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Top-10 poker player nicknames

7 September 2007

10.) Paul "Eskimo" Clark

He may not be the most famous player on the list, but he looks the part and he continued playing the in a 2007 World Series of Poker $5,000 Razz event despite suffering three mini strokes. Clutching the WSOP tournament table to prevent officials from removing him late in the event, Clark added to his mysterious mystique and forever cemented his nickname in the annals of poker badass.

9.) Howard "The Professor" Lederer

Lederer reportedly hates this nickname despite the fact that is it perhaps the most perfect on the list. His calculated studious approach to the game prompted folks to start calling him the Professor, a label his supposedly despises because he never went to college. He continues to help lead the poker world in its quest to get the online game regulated in America, more proof that Lederer is at the head of his class.

8.) Carlos "El Matador" Mortensen

Chris Ferguson gets the most props in the poker world as a player who transcended his WSOP Main Event victory to become one of the best players of his generation, but El Matador, the 2000 Main Event champ, might lay a stronger claim. As the only person to win a WSOP Main Event and a World Poker Tour Championship, claiming Mortensen is one of the best tournament players to ever sit at the felt is no bull.

7.) Greg "Fossilman" Raymer

One year Chris Moneymaker made poker a game celebrated around the world, Greg Raymer added to the momentum by wearing hologram sunglasses and protecting his card with fossils en route to another improbable win. Called the Fossilman for his affinity for the trinkets and his willingness to sell the items at the poker table, Raymer is dominant figure in the poker world and his nickname is one of those that will never be forgotten.

6.) Katja "Miss Slick" Thater

Thater became the first woman since 2004 to win an open-WSOP-bracelet event when she won a 2007 WSOP Razz event. She has taken the poker world by storm and become a bit of a celebrity, especially in her native Germany where she ranks among the best-known sports figures. Her nickname is a testament to her dominance of European Texas Hold'em tournaments, but her skills go beyond Hold'em and are apparent in other disciplines as well.

5.) "Action" Dan Harrington

The story behind this nickname is that Harrington promoted the "action" tag to further his ability to deceive his opponents. This known rock is actually quite aggressive at the table, but his quiet, solid approach made the nickname the definition of irony, further hiding Harrington's very successful and aggressive strategies. Few are still fooled, especially after Harrington released his celebrated and complicated strategy books, but the simple nickname remains.

4.) Chris "Jesus" Ferguson

A Matrix-themed nickname may be more fitting for this computer nerd turned world class player, but his long-hair framed face and soft-spoken anger-free manner makes the comparison to one of history's most famous figures to hard to ignore. He started wearing the long cloak, signature black hat and dark sunglasses to add to his rock-tight image, but his look is nothing short of a copyright worthy poker trademark.

3.) Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson

There are other nicknames for the legendary Brunson, most notably the Grandfather of Poker, but Texas Dolly was a household nickname before poker was a household game. The undisputed king of the game has been compared to Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan, making his nickname's appearance on this list an absolute must.

2.) Mike "The Mouth" Matusow

A rambling, offensive and never stopping mouth can get you in trouble or even make you infamous. In Matusow's case, both are true. Matusow has made millions at the poker table with his skill and was a walking billboard at the 2007 WSOP because he is easy fodder for ESPN cameras and one of the most recognizable names in the game. The railbirds line the ropes around his tournament tables hoping to hear and instant classic escape poker's most famous mouth.

1.) Phil "The Poker Brat" Hellmuth

His record alone in No Limit Texas Hold'em tournaments would make Hellmuth world famous, but his brat-like table antics and immense self-promotional skills make sure everyone knows who "The Brat" is. Even folks not familiar with poker know Hellmuth is a great player and great at freaking out on his "lesser" opponents. Norman Chad dubbed Hellmuth "The Poker Brat" and the countless fans who adore/hate Hellmuth ensure his nickname remains the number one item on this list.

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Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.