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At the End, it's Cards, a Stare and $5 Million

31 May 2004

LAS VEGAS -- As reported by the Chicago Sun Times: ``Love briefly dared to raise its head Friday night at America's most brutal poker brawl.

``The final showdown in the 2004 World Series of Poker was barely under way when Matt the announcer strolled over to Maryann the cocktail waitress and proposed. He handed her roses and she swooned.

``...A few hours later, another of the heart's great desires burst into the room. Four grim men in black suits carrying four cardboard boxes of cold, hard cash -- $5 million in all -- paraded through the crowd like they were hoisting precious offerings for the gods -- the poker gods.

``...Two of the game's top pros duked it out with five tour regulars and a couple of Internet-trained newbies, all nine having clawed their way to the final table by defeating more than 2,500 other players in the last five days.

``And when the last multimillion-dollar pot was won, Greg "the Fossilman" Raymer, a corporate patent attorney from Connecticut who wore novelty glasses from Disneyland, was the last man standing.

``...Raymer went home with the $5 million first prize, dumped right on the poker table in crass Las Vegas style..."

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