Randy Lew brings "nanonoko" from behind the curtain
In an era most young online grinders can only imagine, the status symbols of the hyper-elite came in the form of cars, designer clothes, and penthouses. It was an age when Gordon Gecko told us, "Greed is good," and the daily financial reports came on green and white lined dot matrix paper. In Randy Lew's world, he can walk around in an old sweatshirt, live in a humble apartment, and make hundreds of thousands of dollars without leaving his desk chair. He doesn't need a $50,000 watch or a mistress on each arm for people to know he's a success. He only needs a graph. And, boy, does he have a graph.
Randy Lew is better known as "nanonoko," a PokerStars grinder who has taken mid-stakes poker play and turned it into high-stakes profits. If there is one question he is asked more than any other, it's almost certainly, "How do you do it?" Lew's answer is a lot like that of the notable First CitiWide Change Bank which when asked how it made money once boldly proclaimed, "The answer is simple: volume."
Lew is a sort of poker alchemist turned philosopher turned money vacuum. He plays 24 tables of mid-stakes games at a time, and in his lifetime he's played more than four million hands of poker on PokerStars. Just try doing that at your neighborhood dealer's choice game.
While racking up hand after hand, Lew has made SuperNova Elite four times, earned nearly $2 million in table profits, and racked up more than $700,000 in PokerStars VIP Club rewards.
"With dedication, confidence, and hard work ethic, anyone can succeed," Lew said. "I like to think, I have those traits."
That's about as humble of a millionaire as you're going to find.
If you're not yet familiar with Lew, or if you've only faced him at the PokerStars tables, you probably don't know that his background is in competitive gaming. He travels to competitions in which people carry around their own joysticks and buttons to compete largely for the pride of beating up on their fellow gamers. Lew still does it, but that's only how he relaxes these days. In any case, he's a superstar both in that world and the world of people who are still trying to figure out how to make money playing poker.
"Most people give me the utmost respect for my results," he said. "It always gives me a smile, and it always reminds me to keep it up."
Even with all the lead-up above, you still can't get a sense for how Lew operates until you actually see him in action. Fortunately, we have just that. The good folks with Team Online and PokerStars.tv have put together a mini-documentary about Lew's achievements. When you have ten minutes to sit in stunned silence, have a look. In the video, you see Lew in both of his environments, and he gives you a tour of how he's planning to spend some of that money he's made.
For more information about Lew or any member of his team, visit the PokerStars Team Online section of the Team PokerStars home page.