It’s been a very rough week for former World Series of Poker champions, with 2007 Champion Jerry Yang’s tax troubles coming to light and 2004 Champion Greg Raymer finding his name and mug-shot plastered across the Internet after getting snared in a North Carolina prostitution sting. The fallout is now beginning for Raymer, as it was announced on Wednesday that he would be stepping down from the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) Board of Directors for the foreseeable future.
“Earlier today, members of the Board of Directors of the Poker Players Alliance had a conversation with Board member Greg Raymer. Mr. Raymer requested, and the rest of the PPA Board accepted, that he be given a formal leave of absence as member of the PPA Board.
The recent and unfortunate news regarding Greg has led him to decide that it is best for the PPA that he step away from his position on the Board while he deals with his legal and personal issues. The Board agrees with this decision and views it to be in the best interest of the organization. We are at a critical juncture in the fight for poker rights and we have to make sure side issues do not obscure focus from the main issue.
Effective today, Greg is no longer on the PPA Board of Directors. However, he is eligible for future reinstatement should the Board deem it to be in the interest of the organization. For many years, Greg has served in a distinguished manner on our Board and has been a stalwart advocate for the poker community. We thank Greg for his service and we wish his family and him the best as they deal with this personal situation.”
Raymer has been one of the faces of the pro-online-poker movement since the PPA was founded back in 2005, and has made numerous appearances on cable news channels presenting the pro-online gaming side of the argument, as well as explaining Black Friday to the masses. In addition to sitting on the PPA Board of Directors, Greg also sat on the FairPlay USA Advisory Board, and up until 2012 was a sponsored poker pro on Team PokerStars.
The former Foxwoods regular, worked as a patent attorney before his 2004 World Series of Poker win (netting the longtime poker player $5 million) and Greg has been one of the most successful and well-respected players in the game of poker throughout the past decade. But Greg wasn’t simply a talking-head for the poker industry, as his recent results and historic run on the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) show. Greg won four HPT events in 2012, booking wins in July, September, October, and November, and became the first player with more than two HPT titles, and the first player to win two HPT events in a single season on his way to the tour’s Player of the Year award.
Raymer has yet to speak publicly regarding the arrest but did issue a statement via his attorney, Wade M. Smith:
“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.”
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