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Poker Player Nicknames Explained

Poker players have always had nicknames. Often they're based on where they came from or what they looked like. But many are harder to explain, so here are a hundred of the best nicknames with their etymologies.

The Top 100 Poker Player Nicknames With Explanations

Action DanDan HarringtonIronic nickname given his usually tight play.
Amarillo SlimThomas PrestonTall and thin, and lived in Amarillo, Texas.
The Ambassador of PokerMike SextonDid a lot of work to popularize poker, including television commentating for the World Poker Tour.
Back to BackLayne FlackFrom winning consecutive Legends of Poker events in Los Angeles in 1999; a.k.a. "The Alien".
The Bald EagleSteve ZolotowFor his resemblance to the American national bird.
Bird GutsGavin SmithFrom 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".
BoostedJJustin SmithFor his love of cars ("boosted" = "turbo-charged").
ChinoDavid RheemBecause he looks Chinese, although he's actually Korean-American.
ChipDavid ReeseFor his ability to win most of the chips at the table.
Clever PiggyAllen CunninghamWordplay on his last name ("cunning" + "ham").
CowboyHoyt CorkinsWears a cowboy hat and boots at the table; a.k.a. "Nightmare" and "Mr. Move All In".
Crazy HorseRam VaswaniFor his alternately careful and erratic playing style; a.k.a. "The Looks" from an "Esquire" magazine article.
The CrocBilly ArgyrosAustralian who wears crocodile-shaped hats and crocodile-adorned shirts.
DandyCrandell AddingtonLiked to wear a suit and tie at the table.
DarkhorseTodd BrunsonFor an early tournament that he won despite being a relative unknown.
DevilfishDavid UlliottFor the poisonous fish which can be fatal if prepared incorrectly (bestowed by Stephen Au-Yeung in 1997).
Diamond JoeJoe HachemWon first WPT title at the Five Diamonds Poker Classic (Bellagio).
DowntownChad BrownRhyme based on being born and raised in New York City.
The DragonDavid PhamDerived from his rail repeatedly exclaiming, "You on fire!".
The Duchess of PokerAnnie DukeWordplay on her last name.
durrrrTom DwanOnline nickname meant to help put opponents on tilt (originally used on Party Poker in 2004).
E-DogErick LindgrenNicknamed in San Pablo by a Filipino player he was beating, who said, "E, you dog".
El MatadorCarlos MortensenBorn in Ecuador but raised in Spain.
ElkYBertrand GrospellierShort for "Elkantar", his RPG character (Grospellier was formerly a top WarCraft [and StarCraft] player).
EskimoPaul ClarkLooks like the Eskimo on the Alaskan Airlines logo.1
The FinnPatrick AntoniusBorn and raised in Finland.
The First Lady of PokerLinda JohnsonFor her long poker career and other work in the industry (bestowed by Mike Sexton).
The Flying DutchmanMarcel LuskeBorn in the Netherlands.
FordmanDennis PhillipsSold Ford trucks.
FossilmanGreg RaymerCollects fossils and uses a trilobite as a card protector.
FoucaultAndrew BrokosOnline nickname from the French philosopher, Michel Foucault, as Brokos majored in philosophy.
Full Blown TiltGreg MuellerFor his explosive conduct at the table; a.k.a. "FBT" for short.
Furst OutRafe FurstWordplay 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 JackJack KellerIronic nickname from his days as a stock boy.
Golden BoyJamie GoldWordplay on his last name and his youthful appearance.
The Grand Old ManJohnny MossOne of the first Texas Hold 'Em players, and winner of the first two World Series of Poker crowns.
Grand Rapids TomTom McEvoyBorn in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Great DaneGus HansenBorn in Denmark.
The GreekJimmy SnyderGreek-American (born as Dimetrios Georgios Synodinos).
The GrinderMichael MizrachiSolid, consistent player who "grinds" his way through tournaments.
HappyJeff ShulmanFor his positive disposition.
Hot ChipsTiffany MichelleFor her poker chip tricks and the "M*A*S*H" character Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan.
IcemanHuck SeedFor his extremely calm demeanor.
IcemanJeff LisandroFor his cold and calculating play.
Isildur1Viktor BlomOnline nickname from "The Lord of the Rings" character2 .
IsserPeter EastgateHis real-life nickname (I don't know what it means though); a.k.a. "Icegate".
JennicideJennifer LeighFrom her teenage alias on hacking bulletin boards.
JesusChris FergusonLooks like Jesus Christ.
JoanChip JettFor the "I Love Rock and Roll" singer.
