First, the Nicknames That Take No Real Effort To Decipher:
David Pham and Minh Nguyen. It was back in 1991 when one of his students told everybody that he was being tutored by "The Master" and the adulatory name has stuck ever since.
The "I Had No Idea" Nicknames:
Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot: Dave Ulliot earned his nickname while playing in Las Vegas when an opponent compared him to the extremely poisonous Japanese Fugu (blowfish) that if not prepared properly (only licensed chefs are allowed to serve it) will kill you. I think it's safe to say that this opponent didn't go on to win.
Doyle Brunson: What's with the effeminate name for? I had to find out if this referred to the legendary poker player's past life in Texas as a drag queen. Alas, with a great man comes a great story. When introducing Doyle Brunson in front of a large audience, Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder misread his name calling him "Dolly" rather than "Doyle." Naturally the incident, and the name, couldn't be forgotten and thanks to Brunson's great sense of humour the moniker would forever be his.
Nicknames That Don't Work:
Erick Lindgren, aka "E-Dog": What is he, a hip hop artist? Sounds like a poser name if you ask me. In fact I'm not too keen on his first name either. What's with the "ck" ending? Pick a letter already, either the "c" or the "k." Do you really need both?
Phil Laak: Is it supposed to be a complement that you're named after a one-man bombing operation? Okay, so the Unabomber is a mathematician, something most commonly associated with poker players, but the Unabomber also mailed bombs to universities and airlines to fight for a cause he believed in. Unless Phil Laak is taking the university and airline poker scenes by storm, this moniker's gotta go. It's in poor taste.
Nicknames I've Made Up For Potential Use:
Jeff "Made" Madsen: Jeff Madsen is so money! He's made it to superstar status, and he's made a lot of money doing it.
Eric "Heimlich" Froehlich: Eric Froehlich is such a great player that most players choke when they go up against him, requiring the Heimlich maneuver.
Jennifer "Harmful" Harman: You play poker with this elite pro and you're gonna get hurt.
Jeff "I Beat Phil Hellmuth for a Bracelet" Cabanillas: Pretty self-explanatory and a title to be proud of no doubt for Jeff Cabanillas.
But in the end, we know that it all comes down to a player's ability, not his stage name. Still, it would be pretty cool to be known as "The Latino Godfather of Poker" as is the case for Humberto Bernes.