A Wake Forest Police Department spokesperson said Gregory Paul Raymer, 48, was one of six men who responded to an advertisement posted by undercover police on a popular website men often seek out female prostitutes.
The men face misdemeanor charges of prostitution and attempted crimes against nature.
Raymer, nicknamed "Fossilman," is best known for winning the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event. According to Wake County records, Raymer owns a house in Wakefield valued at $1.6 million.
Raymer was easily recognizable during the 2004 tournament because he wore sunglasses with a reflective coating that looked like lizard eyes.
Raymer's attorney, Wade Smith, issued a statement to ABC11 Friday:
"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."
Another of the accused is Christopher Burell Shella, 41, who once worked as an attorney for Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum after she was arrested on murder charges in 2011.
Bond for the men was set at $1000.
Wake Forest police said the sting was part of a wider attempt to crack down on prostitution.
"The locations prostitutes choose for this type of criminal activity vary and seldom remain the same for more than a couple of days at a time which makes enforcement difficult," said Police Chief Jeff Leonard in a statement.
Also arrested in the sting were:
- Kevin Scott Konarzewski, Wake Forest, NC
- Barrett Lee Bennett, Durham, NC
- Robert Hancock, Wake Forest, NC
- Gerald Barham, Wake Forest, NC