Stan’s Lists – Favorite Poker Quotes

[RR] “What other lists do you have?” Roderick the Rock continued.

[SS] “Well, there are a bunch of useful if boring ones”, Stan the Stat responded.

[SS] “Oh, I know another good one: my favorite poker quotes. Some of these quotes aren’t specific to Texas Hold ‘Em, but they certainly all apply to the game:”

Person Profession Year Quote
Henry Fonda As Wyatt Earp in My Darling Clementine 1946 Sir, I really like poker. Every hand has its different problems.
Herbert Yardley Cryptologist 1957 A card player should learn that once the money is in the pot, it isn’t his any longer.
Jackie Robinson1 Baseball Player 1972 Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.
Crandell Addington Poker Pro ~1978 Limit poker is a science, but no-limit is an art. In limit you are shooting at a target. In no-limit, the target comes alive and shoots back at you.
Johnny Moss Poker Pro 1983 Hold’em is to stud and draw what chess is to checkers.
Anthony Holden Poker Pro 1990 Whether he likes it or not, a man’s character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other poker players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in poker, as in life.
Rick Bennet Author, in King of a Small World 1995 In the long run there’s no luck in poker, but the short run is longer than most people know.
Matt Damon As Mike McDermott in Rounders2 1998 Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.
Al Alvarez Author, in Poker: Bets, Bluffs, and Bad Beats 2001 Hold’em is a game of calculated aggression: If your cards are good enough for you to call a bet, they are good enough to raise with.
Phil Hellmuth3 Poker Pro 2005 Honey, honey, I was supposed to go broke on that hand, honey. But they forgot one thing: I can dodge bullets, baby. {Said after making a good laydown in the WSOP Main Event}


  1. Somehow, “Jackie Robinson” isn’t a popular Hand Nickname. If you said you just folded “Jackie Robinson”, most baseball fans would know you held the Four-Two (Major League Baseball officially retired Robinson’s 42 for every team in 1997, and the last player allowed to wear it, Mariano Rivera, will retire this week).
  2. You can’t play in a poker tournament without hearing at least one Rounders quote. More than a few other good poker quotes can be found in IMDB’s list of quotes.
  3. Phil Hellmuth may ham it up for the TV cameras, but he sure is quotable.

Full Tilt Poker Bankroll Reimbursement

[RR] “One term I would have added to your list of poker terms: Dead Money”, Roderick the Rock suggested. “It’s money put into the pot by players who have since folded, or it can mean a weak player.”

[SS] “It also describes my Full Tilt Poker account balance”, Stan the Stat bemoaned.

[RR] “You didn’t get an email from them this week about getting your money back?”

[SS] “Nope. This is really happening?”

[RR] “Yep. You can file your claim now (note that you may need to add a zero in front of your petition number). Even if you didn’t receive an email, you can refile your petition at the web site (click File a Petition for Remission on the left sidebar then tap the “Create a New Petition” button near the bottom).”

[SS] “I guess I need to refile then. Maybe I entered the wrong email address or something.”

[RR] “You have until November 16, 2013, so don’t worry too much about it yet.”

[SS] “So that took six months. Probably another six months to see the money. Any word on whether the U.S. government will be looking into tax issues?”

[RR] “I don’t think they’re going through Full Tilt’s records, but this money will be treated as income by default. Different rules apply for pros and amateurs, but I suspect many players will be doing battle with the IRS over this next year.”


Stan’s Lists – Texas Hold ‘Em Terms

[SS] “When I first started getting into Texas Hold ‘Em, I watched a lot of shows on TV (and there were a ton1 then). I remember, in one of the first episodes I ever saw, they used a term that would remain one of my favorites even until today: ‘double belly buster gutshot straight draw'”, Stan the Stat remarked.

[RR] “That sure is a mouthful… but we don’t really have a better phrase for an 8-out straight draw where you have two holes in a sequence of seven denominations”, Roderick the Rock added.

