As is the way of the modern world, it is now the social network sites that possess the first breaking news stories rather than the press agencies. This was certainly the case with this peculiar story which suggested that Team PokerStars Pro member Greg Raymer had departed from the leading site with immediate effect. Fellow professional player Kathy Liebert broke the news on her Twitter page claiming that an offer of a ‘take it or leave it’ pay cut from PokerStars resulted in Raymer’s departure.
It is a rumor that has yet to be confirmed by either of the involved parties but many believe there to be a certain amount of truth to it. Raymer’s red star has been removed, as have all images of the 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion, from the site. When questioned by a fellow friend and professional, Pat Pezzin, Raymer shrugged off the inquisition by claiming it to be a ‘long story’. Raymer’s attitude and the site's actions certainly seem to suggest that something has happened and as far as the immediate signs can translate, it has concluded with Raymer and PokerStars parting ways.
If the rumor is true it will bring more controversy to the site, which suffered the ignominy of another Team PokerStars Pro leaving last year. Peter Eastgate became disillusioned with poker and quit the game altogether. More interestingly is that the site has requested a pay cut from its Pro members shortly after going all out to bring on board 2010 WSOP Main Event Champion, Jonathan Duhamel, and the enigmatic man of the moment, Isildur1, aka Viktor Blom. Some feel they are suffering at the expense of getting Duhamel and Blom onto the site. Whether all Team PokerStars Pro members were asked to take a pay cut or whether a select few individuals were chosen remains to be seen. Raymer had not exactly set the poker world alight in recent years having gained the majority of his $7m earnings through his 2004 WSOP Main Event victory. However, he was still considered to be a top player having achieved a final table placing at the Caribbean Adventure tournament.
Whatever happened, it seems that there is no real love lost between Raymer and PokerStars. It is a bit suspect that neither has confirmed the end of their relationship which suggests negotiations might be ongoing. However, having just signed Duhamel and Blom it remains to be seen if the site would actually care about losing Raymer. He will be sorely missed by those who have loved his involvement in the site since 2004. Hopefully, both sides can come to an amicable agreement and there is no irreparable damage done.