Picking an online screen name is one of the least discussed aspects of online poker.
It’s something that every online poker player has had to do at some point and it’s something that could be with you for your entire career as a poker player.
Although screen names rarely have any effect on actually playing poker there is a certain art to it and every day you’ll see hundreds of awful names with a few clever ones in the mix.
How to Pick an Online Poker Screen Name
Players have all sorts of strategies for picking their online moniker.
Quite often they’ll use an abbreviation of their name (see: Matt “mattg1983” Graham, Dan “djk123” Kelly and Gary “Debo34” DeBernardi) or a combination of university and player (see: Scott “SCTrojans” Freeman, Phil “USCPhildo” Collins and Alex “AJKHoosier1” Kamberis).
Other players will just use real life nicknames such as Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu and Doyle “TexDolly” Brunson.
Finally there are players who just get completely ridiculous (We’re talking about you iHazCheezburger420).
There are some good handles, however, and some players have become better known by their online alias than their real life name.
The following list includes 10 of the most noteworthy and arguably best online screen names ever made.
Feel free to add glaring omissions in the comments.
10. Johnny Lodden - "bad_ip"
Is there anything more badass than a bad Internet protocol address?
Actually, yeah, probably. What the hell does that even mean?
Even so, Johnny Lodden was one of the first mega-stars of the online cash game era and he did most of his work behind the handle “bad_ip.”
The nickname was one of the first online names that made lesser players fear for their bankroll when he took a seat at their virtual table.
9. Dan Heimiller – "Lenny"
Sometimes there are just online names that suit their real life counterparts.
Such is the case with Dan Heimiller as “Lenny” on PokerStars. Not sure on the significance (love to hear it if you know) but it’s really no surprise Heimiller took “Lenny” over some gamer-type name.
What is somewhat surprising is the amount of success Heimiller has had online. He’s made FIVE PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker final tables, which is more than anyone else.
8. Phil Galfond - "OMGClayAiken"
Not all online poker names have to be intimidating. Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond is perhaps the most famous example.
Galfond mentioned in interviews the reason he chose OMGClayAiken (in reference to the famous American Idol singer) was because many of the online names at the time were macho and pretentious.
He wanted to go in the opposite direction with a name that was funny and people would be embarrassed to lose to.
He found a winner in “OMGClayAiken.”
7. Cliff Josephy - "JohnnyBax"
Online names work very well if they have some sort of significance in real life.
Cliff Josephy backs a lot of players (allegedly). We’re talking about a LOT of players (allegedly).
Yep, “JohnnyBax” does the trick.
6. Viktor Blom - "Isildur1"
This one is pretty nerdy but winning about $5 million and then losing it all and more will get you some notoriety.
Viktor Blom appeared on the online poker scene on Full Tilt as Isildur1 in late 2009 and quickly became known as one of the most fearless players in poker.
FYI, Isildur was a character in the Lord of the Rings who originally found the ring but was corrupted by its power. Sorta like Viktor Blom and a bankroll.
5. Ilari Sahamies - "Ziigmund"
One of the most memorable names in online poker goes to Ilari Sahamies for his “Ziigmund” alias on Full Tilt.
Likely a riff on legendary psychologist Sigmund Freud, Sahamies made up the name in the early stages of online poker
Thanks to his renowned trash-talk and all-around aggressive play “Ziigmund” or “Ziggy” has become one of the most feared names in online poker.
4. Chad Batista - “Lilholdem954”
We’d say that an online name truly transcends into greatness when it’s used more often than the player’s actual name.
That’s definitely the case with Chad “Lilholdem954” Batista. Certain players know Chad Batista but almost everyone has heard of “Lil’ Hold’em.”
In case you didn’t know, Batista is not a tall dude and he certainly lives up to his status as Lil’ Hold’em.
3. Tom Dwan - "durrrr"
Talk about making something from nothing.
Tom Dwan couldn’t think of anything when he was starting his first online account so he just chose the simplistic and perhaps even Homer-esque “durrrr.”
If Dwan had become nothing more than a $.50/$1 grinder, no one would think twice about the name.
Instead Dwan become one of the most profitable online players of all-time and even gained some mainstream appeal, which is difficult for online players.
If you’ve played just a few hands of online poker there’s a good chance you’ve heard of “durrrr.”
2. Di Dang – "Urindanger"
Di “Urindanger” Dang has been one of the most consistent players in high stakes poker and he’s done it with one of the most memorable names out there.
It’s got all the attributes that make for a great online name.
Use of his real last name? Check. Intimidating statement? Check? Absence of numbers and University? Check and check.
Dunno about brother Hac Dang though. What the hell is a trex313?
1. Phil Ivey - "Phil Ivey"
If you had the most intimidating name in poker, you’d use it as your screen name too.
BeepBeepImaJeep – Max Villemure
Not the most well known player in the world but the name makes us laugh every time we read it.