Multi-tabling, which involves playing multiple online poker table simultaneously, is an excellent way for you to increase your profits. Assuming you have an advantage in your preferred stakes; multi-tabling allows you to earn more profits. As with anything in poker, some players are better than others at multi-tabling. And Randy “nanonoko” Lew is quite possibly the best multi-tabler of all time.

Lew has earned millions of dollars in online cash game profits. What’s most impressive about Lew is that he’s won this much while rarely venturing out of the lower stakes. Many grinders dream of earning big profits through multi-tabling. But these remain dreams when considering how difficult it is to make the kind of money that Lew has.

Is it still possible to replicate nanonoko earning millions in multi-tabling profits? I’ll answer this question by discussing more on Lew, how he became so good at poker, and the state of today’s game.

Who Is Randy “Nanonoko” Lew

Unlike many future professional poker players, Randy Lew didn’t begin playing at a really young age. Instead, he dedicated the bulk of his time towards video games. Lew specialized in fighting game such as Marvel vs. Capcom, Tekken and Street Fighter II. He became so good that he took fifth place in consecutive years (2003, 2004) at the Evolution Championship Series (EVO).

Eventually, Lew found online poker and started playing it heavily. He was interested by how poker offered the potential to win big profits. Compare this to competitive gaming, which wasn’t offering much money at the time. Unlike today, where esports are much more lucrative, Lew played in an era when esports was still finding its footing.

Poker, on the other hand, was booming when Lew started playing in the mid-2000s. According to the 2011 PokerStars short film I Am Nanonoko, Lew got into online poker after seeing friends playing in college. “In the beginning, I did make a lot of deposits and it didn’t work out too well,” he said. “It kind of drove me to work a little harder — trial and error was how I approached things.”

Lew began focusing most of his time on the PokerStars tables under the screen name “Nanonoko.” His trial-and-error method of improving finally started paying off as he became a winning player. He not only improved his skills enough to where he was beating low stakes, but was also able to win on multiple tables simultaneously.

By 2007, Lew had become one of the best low stakes grinders at PokerStars. He was especially adept at multi-tabling and started an impressive run, where he achieved Supernova Elie VIP status from 2007 to 2011. What sets Nanonoko apart from others is how he’s able to play so many tables at once. The extremely quick decisions that he learned from video gaming translate well to the online felt. Lew has turned a massive lifetime profit in no-limit stakes ranging from $1/$2 to $5/$10. His ability to multi-table up to 24 tables at once while still remaining profitable makes him unique.

As I’ll cover later, Nanonoko doesn’t play such a high volume online anymore. Instead, he dedicates more time to live tournaments while representing Team PokerStars Online as a sponsored player. But it’s likely that Lew could multi-table with the best if he ever got the motivation to do so again.

How Has Nanonoko Dominated the Low Stakes?

In January 2012, Randy Lew displayed his multi-tabling skills for a live crowd. He was going for the Guinness Book of World Records for most online hands played within 8 hours. The catch is that he also had to show a profit at the end. Therefore, he couldn’t mindlessly play an ungodly amount of tables. He was able to set the record with an astonishing 14,548 hands played within the eight hours. He also produced a profit of $7.65.

Lew’s record is even more impressive when considering that he was playing an average of 49 hands per minute, at 25-40 tables throughout the session. It’s certainly great to see the finished product of Lew’s amazing multi-tabling skills. But how did he get to this point? The obvious way to improve at multi-tabling is by slowly adding tables. Eventually, you’ll be better able to handle more accurate decisions in a shorter amount of time.

Of course, few players – if any – have reached the level of mastery that Lew has. Therefore, it’s worth exploring what he’s done differently from others to reach this point. Nanonoko doesn’t have any close-guarded secret that makes him elite at multi-tabling. He simply works harder than other pros to improve his skills.

Besides his work ethic, Lew’s motivation is another thing that drove him to the heights of multi-tabling success. He stumbled upon PokerStars’ Supernova Elite level in 2006 and made a goal to reach the highest level of their rewards program. “It [Supernova Elite] was an exclusive club that I really wanted to be a part of,” he says. “That’s when I had my aha moment, that all you have to do is play more tables and more hands.”

This motivated Lew to begin adding tables and making quicker decisions. After training himself to become faster, nanonoko was multi-tabling 24 hands and turning out an insane volume of hands. Lew describes the thought process he goes through during a session, which helps him stay focused and remain profitable.