[SS] “You can just call it a double belly buster; in the early broadcasts they went out of their way to explain everything. You can also call it a double gutter, but I don’t like the negative bowling connotation. I liked the term ‘double belly buster’ so much that it became the first item on my list of:”

Favorite Texas Hold ‘Em Terms (Top 10 sorted alphabetically)

  • Counterfeited: When a made hand loses value because of additional board cards. One common case is when a player has two middle pairs and the board pairs. E.g., J9 plus AJ93 loses to A2 when a 3 lands on the river. Another scenario is when a player with a small pocket pair ends up with three pairs, relegating the hole cards to weak kicker status.
  • Dominated: When a weaker hand has one matching hole card with a stronger hand. E.g. A5 is dominated by AJ preflop, but if the flop is Q53, the domination is reversed.
  • Double Belly Buster: An 8-out straight draw of the form A-CDE-G, such as J9875, where any Ten or any Six completes the straight.
  • Hero: In some hand history formats, the name given to the main character in a hand. Unrelated to a Hero Call, where a player calls a river bet with a likely inferior hand, hoping to pick off a bluff.
  • Hijack Seat: The position to the right of the cutoff, which is the position to the right of the button. Tommy Angelo coined this term when he noticed that frequent blind stealing had progressed from the button to the cutoff to the hijack.
  • Hit by the Deck: A run of fortunate cards for a player, either with good hole cards or good community cards. Also called God Mode.
  • Idiot Straight: The lowest possible straight, such as holding a Nine-Eight on a QJT board.
  • Rainbow: Three different suits on the flop or, less commonly, four different suits on the turn.
  • Squeeze Play: A preflop in-position reraise after a raise and a call, squeezing the initial raiser between the reraiser and the caller. If the raiser folds, the caller then faces the prospect of playing the hand out of position.
  • Tourist: A weak player (probably from out-of-town vacationers gambling in Las Vegas). Also called a donkey, fish, pigeon, etc.


  1. Poker is a card game, not a sport, but ESPN still shows a lot of poker (okay, the ‘E’ stands for Entertainment), including the World Series of Poker Main Event each year. CBS Sports, Fox Sports, and Speed air some World Poker Tour events. The Heartland Poker Tour can be found occasionally as it syndicates shows. NBC used to air “Poker After Dark” and still annually broadcasts its Heads-Up Championship. It’s a game but not a game show, but that didn’t stop the Game Show Network from showing poker until 2011. Even Bravo and the Travel Channel tried to cash in on Hold ‘Em’s popularity but gave up (in 2006 and 2007 respectively).

    Here’s an updated list of poker shows on U.S. television.

Related Links:


Stan’s Lists – Hand Nicknames

[SS] “Did you guys ever collect baseball cards as a kid?” Stan the Stat asked, seemingly out of context.

[RR] “Sure. I tried to collect every single Topps card issued one year, but it was pretty hopeless. I had seven cards of Kurt Bevacqua1 winning the bubble gum blowing contest2 but was still missing my favorite player, Carlton Fisk”, Roderick the Rock replied. “Just a little frustrating.”

[SS] “Topps started selling complete sets in 1982,3 which took all the fun out of it.”

[LL] “No rock-hard sticks of bubble gum in the sets though”, Leroy the Lion noted sadly.

[SS] “I collected baseball, basketball, football, and even hockey cards.”

[RR] “I’m sure I still have my Charlie’s Angel’s trading cards in a shoebox covered with Wacky Packs in the attic somewhere.”

[SS] “Well, a few years ago, I started collecting hole card nicknames, and I thought I finally had the first complete set ever assembled, but it turns out that Wikipedia beat me to it.”

