Gamblers who are serious about sports betting or casino gambling should have a colorful nickname. The advice was taken too literally when America’s true national pastime was in its infancy, with gambling nicknames often rooted in ethnicity, to the point of borderline or overt offensiveness.
We should celebrate the playful – if not entirely politically correct – nicknames of gambling. So before you visit AskGamblers, world-class iGaming website, you might want to come up with a nickname, and below we have listed the best of all time which can give you some inspiration.
Here are a few honorable mentions before we get started:
- Diamond Jim Brady
- Loud Mouth Dave
- Wally Monday (he paid on Mondays)
- Patty Snaps
- Carlos “El Matador” Mortensen,
- “The Orient Express” Johnny Chan
Nick “The Greek” Dandolos & Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder
In spite of the fact that “The Greek” is relatively benign, these two Greeks reflect the ethnic-rooted nicknames mentioned above. However, Snyder wasn’t benign in his racially incendiary comments that led to his dismissal as a CBS Sports commentator. The story of Dandalos involves him chaperoning Einstein on a trip through Las Vegas, introducing him as “Little Al from Jersey” to his cronies.
Wild Bill Hickok
He was a gunfighter known for his fame, but also a gambler who was shot to death in Deadwood, S.D., in 1876 while playing poker. During his life and death, Hickok held two pairs of cards — black aces and eights — which was referred to as “the dead man’s hand.” His nickname reflected his wildness both in life and in death.
Almost everything in Texas seems to be bigger, though that doesn’t mean it’s better. Its cities, however, have some pretty righteous names, and Thomas Austin Preston Jr., aka Amarillo Slim, was given the nickname after one of these cities. After Slim’s parents moved the family from Arkansas to Turkey, Texas, they settled in Amarillo, making one wonder where “Turkey Tom” would have ranked.
Bobby “The Owl” Baldwin
Currently residing in Las Vegas, The Owl is still competing in poker tournaments, playing billiards, and working for casinos. It is impossible to say what the origins of his nickname are, which makes him all the more impressive since it is as mysterious as the bird itself.
87-year-old poker legend Doyle Brunson just announced that he’ll return to the game this year by playing in a few tournaments. He got his gender-bending nickname from his old friend Jimmy the Greek who referred to him alternately as “Texas Doyle” and “Texas Doylee” in his Las Vegas Sun gambling column. This version of Brunson’s nickname stuck when the Associated Press misprinted it as “Texas Dolly.”
Clyde “Puggy” Pearson
People are always admirable when they turn a perceived flaw into something positive – or a nickname, in this case. A friend of Dandolos’ and Brunson’s, Pearson, who helped start the WSOP and practiced gambling skills while serving in the U.S. Navy, experienced a disfiguring nose accident when he was a child. As a result, Puggy was born.
Gadoon “Spanky” Kyrollos
New Jersey-based Kyrollos is a well-known, high-rolling sports bettor who loathes Las Vegas’ limitations because of his great nickname and even better real name. Combinations like that are hard to beat – no, impossible.
Rudolf Walter Wanderone, aka Minnesota Fats, isn’t actually from Minnesota. He was originally referred to as New York Fats because he hails from New York. After that, Jackie Gleason portrayed a pool hustler named Minnesota Fats in The Hustler, which had reportedly been influenced by New York Fats. Consequently, New York Fats changed his name to Minnesota Fats, an example of life imitating art.
The legendary Sam Snead referred to Thompson (given name: Alvin Clarence Thomas) as the greatest hustler of all time, while Minnesota Fats described him as the game’s greatest action man of all time.” Upon scamming a Missouri shark out of $500 by diving headfirst over a pool table without touching it, Thompson earned the nickname Titanic. The shark told Thompson he must be the Titanic because he sinks everybody.