What’s behind an online poker pseudonym? Online players provide us with the answer

  • A large number of online poker players use a pseudonym
  • Secretive nature allows players to be bolder and braver
  • What can a pseudonym tell you about your opponent?

If you’ve ever played online poker, then you’ve noticed that the vast majority of names used are not real. Casinopedia asked several professional online poker players what goes into choosing those names. You will find their answers below.

Poker player wearing sunglasses
Photo: Pete Jelliffe

Only first names have been used in order to protect the identities of players:

“Players hide behind macho names in on order to protect crude speech and poor play.”
Gary

“Pseudonyms don’t make me bolder, but more confident if players don’t take me seriously. I use an appropriate name while leaving the phantom aspect intact.”
Allan

“I chose a name that mixes my two greatest interests: storm chasing and video games.”
Tracy

“Sometimes I use my own name; sometimes I use a pseudonym. Some people won’t use their own name if they’re winning because of the IRS and hand-tracking.”
Jonathan

“I play at four sites and use three different names. I choose names based on what I need to keep at the forefront of my mind in order to play my best.”
Peter

“I use Dyanamite, of course.”
Dyana

“I use Grumpy because I’m Grumpy offline. I’m not rude or confrontational, I just don’t talk. It’s more like, ‘Just give me your money.’”
Alan

“I keep it simple and use my first name and last two initials or one of my email addresses. I’ll add numbers if necessary.”
James

“I’m not going to give away my name, but I will say that I pay attention to opponent names as tells. They are often revealing.”
Patrick

“It’s another tool. Sometimes an online name will reveal strength. For example, someone who uses AA in their name can indicate strength. However, some people are deceptive and use a name that’s the opposite of their playing ability. The most important factor is lock yourself out of SharkScope to hide your stats.”
Barry

“I’m never intimidated by a screen name. There are a few names to watch out for on PokerStars, but there’s not as much anonymity with HUD.”
Clint

Now you know more about online poker pseudonyms and what highly-skilled players think about them. If you’re not familiar with online poker terminology, SharkScope is a database of online poker results. HUD = Heads Up Display (statistics tracking solution).

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