Short Film PokerStars Global
Randy “nanonoko” Lew is the ultimate grinder. In his lifetime, the 24 tabling online poker wizard has logged over four million hands and made Supernova Elite four times, earning him $2 billion in winnings and over $500,000 in rewards from the PokerStars VIP club. His relentless work ethic and intense dedication have produced one of the most incredible graphs in online poker history and made him a legend in the community. [MUSIC PLAYING] My name’s Randy Lew.
I’m 25 years old and I play as nanonoko. I play on pokerstars.com. A member of Team Online for PokerStars. I first discovered poker in college, and I had some friends that were just kind of playing casually. You know, I was already aware of what poker was, but I never actually played it. In the beginning, I did make a lot of deposits that didn’t work out too well. You know, that kind of drove me to work a little bit harder. Trial and error was kind of my way of approaching things. I would try tactics. If one aspect didn’t work, I’ll try a different one. And when I do that, I start to understand why one way doesn’t work and why the other way is correct. I would say that I’m definitely one of the hardest working players in online poker.
You know, during middle school ever since now, I’ve been playing competitive video games. I would used to go on weekends just– when I’m in middle school/high school I’ll be like, yeah, I’m going to be out for the weekend. I’d go travel to LA, which is six hours away, or I’d go travel to Seattle by car and come back the same weekend to go play these events. Not big prize pools at all, so I definitely as doing it for competition. Randy! Oh hey, what’s up? Was talking to Larry.
What’s up, Som? What’s up? I’ve seen you somewhere before. I know! Were you that– that guy that plays Street Fighter? The Marvel vs. Capcom 2 champion. That’s me. No! You’re not a champ! Check this out. What? Is it the thing you’re going to show me? [LAUGHTER] DJ Shopstopper. My personal friends don’t really know too much about online poker. They know I play poker. They know I do well in poker. They don’t really understand the technical aspects of it. Hey, what’s up, how’s it going? How you doing? Pretty good. Panda guy! Sup, Randy! How’s it going?
Hey, it’s good to see you. Have a good one. You too. Hey, how’s it going? [INAUDIBLE] You know, my poker and everything. I don’t get to see Randy that much. And so I’m happy to see him, like, yeah! I get to see you for the first time in three months. I’ve got random guy number 4, 5, and 6 coming up, like, hey, I love you, my cousin knows you! I know your girlfriend! Right. Are you nanonoko? Are you nanonoko! [LAUGHTER] That’s the phrase. Are you nanonoko? One day I opened up PokerStars and I saw this promotion, Supernova Elite. I was just really curious about it.
So I clicked on it and read more about it. Pretty much, you earn 1 million VPPs and you get live tournament packages and cash rewards and other great things. It was like an exclusive club that I just really wanted to be a part of. You know, I know that not that many people can achieve such a status. That’s when I had my aha moment. I realized, all you had to do was play more tables, play more hands. So I added one table, added two, added three. Eventually, I was playing 24. In a day, I was playing more hands than someone plays in a week. I was able to play mid-stakes no limit and do just as well as a high stakes player. You know, I started to realize– this is the way I should approach poker. Playing competitive video games has definitely helped me transition to poker. Just having that aspect of trying to beat other players, I do the same thing in poker.
When I’m playing each player, I try to beat each player, I try to figure out why am I beating each player or what do I need to do to beat each player. Your mindset is the same for– for– for Street Fighter and this stuff, so I could tell what you are doing, I just didn’t know how you were doing it. You know? Even in the same way you make people mad, I could tell they were mad online. So that’s when I was like, OK, he’s good. He’s good at this. Cause I was like, OK, he’s– you know, what’s that, tilt? You’re tilting people. Oooh! How does he know– ohhoho! Why do you cheapen every game? When Randy thinks about games, he thinks about it like, he pretty much asks you this. He goes, what’s cheap? What works? And he sticks to that. If something’s working, Randy’s going to keep doing it. And so it’s not surprising that he’s using that for poker, because whatever he’s doing is working, so he just keeps doing it I assume.
Playing 24 tables at the same time, it’s a lot of information that goes through my head. When I’m in a session, I’m really into it and I’m just kind of maybe– maybe in a trance, I suppose. All the dots connect, you know. Like, one hand goes to the next hand and the next hand, so there’s just so many decisions happening at the same time. And it never stops until I choose to end my session.
You know, I just learn to do with it, I just learn experience it. And I’m able to just play it in my sleep almost. I currently live in an apartment. And, you know, I’m building a new house, which is going to be a custom built home. I feel very fortunate. Poker has given me such opportunity financially to be able to purchase a home at my age. This is going to be the main area. This is the kitchen and the dining room area, the fireplace– this room’s my entertainment area. Over here is going to be my office. This is where I’m going to pretty much have my grind session, just kind of set up my computer. Just kind of seeing it build and just got to see each phase, it’s really starting to get to me. Like, I’m going to be really happy, actually, when I get the move in. I think the most important quality that attributes to my success is just my work ethic. You just believe in what you do and do it well and do it hard.