All 91 Starting Hold ‘Em Hands With Nicknames4

  • AA – Pocket Rockets; Bullets; American Airlines; Alan Alda {“M*A*S*H” actor}; Batteries
  • AK – Big Slick {“Big Slick in a Suit” if suited}; Santa Barbara {site of a famous oil slick in 1969}; Anna Kournikova {“looks great but never wins” according to Vince Van Patten}
  • AQ – Big Chick; Walking Back to Houston; Doyle Brunson {ironic name as he prefers not to play it}; Antony & Cleopatra
  • AJ – Blackjack; Ace with winning kicker; Rockette; Ajax
  • AT – Johnny Moss {possibly because he started playing poker at age 10}
  • A9 – Chris Ferguson {won final hand of the 2000 WSOP Championship event with this against T.J. Cloutier’s AQ}; Jesus {Ferguson’s nickname}
  • A8 – Dead Man’s Hand {The actual hand Wild Bill Hickock had when Jack McCall shot him was two pairs, Aces over Eights}
  • A7 – Slapshot {hockey stick 7 hitting a puck ace}
  • A6 – Tennessee Ernie Ford {singer of the song “Sixteen Tons”}
  • A5 – High Five
  • A4 – Transvestite {4 looks like a second ace but isn’t one}
  • A3 – Ashtray; Baskin Robbins {ice cream chain boasts 31 flavors}
  • A2 – Hunting Season {bullet plus duck}
  • KK – Cowboys; King Kong; Kangaroos; Ace Magnets {the hand loses value if an ace hits the board}
  • KQ – Marriage (Mixed Marriage if unsuited; Divorce if it doesn’t hold up); Royal Couple (if suited)
  • KJ – Kojak; King John; Tucson Monster; Harry Potter {from the initials of author J.K. Rowling}; People who need people
  • KT – Katie; Big Al {Wisconsin poker player “Big Al” Emerson}
  • K9 – Fido; What a Dog; Unit; Canine; Saw Mill
  • K8 – Kokomo; Kate
  • K7 – Columbia River {King Seven [Salmon]: river is famous for its salmon runs}
  • K6 – Kicks
  • K5 – Seattle Special {Seattle TV channel 5 based in King county, Washington}
  • K4 – Fork {“4K”}
  • K3 – Commander Crab; King Crab; Alaska Hand; Sizzler {King Crab specials at restaurant}
  • K2 – Big Fritz (if suited) {German poker player Andreas Fritz}; Donald {Donald Duck}
  • QQ – Canadian Rockets; Canadian Aces; Siegfried & Roy; Ladies; Jailhouse Rock; Flower Girls; Big Pair; Dolly Parton; Hilton Sisters
  • QJ – OJ {It’s a killer}; Maverick {The “Maverick” TV show’s theme song says, “Livin’ on jacks and queens. Maverick is a legend of the west.”}; Oedipus (or Oedipus Rex) {Greek story of incestuous mother-son relationship}; Pinochle {specifically, the Q of spades and J of diamonds meld from the card game Pinochle}
  • QT – Robert Varkonyi {won 2002 WSOP Championship with QT, making a boat over Julian Gardner’s flush}; Quint {sound}; Goolsby {Texas gambler}
  • Q9 – Quinine {sounds like the early anti-malarial drug}
  • Q8 – Kuwait
  • Q7 – Computer Hand {roughly average hand}
  • Q6 – PB&J {Peanut Butter and Jelly}
  • Q5 – Granny Mae {granny (queen) plus May (fifth month)}
  • Q4 – Housework {answer to the joke, “What’s a queen for?”}
  • Q3 – Ktara {a beginner who got stacked with only bottom pair}
  • Q2 – Daisy {Daisy Duck}
  • JJ – Fishhooks; Hooks; Jaybirds; One-Eyed Jacks; Disabled Veterans
  • JT – Justin Timberlake
  • J9 – Scotty Nguyen {Scotty Nguyen won the 1998 WSOP with this hand when the board came 89988 and induced a call from Kevin McBride with the memorable line, “You call this one and it’s all over, baby”}
  • J8 – Jeffrey Dahmer {cannibal ate Jack}
  • J7 – Jack Daniel’s {Old No. 7 whiskey}
  • J6 – Jim Bechtel {Bechtel won the 1993 WSOP with this when his jack was high}; Railroad Hand {a moving train sounds like a repeated “Jacks and Sixes”}
  • J5 – Motown; Jackson Five
  • J4 – Flat Tire {what a jack is for}
  • J3 – Lumberjack {a Tree and a Jack}
  • J2 – Heckle and Jeckle {Two jays (cartoon birds)}
  • TT – Dimes; Tension
  • T9 – Countdown {10, 9, 8, …}
  • T8 – Tetris; Golden Dan
  • T7 – Split {7-10 split in bowling}; Bowling Hand
  • T6 – Sweet {Sweet Sixteen}
  • T5 – F&W Woolworth’s; Five and Dime; Merfs {draw poker game with tens and fives wild}
  • T4 – Broderick Crawford {star of the 1955-1959 TV show “Highway Patrol” who said, “10-4”}; Convoy {pop song with CB slang}; Good Buddy; Over and Out; Roger That
  • T3 – Fast Connection {T3 telecommunications connection}; Weinberg
  • T2 – Texas Dolly; Doyle Brunson {won both 1976 & 1977 WSOP Championship with T2}
