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GUEST POST: From Nerd to Pro: The Story of nanonoko

July 11th, 2013 by Marc Comments

Stories frequently surface about ‘nerds’ travelling down a different lifestyle route than expected, but this one catches the attention of many. The story of Randy Lew, aka nanonoko, perfectly illustrates how a person’s special ability can be put to use in more ways than one.

Randy “nanonoko” Lew was born in Sacramento, California and grew up playing his sole passion – video games. During his middle school years Randy was known for being an avid gamer and would spend countless hours playing his large collection of online and offline computer games.

Lew would then go on to study Managerial Economics at UC Davis and it was here where he unearthed his new found love for poker.

During a gaming day Lew met a PokerStars player named Hevad Khan and for the first time, raising his interest in poker. This resulted in Lew opening a PokerStars account and quickly establishing himself as a serious force in the online realm, under his alias “nanonoko”.

Lew was able to apply his video-game ability and develop an amazing multi-tabling skill, playing (and winning) on a number of tables at the same time. He was able to jump between each table and make the necessary strategic decision in limited time. Lew has since acquired the ‘Supernova Elite’ status, which is a massive achievement and he has become an official member of Team PokerStars Online.

His first milestone came in 2008 at the hands of the 24 NLHE 6-Max mid-stakes cash game. It was here that Lew secured a number of significant wins.

In 2009, Randy Lew acquired a rare achievement when he broke the $1 million barrier in cash games.

Lew attended the WSOP 2010 which was his first live cash event. He was able to secure a respectable 22nd finish for $8,372 in the $2,500 Mixed HE event.

His highest live payout came after winning the PokerStars APPT Macau event in 2011, when he picked up the $485,000 first prize.

Lew’s recent success has led him to chase bigger events with higher risk and higher monetary rewards.


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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….

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