Johnny WorldJohn HenniganFriend called him that because he was a world-class pool and poker player who traveled around the world.
The KidJoe CadaBecame youngest WSOP Main Event champion at age 21 in 2009.
The KidStu UngarBecame 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 PokerDaniel NegreanuBecame youngest WSOP bracelet winner at age 23 in 1998 (broken in 2004); also very young looking, with child-like enthusiasm for the game.
The KingAmir VahediWordplay on his first name, which means an independent ruler or chieftain.
The KnifeMartin de KnijffWordplay on his last name for his playing style.
KwikfishPaul WasickaNicknamed by a frustrated online opponent.
Lady MaverickVanessa RoussoFrom the 2006 Five-Star World Poker Classic $25,000 buyin WPT Championship 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".
LuckboxJohn JuandaFor his apparent good fortune at cards; a.k.a. "JJ".
Mad Genius of PokerMike CaroFor his deep-thinking strategy.
The MagicianAntonio EsfandiariFormerly a professional magician.
The MasterMen NguyenNicknamed "The Young Master" by one of his poker students in 1991, but he retorted that he wasn't young.
The MathematicianDavid SklanskyFor his logical, mathematical approach to the game.
MiamiJohn CernutoUsed to live in Miami, Florida and got the nickname when he was paged in the Stardust with "Line 1 phone call for Miami John Baby Doll".3
Mister CoolSammy FarhaFor his demeanor; often keeps an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
Mixed GamesKristy GazesFor her preferred type of poker.
MoneyChris MoneymakerAbbreviation of his last name.
The MonkAndy BlackRenounced all his possessions and lived as a Buddhist monk for five years.
The MouthMike MatusowFor his loquaciousness.
The Mouth from Down UnderTony GuogaFor his loquaciousness; a.k.a. "Tony G".
NapoleonDavid BenyamineBorn in Paris, France; a.k.a. "Degenyamine".
NoelJ.J. FurlongBorn on Christmas Day.
NumbersBerry JohnstonFor his calculating play(?).
The Orient ExpressJohnny ChanBorn in China; a.k.a. "The Orangeman", as he usually has an orange with him (originally to counter the then-pervasive cigarette smoke).
The OwlBobby BaldwinFor his ability to read his opponents' cards; with his eyeglasses, looks like an owl (possibly bestowed by Doyle Brunson).
Poker BabeErica SchoenbergFor her looks.
The Poker BratPhil HellmuthFor his immature rants, often aimed at his opponent's perceived poor play.
PokerKatKathy LiebertWordplay on her first name.
The Prince of PokerScotty NguyenQueens Poker Classic tournament employee Carol Robles bestowed the name for his fashion style (lots of bling) and attitude; a.k.a. "The Train".
The ProfessorHoward LedererFor 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 BackwardsTed ForrestFor his unconventional style of play; a.k.a. "The Suicide King", "The Hitman", and "Spooky".
PuggyWalter PearsonFrom a childhood accident that disfigured his nose; a.k.a. "Puggy Wuggy".
RaptorDavid BenefieldFrom 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 RazorJohn PhanWordplay on "raiser" for his sharp play (also was a fan of the Razor phone).
Robin Hood of PokerBarry GreensteinFor several years, donated all his tournament winnings to charity; since 2006 has donated his net earnings instead.
The RockAndy BlochRhyme based on his generally tight play.
SailorBryan RobertsServed in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War.
SeiborgErik SeidelFor his calculating play; a.k.a. "Sly".
The ShadowJerry YangBecause "he was like their shadows that followed them everywhere" (bestowed by fellow players).
ShaniacShane SchlegerWordplay on his first name plus "Maniac".
The SharkHumberto BrenesFrom his shark card protector.
SominexMark GregorichFor his blandness, which will knock you out like the sleeping pill.
SupernovaDario MinieriFor the top status in PokerStars' VIP program.
TaxmanSteve DannenmannFrom his job as a CPA.
Texas DollyDoyle BrunsonBorn 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 PokerPhil IveyFor 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.
TiltboyPhil GordonFrom his California poker group known as the Tiltboys; a.k.a. "Tallphil".
TreetopJack Straus6'6" tall former basketball player.
UnabomberPhil LaakLooks 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 PlayerKenny SmithFor his repeated expression "what a player", which he would yell while waving his hat whenever he won a pot.
X-22Paul MagrielAs a professional backgammon player, he played a practice tournament against himself, which player X-22 won.