely on my own bankroll until these last two years when I again sold pieces to please Cheryl.

Interest appeared to be slow in the few hours since his public announcement, though a few fans had already joined in, pledging several hundred dollars.  It remains to be seen whether Raymer’s concept flies all the way to a sold-out state, just as it serves as a bit of a referendum on how well known and popular Fossilman is today, nearly 12 years after his triumph in Vegas.


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