He took the mid-stakes online poker world by storm playing a massive amount of hands every day and making a hefty profit at the same time. He reached PokerStars’ Supernova Elite status in five consecutive years from 2007 to 2011 becoming one of the most profitable online poker players ever. He even set a Guinness World Record in 2012 playing the most hands ever recorded during an eight-hour stretch while making a profit. Since then though, the Nanonoko online legend has slowly faded away making way for Randy Lew top Twitch Poker streamer, coach, and tournament player. But what happened to his online cash legacy that made him famous throughout the world? Is he still grinding the cash tables? Does Nanonoko still crush online poker?
- Nanonoko is a great honest guy with a vast experience of grinding at 24 tables at medium limits, and his knowledge (especially in the statistics analysis' field) will come in handy for America's Cardroom in the fight against bots, hints, and other manifestations of unfair play. He will also be able to attract other specialists to the room.
- Nanonoko (PokerStars) poker results, poker ratings, online poker rankings. Nanonoko ROI, ITM, wins, loses, profit. Nanonoko poker statistics and poker ratings.
I am Nanonoko - A short documentary film on PokerStars Team: Online member Randy 'nanonoko' Lew that tells the story of how he became a Supernova Elite VIP a.
To answer those questions, we first need to take a step back and remember how he crushed the games he was playing in. Because he did it unconventionally, not by playing the nosebleeds like Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan but by mostly playing the mid-stakes.
How Nanonoko Crushed Online Poker
It all started when Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew discovered PokerStars’ supreme players’ club known as Supernova Elite. He was playing online cash games for quite some time and was getting good at it. As he researched more and more, he realized how valuable the Supernova Elite status could be: besides his profit, he could actually get big cash rewards just by playing the game he loved, and all he needed to do was playing more tables. So he started adding more and more cash tables, up to 24. He also optimized his thought process so that he could make the best possible decision at every table in the blink of an eye. From that point on, becoming SNE seemed pretty easy for nanonoko.
Lew first reached the ultimate level in 2007. By 2009, he already had $1 million - pre-rakeback - just by playing the mid-stakes and rarely trying out the 2000NL or bigger. He played solid - not superstar level - poker yet he was winning consistently. To further prove his multi-table skills, in January of 2012 he set a world record by playing 23,493 online hands in eight hours and making a profit of $7.65. To put his record into perspective, he played over 2,936 hands per hour and almost 49 hands per minute (between 25 and 40 tables at a time). That’s how good nanonoko actually was.
Since then though, the massive volume player has surely but slowly closed down more and more tables, and his crushing days faded away. He reached the Supernova Elite only once since then, in 2013, and gradually moved away from the tougher online cash game environment. Which brings us to the next question:
Why Isn’t Nanonoko Crushing Online Poker Anymore?
The most simple answer is this: Randy Lew doesn’t put in the volume he used to back in the good old days. Indeed, using the screenname ‘nanonoko’, Lew won more than $3.5 million online - maybe even closer to $4 million - but most of his winnings came from the cash games and from the days he used to 24-table PokerStars. According to the ‘I AM NANONOKO’ documentary, in 2011 he had over $2.6 million in online winnings: $707,414 PokerStars’ VIP rewards and $1,958,274 in table winnings. Since then though, he has reached the SNE status only once (2013) which means he hasn’t played that many hands for the past several years.
Remember, nanonoko isn’t known for his standout game and one-of-a-kind strategy. He hasn’t beaten the nosebleeds like Daniel Cates and Tom Dwan nor has he challenged the hottest names out there like Viktor Blom. In fact, many high stakes players considered him a weak regular that couldn’t quite adjust based on the table dynamics - and rightfully so since he played 24 tables at a time - and could be easily exploited. He wasn’t a top player, just a very solid one who could play a lot of tables. His ability to crush online poker came from him putting in massive volume and playing thousands and thousands of hands every day. And since he doesn’t do that anymore, his days of crushing the games are long gone.
But why? Why isn’t he playing 24 tables anymore?
Reason #1: Tournament Poker
Back when he was SNE, Lew was exclusively a cash player, rarely playing any live or online tournaments. He wasn’t interested in the format as the cash games provided him much lower variance than tournaments.
Lately though, he became more and more of a regular at the medium and high-stakes poker tournaments grinding them on a regular basis. He also transitioned to live where Lew enjoyed a fair amount of success. In late 2011, he won an APPT Macau Main Event for almost half a million dollars. He also loves to be part of the World Series of Poker every summer so he doesn’t have that much time to grind online. So far, according to HendonMob DB, nanonoko has $1,177,033 in live tournament earnings and almost $1 million online. Far from crushing, yet as solid as nanonoko’s poker game.
Reason #2: Twitch And Coaching
Besides tournament poker, Lew has become a regular Twitch streamer as of late. And when he’s streaming, he doesn’t play 20 or 24 tables as it can affect the quality of the stream. He told PocketFives a couple of months ago:
Generally when I play online, I like to play 20 games at once, but I can't do that while I'm streaming. It's either that the stream gets worse quality because I can't answer people or my play gets really bad.'
He also plays Hearthstone, a very likeable game amongst the poker players, dedicating himself less and less to the online cash games - mostly low and mid stakes Zoom - as his Twitch stream clearly shows it.
Nanonoko 24 Tables
And let’s not forget the coaching part. Lew is currently a PokerSchoolOnline coach and tries to explain the strategy of the game every time he streams on Twitch. He has quite a few videos in which he explains shorthanded Zoom strategy and his tournament decision-making. Obviously, all of this talk can take a lot of time and can wear a player out.. yes, even the great nanonoko.
Bovada minimum deposit.
Reason #3: Tougher Online Games
The last reason why nanonoko doesn’t crush online poker anymore is a sad one because it relates to the evolution of the online game. Nobody can argue against the fact that the cash games are definitely a lot harder at the mid-stakes than five or eight years ago. The regulars at these stakes are better and they can adjust faster and more efficiently against massive multi-tablers like nanonoko. Because when you play 24-tables, you definitely miss a lot of value and a lot of opportunities to take down a pot. And since everybody knows who nanonoko is, the mid-stakes regulars can exploit his play like the top players used to do several years ago.
As a result, Lew’s edge over his competition has clearly diminished compared to his SNE days, not to mention the SNE cash rewards that have been decreased this year. That’s why he isn’t willing to play for 40 hours straight anymore. And who can blame him when there is much more value in the live games in Las Vegas and Macau and when there is much more fun involved when streaming on Twitch?
Nanonoko has moved on and we’re pretty sure nobody will ever take his place in the foreseeable future. Its a shame, but that's the way the cards fall.