Can The Right Poker Screen Name Give You An Edge?
Analysing two funny poker nicks that became household names as the player behind them rose to high stakes fame - durrrr and OMGClayAiken. How did their handles help them at the tables? Will IDropDeuces or LiquorNPoker be the next nosebleeds crushers? Do screen names give you an edge?
In interviews Dwan has stated he couldn't think of a sensible name to use, and thought 'durrr' would tilt his opponents. It must have paid off as Dwan worked his way up from low limit games to the highest stakes in online poker, $500/$1,000 on Full Tilt Poker.
Dwan was a mainstay on televised poker shows such as High Stakes Poker. Other players at the table constantly talked about the handle, and it took over as a household term with Dwan the poster boy for the young, aggressive online poker player.
In the above hand hand Daniel Negreanu tells Howard Lederer 'you got durrrr'd' when his A♦ K♦ goes up against Dwan's 8♦ 6♥ in a 5bet pot. A master of reading people, Dwan was able to use what started as just a funny screen name to his advantage and get passively flat-called and checked to on every street.
Regarded as one of the brightest minds in online poker, nosebleeds poker pro and video producer Phil Galfond chose a deliberately nerdy, girlish sn at a time when most were trying to intimidate their opponents with macho ones (FinddaGrind and Urindanger come to mind).
Clay Aiken is a softly-spoken American Idol singer and celebrity, his romantic ballad covers Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me and Everlasting Love hits with an audience of largely screaming teenage girls - hence 'OMGClayAiken'.
The self-deprecating humor seems to have paid off as Galfond has amassed millions online and live since his rise on Full Tilt Poker around 2008. Scott 'URnotINdanger2' Palmer has also been wildly successful.
Poster the_dal_kid wrote on the TwoPlusTwo forums 'First time I saw "OMGClayAiken" I laughed my ass off... then I realized he was sitting at 200/400 and I stopped laughing.'.
An equivalent pop culture reference today would be e.g. 'true_belieber' in reference to Justin Bieber's fanbase.
Honorable mentions - nutsinho (Richard Lyndaker), all_in_at420 (Matt Stout), BeepBeepImaJeep (Max Villemure), I-KNOCKOUT-U (Patrik Antonius) and lolotrickedu (Unknown) have also had success at the tables.