In the days of yore, poker was a male dominant game played mainly in the West, and the names of these men were tough like Texas Dolly, Miami John and Amarillo Slim. In old days, the poker room was filled with cigarette smoke, rugged and unshaven men who used to call their raises with bourbon-scented breath. That was the time when there was no place for bookish geeks. The present day poker world presents a very different picture where goons and techies have swapped skill for chips and hardwork for moolah. With the invasion of ‘born-again’ nerds, the poker world is now more accessible and is more transparent than olden days. Today, you will find more of geeks, weirdos and sportsperson who understand the math, the stats and the sill involved in accomplishing what once seemed impossible. They have redefined how to play poker and their example leads others to make no poker game mistakes. Following are the most ‘noteworthy’ poker nerds who have left their mark in the poker world:
Greg Raymer has been identified as a “Fossil” Nerd because he used to sell fossils to other players as card protectors in order to complement his poker bankroll. Though Raymer has won five million dollars at the 2004 WSOP Main Event and made 18 money finishes till date, he still continues to sell fossils on his website but not for bankroll help.
Phil Gordon, a Computer Science Graduate from Georgia Tech, has been spotted as an “Overachiever” nerd. Gordon completed his graduation before the age of 21 and earned a million dollars before he turned 27 when Cisco Systems bought out his start-up company Netsys Technologies. What next? Before 30, he visited every major league baseball stadium in the country. Did you know his height is 6’9”, and looks down on basketball star LeBron James (6’8”)?
Howard Lederer has been coined as a “Chess Club” nerd as he used to play chess in New York before shuffling to poker. Lederer was all set to attain his ‘grandmaster’ in chess when he visited Mayfair Club, Manhattan and got to play poker with prominent players. Thanks to his mental and emotion control skill learned while playing chess, he pushed the same drive to gain quick success at the poker tables. With two WSOP bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles, he is popularly known as “Professor of Poker”.
Tagged as a “Math” nerd, Chris Ferguson has spent 13 years at the University of California, Los Angeles, earning his Doctorate in Computer Science. Thanks to his educational qualification and learnings of probability and game theory, helped him achieve unexpected success in poker with five WSOP bracelets, and he has more final tables and cash finishes under his belt than any poker player in the last ten years.
Labeled as “Accounting” nerd, Chris Moneymaker used to work as an accountant for a Tennessee restaurant chain. He owns a master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Tennessee. Moneymaker played an online satellite to qualify for a seat in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, and revolutionized the way poker was played by winning the same event.