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Q+A Greg Raymer

The 40-year-old former patent lawyer is the World Series of Poker champion and a spokesman for

SI: What's the strangest place you've been recognized since winning in May?

Raymer: I was flying to Dublin at the beginning of July, and the lady sitting next to me on the plane was a nun. She recognized me because she saw me doing an interview on CNN the Monday after I won.

SI: Did you play some Texas Hold 'Em to pass the time?

Raymer: Not at all [laughs]. She didn't know much about poker.

SI: At the University of Missouri--Rolla you were a self-described "frat-house player." Think any of your frat brothers are out there saying to themselves, I can't believe this guy won the World Series of Poker?

Raymer: We were all terrible. There was not a single one of us who really had a clue what he was doing.

SI: You're a frugal guy. Have you splurged on anything?

Raymer: My wife got a new BMW X5.

SI: Did you learn anything as a lawyer at Pfizer that helped you in poker?

Raymer: Not too much. Being a patent attorney isn't like being a trial attorney. Most of your time is spent at the desk reading scientific articles and writing documents. It's not the kind of stuff that lends itself to improving your poker game [laughs]. If I had been a great trial attorney, the same things that helped me cross-examine a witness might help me figure out if you were bluffing or not.

SI: What's it like to realize you've won $5 million?

Raymer: I'm not sure the five million part sank in at first. Weeks later I was looking at the picture where they have me holding up, like, $100,000 in each hand. That was when it really hit me. I was holding more than my annual salary including benefits, and yet there wasn't even a noticeable dent in the stack.

--Richard Deitsch