Former WSOP Champions having a bad week

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 15, 2013 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Greg RaymerA couple of days ago it was 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jerry Yang who was the focus of the poker world’s social media gossip when the IRS featured a number of pieces of Yang’s jewelry including his WSOP bracelet were put up for auction, along with the revelation that Yang owes over $500,000 in back taxes. Now just days later it’s 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Greg Raymer who is garnering some unwanted attention after he was arrested in North Carolina in a prostitution sting that ensnared Raymer and five other individuals who answered the ad.

You can read more about Jerry Yang’s troubles with the IRS here:

The prostitution story was big enough to be picked-up by national news outlets as well as the likes of TMZ, especially when the early reports listed it as a “Male Prostitution Ring” – these reports proved to be erroneous and were later corrected. According to local police, Raymer (as well as the five other men) responded to an ad posted by undercover police “on a website often used by prostitutes” and when he showed up at the specified location was arrested. According to Police Chief Jeffrey Leonard, “… we conducted the operation at a local hotel with its full cooperation. We are not aware of this type of criminal activity ever occurring at the hotel. Our officers selected the hotel for the undercover operation at random.”

Raymer was released on a $1,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on April 18. Through his attorney, Wade M. Smith of Raleigh, North Carolina, Greg Raymer issued the following statement:

“Mr. Raymer is very sorry for this lapse in judgment. He regrets deeply the pain he has caused his family, friends and fans. Mr. Raymer is grateful for the many expressions of support he has received.”

While soliciting a prostitute is a crime that many people think shouldn’t even be a crime (quite a few well known celebrities have faced the same charges), the arrest will likely damage Raymer’s brand, as he was one of the voices for online poker legislation in recent years and sits on the Poker Players Alliance Board of Directors as well as the Board of Directors for Fairplay USA. Hopefully the arrest and minor charge doesn’t tarnish his legacy and Greg can continue to be a voice in the poker community.

On an even lighter note, there actually may be a Main Event curse developing, considering the trials and tribulations recent WSOP champions have faced. Besides Yang and Raymer, in December 2011 Jonathan Duhamel, the 2010 WSOP Champion, was beaten and robbed at his home. After winning the 2006 WSOP Main Event Jamie Gold has been sued and seen his fortunes come and go. And then there is 2008 WSOP Champion Peter Eastgate, who quit poker and developed a serious sports-betting problem before righting the ship.



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