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Back in the day, few people knew who Viktor Blom, Tom Dwan or Phil Galfond really were. However, nearly everyone knew Isilur1, durrrr and OMGClayAiken as three of the best online poker players in the game.

Many online poker players are merely known by their online screen name. An online poker player’s name is more than just a way to identify them. It can also serve as a tool in helping them maximize their profits during their sessions.

Today we look at creating on online poker nickname, the best practices when doing so and why it is important to pay attention to the photo avatar that you select.

What Type of Image Do You Want to Portray?

You online poker handle will go a long way in portraying your image to your opponents. If you prefer to stick with one style of play, then creating a handle that reflects that image may work to your favor.

User names such as Rocket4Me, AAKKQQ and ILikeDaNuts give off more of a tight image at the table. Adversely, names such as BluffUAll, 72CrackYou and Raise4Eva give off a looser image.

Those of you that like to use creative names such as W0nK1eM0nK3y are implying that you’re a bit more creative than other players. It also tends to imply that you’re a younger poker player, as older players seem to stick with less confusing monikers.

Of course, you might enjoy more success in creating a handle that is the exact opposite of your style. As in a live game, you want to establish one image and use that to your advantage.

Pay Attention to Your Avatar

For those of you that like to use avatars with your online screen name, don’t forget that the avatar you use can affect your image and how other play against you. I will give you my experiences from PokerStars.

Many years ago, I set the avatar pic for my screen name compncards to the picture of an attractive New Zealand actress. I didn’t have any ulterior motive other than I play many slow-paced mixed games and I wanted something good to look at while I played.

It wasn’t long after I started using that pic as my avatar that various horny guys started hitting on me. Others would get mad at me when I would beat them and call me a bitch, ho or worse. They assumed I was female and started treating me as such.

Over the years, I have seen the gambit of avatars ranging from pics of grandkids to demons that are meant to unnerve opponents. These pics helped to mold an online image and can do the same for you if you pick the right image.

Don’t Use the Same Moniker on Every Site

If you’re trying to keep a level of anonymity to your online play, don’t use the same online poker handle for every site that you play. If you play as PlayzEvrHand on PokerStars, create a completely different handle for 888 Poker, PartyPoker or whatever site you wish to play.

Mixing up your screen names allows you to play a bit more anonymously than when you use the same name. That way, smarter players cannot look you up as easy on other sites to try to track your stats or gauge your true style of play.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.