Stan’s Lists – Poker Player Nicknames Explained


[RR] “Did you know that Steve Dannenmann’s nickname is Taxman?” Roderick the Rock asked Stan.

[SS] “Of course”, Stan the Stat affirmed. “Poker Player Nicknames is another one of my favorite lists! Should’ve mentioned it earlier.”

[RR] “Such a great handle for a successful poker player. As the Beatles sang, ‘one for you, nineteen for me’. Who else is on your list?”

The Top 100 Poker Player Nicknames With Explanations

Nickname Player Explanation
Action Dan Dan Harrington Ironic nickname given his usually tight play
Amarillo Slim Thomas Preston Tall and thin, and lived in Amarillo, Texas
The Ambassador of Poker Mike Sexton Has done a lot of work to popularize poker, including television commentating for the World Poker Tour
Back to Back Layne Flack From winning consecutive Legends of Poker events in Los Angeles in 1999; a.k.a. “The Alien”
The Bald Eagle Steve Zolotow For his resemblance to the American national bird
Bird Guts Gavin Smith From his proposed professional wrestling name when his brother’s high school friends told them it would be a good profession for him; a.k.a. “Caveman”
BoostedJ Justin Smith For his love of cars (“boosted” = “turbo-charged”)
Chino David Rheem Because he looks Chinese, although he’s actually Korean-American
Chip David Reese For his ability to win most of the chips at the table
Clever Piggy Allen Cunningham Wordplay on his last name (“cunning” + “ham”)
Cowboy Hoyt Corkins Wears a cowboy hat and boots at the table; a.k.a. “Nightmare” and “Mr. Move All In”
Crazy Horse Ram Vaswani For his alternately careful and erratic playing style; a.k.a. “The Looks” from an “Esquire” magazine article
The Croc Billy Argyros Australian who wears crocodile-shaped hats and crocodile-adorned shirts
Dandy Crandell Addington Liked to wear a suit and tie at the table
Darkhorse Todd Brunson For an early tournament that he won despite being a relative unknown
Devilfish David Ulliott For the poisonous fish which can be fatal if prepared incorrectly (bestowed by Stephen Au-Yeung in 1997; “You are a devilfish, aren’t you?”)
Diamond Joe Joe Hachem Won first WPT title at the Five Diamonds Poker Classic (Bellagio)
Downtown Chad Brown Rhyme based on being born and raised in New York City
The Dragon David Pham Derived from his rail repeatedly exclaiming, “You on fire!”
The Duchess of Poker Annie Duke Wordplay on her last name
durrrr Tom Dwan Online nickname meant to help put opponents on tilt (originally used on Party Poker in 2004)
E-Dog Erick Lindgren Nicknamed in San Pablo by a Filipino player he was beating, who said, “E, you dog”
El Matador Carlos Mortensen Born in Ecuador but raised in Spain
ElkY Bertrand Grospellier Short for “Elkantar”, his RPG character (Grospellier was formerly a top WarCraft [and StarCraft] player)
Eskimo Paul Clark Looks like the eskimo on the Alaskan Airlines logo
The Finn Patrick Antonius Born and raised in Finland
The First Lady of Poker Linda Johnson For her long poker career and other work in the industry (bestowed by Mike Sexton)
The Flying Dutchman Marcel Luske Born in the Netherlands
Fordman Dennis Phillips Sold Ford trucks
Fossilman Greg Raymer Collects fossils and uses a trilobite as a card protector
Foucault Andrew Brokos Online nickname from the French philosopher, Michel Foucault, as Brokos majored in philosophy
Full Blown Tilt Greg Mueller For his explosive conduct at the table; a.k.a. “FBT” for short
Furst Out Rafe Furst Wordplay on his last name from the 2003 WSOP Main Event, when it took him only 11 minutes to become the first player to bust out
Gentleman Jack Jack Keller Ironic nickname from his days as a stock boy
Golden Boy Jamie Gold Wordplay on his last name and his youthful appearance
The Grand Old Man Johnny Moss One of the first Texas Hold ‘Em players, and winner of the first two World Series of Poker crowns
Grand Rapids Tom Tom McEvoy Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Great Dane Gus Hansen Born in Denmark
The Greek Jimmy Snyder Greek-American (born as Dimetrios Georgios Synodinos)
The Grinder Michael Mizrachi Solid, consistent player who “grinds” his way through tournaments
Happy Jeff Shulman For his positive disposition
Hot Chips Tiffany Michelle For her poker chip tricks and the “M*A*S*H” character Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan
Iceman Huck Seed For his extremely calm demeanor
Iceman Jeff Lisandro For his cold and calculating play
Isildur1 Viktor Blom Online nickname from “The Lord of the Rings” character1
Isser Peter Eastgate His real-life nickname (I don’t know what it means though); a.k.a. “Icegate”
Jennicide Jennifer Leigh From her teenage alias on hacking bulletin boards
Jesus Chris Ferguson Looks like Jesus Christ
Joan Chip Jett For the “I Love Rock and Roll” singer
Johnny World John Hennigan Supposedly will bet on anything in the world
The Kid Joe Cada Became youngest WSOP Main Event champion at age 21 in 2009
