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Famous poker nicknames

Many of the world’s best poker players have nicknames that are used around the tables and on coverage of their games. Some are obvious – based on character traits or physical characteristics. Others however, are a little more obscure. Here we profile just a few of the most memorable.


Today with more and more people playing poker at on online casino like 32Red, it’s inevitable that more nicknames will stem from their poker site usernames. The most well-known around at the moment is Annette_15, the handle for Annette Obrestad, a Norwegian poker player who started playing online at the age of 15 – hence the choice of her username.

Anette claims never to have paid a deposit onto an online poker site; instead building her bankroll by winning at the freerolls. She’s a familiar face on the live poker circuit these days too, but her nickname has stuck.

Poker Brat

Phil Hellmuth Jr was the youngest player to win the WSOP Main Event when he won in 1989, aged 24. His nickname came about because of his infamous ability to throw a tantrum when he had bad luck at the tables. Still, it hasn’t stopped him being a successful player – he had 11 WSOP bracelets by 2007 and was inducted in the Poker Hall of Fame in the same year.


Not a nickname you’d particularly like to have, but the outfit that Phil Laak chose to wear at the poker table meant that he had a strange look of the real Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski, about him. His hoodie and sunglasses attire – the original set a fit from another poker player, Gus Hansen - has become his regular poker uniform, and the Unabomber can be spotted immediately at the tables. Born in 1972 in Dublin, Ireland, Laak now lives in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

And a couple of ‘back in the day’ players:

Nick the Greek

Nick Dandalos was Greek, but he moved to the States at a young age. As well as being called Nick the Greek, he had another nickname – the King of Gamblers. He is said to have won more than £50,000,000 through gambling. He learnt about odds when betting on the horses and moved to casino gambling in his twenties. His playing career had plenty of ups and downs and in his later years, he was playing $5 limit games in Gardena, California.

Amarillo Slim

There was nothing too mysterious about this nickname for Thomas Preston. He lived in Amarillo and was tall and skinny. He had his own nickname that he coined for himself – the World’s Greatest Gambler. He was one of the first poker superstars, winning the WSOP Main Event in 1972. He played many celebs including Richard Nixon, Mickey Rooney and Larry Flynt and was interviewed by Johnny Carson 11 times.

What about you? What would your fellow players decide to give you as a nickname, or how you would label yourself with your online poker name?

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