"For every man there is something in the vocabulary
that would stick to him like a second skin.
His enemies have only to find it."
-- Ambrose Bierce
Iím pleased to report that since my last nickname column the number of colorful, descriptive nicknames has increased in the poker
world. Now instead of laboring in obscurity, a few players like
Amir "The King" Vahedi, Doug "Always There" Saab,
Phil "Poison" Ivey,
Chip "Joan" Jett,
Layne "The Alien" Flack,
Dennis "Swami" Waterman, "Country" Steve Riehle, Robert
"Rebuy Please" Williamson,
Paul "Eskimo" Clark, Brian "Four Iron"
Nadell, "Poison" Don Halpern, Doc "The Prince of Docness" Kegal, "Syracuse" Chris Tsiprailidis and Bruce
"Liveone" Levitt can hold their heads high and know they have transcended their naturally dull personalities to stamp their own
unique mark on the world. Some nicknames are self-explanatory, like Irene "Why Weren't There More Female Nicknames" Goldman and Stan
"Glad I Wasnít In Your Nickname Column" Goldstein, but due to space considerations I canít explain the origins of all these nicknames.
However, below are a few examples of how personal psychosis can be turned into an effective nickname.
Windows - Mac
Frank "The Manager" Henderson. If you ever need a small piece of paper with numbers written on it, go to Frank. He manufactures 'em.
Sometimes I try to picture his house. All I can see is a blizzard of little bits of paper with notations concerning the betting line on the
third-quarter of the Rutgers/Colgate game. Want to know what kind of odds you could get on a parlay of the coin flip on the Pro Bowl to the
over/under of the Nigeria/Finland World Cup match? Frank would know. In fact, Frank would have already made that exact bet. Twice, at least.
Another cool nickname holder, Howard "Tahoe" Andrew said of Frank: "He's older than dirt." And Tahoe should know.
"Lucky" John Juanda. In the name of his countrymen
everywhere, I tried saddling John with "Jakarta John" as a nickname, but John said "Just call me Lucky." This was when
John was sitting on my left in a tournament. On my right was Paul "Call Me Very Lucky" Ladanyi. I went home early.
Paul "Quotable" Phillips. One day "Lucky"
John Juanda said he wasnít sure he wanted to play a tournament that day. He wanted to do some socializing. Paul "Quotable" Phillips
replied: "After I bust you, youíll have plenty of time to socialize." If I could sit next to Paul every day I would never have to
worry about coming up with material for another column.
Kristy "Mixed Games" Gazes. Kristy loves mixed games like
H.O.R.S.E, H.O.S.E. and H.O.Q. She likes
shifting gears between Stud8, Omaha, Holdem and
any other games you care to play. Unfortunately for her, when she plays online there are no mixed games available. This leads to her
bouncing around like a Mexican jumping bean -- playing a round of Omaha, then a few hands of Stud, over to the Holdem, into the Stud8
for six or seven hands, back to the Omaha, different limits, different games, two games at a time, it'd make any normal personís head spin.
But not Kristy "Mixed Games" Gazes, she's in heaven.
Mark "Sominex" Gregorich. "Sominex" Gregorich plays poker with all the flair of an insurance salesman at a mortician's convention.
Markís great poker success is directly attributable to the fact that he has taken blandness to an art form. You donít believe me? Next time you
see Mark in a casino, try not to yawn. I dare you.
Among those squished at the Commerce that day by D-Train was third place finisher Toto "The Ripper" Leonidas. As we discovered last
time, The Ripper's ferociousness strikes fear into his opponents. Which brings us to... Jeff "Happy" Shulman. Possessing the combined
ferocity of Barney the Dinosaur and Winnie the Pooh, Jeff's presence at a poker table strikes unspeakable levels of calmness in the hearts of his
opponents. No poker player anywhere can cause opponents to feel more absolute tranquility, safeness, security and bliss than Jeff "Happy"
Shulman. What The Ripper does to an opponentís head is one thing, but Happy... it really should be illegal to make opponents this relaxed and content.
See also Poker Nicknames Part One, and
Poker Hand Nicknames