The Kid Stu Ungar Became youngest WSOP Main Event champion at age 26 in 1980 (surpassed by Phil Hellmuth in 1989) and looked even younger; a.k.a. “Stuey” and “The Comeback Kid”
Kid Poker Daniel Negreanu Became youngest WSOP bracelet winner at age 23 in 1998 (broken in 2004); also very young looking, with child-like enthusiasm for the game
The King Amir Vahedi Wordplay on his first name, which means an independent ruler or chieftain?
The Knife Martin de Knijff Wordplay on his last name for his playing style
Kwikfish Paul Wasicka Nicknamed by a frustrated online opponent
Lady Maverick Vanessa Rousso From a $25,000 buy-in tournament in which she sold off shares of herself, like in the Mel Gibson version of the movie “Maverick” (bestowed by a relative); a.k.a. “Pokerness”
Luckbox John Juanda For his apparent good fortune at cards; a.k.a. “JJ”
Mad Genius of Poker Mike Caro For his deep-thinking strategy
The Magician Antonio Esfandiari Formerly a professional magician
The Master Men Nguyen Nicknamed “The Young Master” by one of his poker students in 1991, but he retorted that he wasn’t young
The Mathematician David Sklansky For his logical, mathematical approach to the game
Miami John Cernuto Lives in Miami, Florida
Mister Cool Sammy Farha For his demeanor; often keeps an unlit cigarette in his mouth
Mixed Games Kristy Gazes For her preferred type of poker
Money Chris Moneymaker Abbreviation of his last name
The Monk Andy Black Renounced all his possessions and lived as a Buddhist monk for five years
The Mouth Mike Matusow For his loquaciousness
The Mouth from Down Under Tony Guoga For his loquaciousness; a.k.a. “Tony G”
Napoleon David Benyamine Born in Paris, France; a.k.a. Degenyamine
Noel J.J. Furlong Born on Christmas Day
Numbers Berry Johnston For his calculating play?
The Orient Express Johnny Chan Born in China; a.k.a. “The Orangeman”, as he usually has an orange with him (originally to counter the then-pervasive cigarette smoke)
The Owl Bobby Baldwin For his ability to read his opponents’ cards; with his eyeglasses, looks like an owl (possibly bestowed by Doyle Brunson)
Poker Babe Erica Schoenberg For her looks
The Poker Brat Phil Hellmuth For his immature rants, often aimed at his opponent’s perceived poor play
PokerKat Kathy Liebert Wordplay on her first name
The Prince of Poker Scotty Nguyen From his fashion style (lots of bling) and attitude; a.k.a. “The Train”
The Professor Howard Lederer For his calculated, studious approach to the game (bestowed by poker player and commentator Jesse May); a.k.a. “Bubs” (was “Bubba” before he had gastric bypass surgery)
Professor Backwards Ted Forrest For his unconventional style of play; a.k.a. “The Suicide King”, “The Hitman”, and “Spooky”
Puggy Walter Pearson From a childhood accident that disfigured his nose; a.k.a. “Puggy Wuggy”
Raptor David Benefield From his AOL Instant Messenger name that he chose when he was only ten years old; a.k.a. “Bebop86” for the anime series “Cowboy Bebop”
The Razor John Phan Wordplay on “raiser” for his sharp play (also was a fan of the Razor phone)
Robin Hood of Poker Barry Greenstein For several years, donated all his tournament winnings to charity; since 2006 has donated his net earnings instead
The Rock Andy Bloch Rhyme based on his generally tight play
Sailor Bryan Roberts Served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War
Seiborg Erik Seidel For his calculating play; a.k.a. “Sly”
The Shadow Jerry Yang Because “he was like their shadows that followed them everywhere” (bestowed by fellow players)
Shaniac Shane Schleger Wordplay on his first name plus “Maniac”
The Shark Humberto Brenes From his shark card protector
Sominex Mark Gregorich For his blandness, which will knock you out like the sleeping pill
Supernova Dario Minieri For the top status in PokerStars’ VIP program
Taxman Steve Dannenmann From his job as a CPA
Texas Dolly Doyle Brunson Born and raised in Texas; “Dolly” came from Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder’s mispronunciation of “Doyle”; a.k.a. “The Godfather of Poker”
The Tiger Woods of Poker Phil Ivey For being at the top of his profession like the golfer; a.k.a. “Poison”, wordplay on his last name, and “No Home Jerome”, for his fake ID when he played underage in Atlantic City
Tiltboy Phil Gordon From his California poker group known as the Tiltboys; a.k.a. “Tallphil”
Treetop Jack Straus 6’6″ tall former basketball player
Unabomber Phil Laak Looks like murderer Ted Kaczynski when he wears a gray sweat jacket zipped all the way up, with the hood over his head, and sunglasses hiding his eyes
Whatta Player Kenny Smith For his repeated expression “what a player”, which he would yell while waving his hat whenever he won a pot
X-22 Paul Magriel As a professional backgammon player, he played a practice tournament against himself, which player X-22 won.

Footnotes:

  1. In 2009, Blom was only identified by his handle yet was competing successfully at the highest online stakes. His real identity wasn’t revealed until 2011, after he had signed on with PokerStars.

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