  • 99 – Popeye’s; Phil Hellmuth {won 1989 World Series of Poker Main Event with this hand}; 99; German Virgin; Barbara Feldon {Agent 99 in “Get Smart” television show; Anne Hathaway played the character in the 2008 movie}, Wayne Gretzky {NHL player’s uniform number}
  • 98 – Oldsmobile {car model}
  • 97 – Persian Carpet Ride {Iranian poker pro Antonio Esfandiari’s favorite hand}
  • 96 – Railroad; Joe Bernstein {poker pro}
  • 95 – Dolly Parton {from her movie and song “Nine to Five”}; Hard Working Man
  • 94 – Joe Montana Banana {Hall of Fame quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers}
  • 93 – Jack Benny {comedian joked about always being 39 years old}
  • 92 – Montana Banana {Joe Montana led the San Francisco 49ers on a 92-yard game-winning drive in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XXIII}
  • 88 – Snowmen (or Pocket Snowmen); Two Fat Ladies; Racetracks; Piano Keys {number of keys on a standard piano}; Little Oldsmobile {car model smaller than the 98}
  • 87 – RPM {original 10-inch vinyl record speed was 78 r.p.m.}
  • 86 – Henry Bowen {Texas gambler}
  • 85 – Finky Dink
  • 84 – Orwell {George Orwell wrote the novel “1984”}
  • 83 – Most feared hand in Holdem; Sven; Raquel Welch {actress claims to always be 38 years old}
  • 82 – Tadpole {what the duck ate}
  • 77 – Sunset Strip; Saturn; Mullets; Walking Sticks
  • 76 – Union Oil {gas station Union 76}; Trombones {song “76 Trombones” from the Broadway musical “Music Man”}
  • 75 – Heinz {57 varieties once claimed by food company}
  • 74 – Cambodian Big Slick
  • 73 – Hachem {Joseph Hachem won the 2005 World Series main event with 7c3s, flopping a straight with 4d5d6h}
  • 72 – Beer Hand {time for a beer}
  • 66 – Cherries {shape of the fruit}; Route 66; Kicks {rhymes with 66 in “Route 66” song}
  • 65 – Ken Warren {poker writer who bestowed his own nickname in a book}; Lawrence Taylor {NFL Hall of Fame linebacker who wore #56}
  • 64 – The Rabbit {Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist who hit a lot of 6’s and 4’s}; Gilchrist
  • 63 – Jimmy Summerfield {poker tournament director}; Blocky {his nickname}; Spanish Inquisition {“Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition” from Monty Python}
  • 62 – Ainsworth {British poker player Ron Ainsworth, known to play this}; Cowboy Wolford {poker player Byron “Cowboy” Wolford, known to play this}
  • 55 – Presto {Hold ‘Em analogy to being dealt 21 in blackjack due to stories of the hand winning in the newsgroup}; Speed Limit
  • 54 – Colt .45; Jesse James {may have been killed by a Colt .45}; Moneymaker {Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 WSOP Main Event with this hand}
  • 53 – Bully Johnson {poker player, described as laid back and quiet by Doyle Brunson, played this hand despite preflop raise and caught a straight on the flop to win against trip aces}
  • 52 – Quarter; Two Bits
  • 44 – Canadian Presto {see Presto}; Diana Dors {English actress whose name rhymes with “All the Fours” (originally a term from Bingo, which she played and called}; Magnum; Colt .44; Sailboats; Obama {Barack Obama is the 44th U.S. President}
  • 43 – Waltz {dance in 3/4 time (three beats of quarter notes per measure)}
  • 42 – Lumberman’s Hand {two by four pieces of wood}; Grump {favorite hand of Poker Grump blogger Bob Woolley}
  • 33 – Crabs; City Park {Two Threes [Trees]}; Treys
  • 32 – Hooter Hand; Mississippi Slick; Polish Big Slick; Can of Corn; Ice {water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit}; Jordan {Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls uniform number was 23}
  • 22 – Ducks {shape of the animal}; Pocket Swans {ditto}; Deuces

[SS] “I tried to find the reason behind every nickname, but I’m still stumped by some of them. Like, I know Joe Bernstein was a poker player who was more famous for being one of the first blackjack card counters, but what does he have to do with the Nine-Six?”


  1. The card was selling for a dollar on Amazon.
  2. Watch the finals of the contest on YouTube.
  3. Topps actually first sold complete factory sets in 1974 through the J.C. Penney mail order catalog, but it was a one-time deal.
  4. The list can also be found sorted by nickname.