“Playing 24 tables at the same time, it’s a lot of information that goes through my head,” he explains. “When I’m in a session, I’m really into it and just kind of in a trance. “All the dots connect, one hand goes into the next hand, so there are just so many decisions happening at the same time. “I just learned to deal with it, I just learned to experience it. And I’m just able to play it in my sleep almost.”

By 2007, Lew had already reached his goal of becoming a Supernova Elite player. Just two years later, he earned over $1 million in profits when not accounting for his VIP rewards. Again, one of the most impressive things about Nanonoko is that he’s won millions of dollars while playing low stakes games. He’s rarely tried anything above $5/$10 NL.

In fact, some online grinders who regularly play $25/$250 stakes and above don’t believe Lew is a tough opponent. They’ve had little trouble figuring him out when he steps up to the nosebleeds. Of course, Lew has never seemed to care about beating the biggest games. He’s already dominated low stakes to the point of collecting millions of dollars in profits.

Lew Also Relied on Supernova Elite Rewards

One big catalyst behind Lew’s poker career was the desire to reach the Supernova Elite level (now defunct). This is no small feat either when considering that many players have set out to reach PokerStars’ (former) highest VIP level, only to flame out early on. Becoming a Supernova Elite involves earning 1 million VIP Player Points (VPPs)in a single year. Players who reached this lofty level also had to maintain their status by continuing to collect 1 million VPPs every year.

While earning the VPPs to reach Supernova Elite was difficult, it was definitely worthwhile when considering that one could receive up to 60% rakeback. The short film on Lew mentioned that he earned up to $707,414 through PokerStars VIP rewards in five years. Adding this to his $2 million in winnings at the time, he had collected $2.7 million overall by 2011.

Nanonoko’s streak of five consecutive Supernova Elite years ended in 2012, which is no surprise when considering that Black Friday happened the prior year. American players like Lew were forced to relocate if they wanted to continue playing on the world’s largest poker site.

After relocating, he was able to reach Supernova Elite one more time in 2013. This makes for a total of six years at Stars’ highest VIP level. It’s difficult to say exactly how much money Lew has won in his career. But if we add the extra Supernova Elite year that he achieved after the 2011 documentary, then he’s likely made at least $3.5 million in pure online profits.

Is It Still Possible to Multi-Table and Win Like Nanonoko?

The great thing about multi-tabling internet cash games is that you deal with less variance than the average grinder. Your larger volume of hands helps you overcome downswings better than somebody who relies on one table at a time to earn profits. Therefore, Randy Lew was in an enviable position of being someone capable of winning millions through poker without having to brave the same variance as a high stakes player.

This made me ponder whether it’s possible to replicate the same level of success in today’s poker climate. I’ll start this discussion with the events of Black Friday, which really took a toll on the industry. The good news is that PokerStars remained solvent afterward, which is more than can be said about their former competitors, Full Tilt, UB Poker, and Absolute Poker.

However, they were also forced to vacate the juicy US online poker market. While PokerStars has still remained a successful company, they don’t make as much revenue from poker as in the past. This eventually caused them to start focusing more on recreational players and less on semi-pros and pros. Going further, they got rid of the Supernova Elite status beginning in 2017.

Stars still has the Supernova status, which offers up to 30% rakeback. But this only equals half the rewards that players were seeing with the Supernova Elite level. The documentary states that Lew made $1 million in VIP rewards from 2007 until now. Therefore, you’d only make half this amount ($500k) today multi-tabling at the same rate for over a decade.

Another problem is that internet poker is tougher than ever. Many markets are now divided up by regulations, and certain countries/states refuse to open their borders to PokerStars and other sites. The end result is that there are fewer casual players in the online realm than during Lew’s peak. This makes it tougher to achieve the same type of rewards he did while playing up to 24 tables.

Even average low stakes players have a stronger grasp of strategy than they did several years ago. This allows them to better exploit multi-tables, who can’t pay as much attention to each table they’re playing. You can still become a strong multi-tabler who’s capable of making low six figures in the smaller stakes. But you’ll need the same dedication as Lew in order to reach this point.

However, the idea of winning over $3.5 million in profits and rewards over a decade of multi-tabling are gone. PokerStars no longer offers Supernova Elite, which was the best VIP level in the entire game. Additionally, the competition is definitely tougher than what Lew dealt with in his heyday.

What Is Randy Lew Up to Now?

One good indication that multi-tabling is no longer as crushable is that Lew has moved on. He no longer puts in the same incredible volume of online hands these days. Part of this is that he likely got burnt out after several years of playing more hands than everybody else. An even more obvious factor is that it’s no longer is profitable to multi-table. For a guy who’s been at the highest levels of multi-tabling, grinding his way back to playing thousands of hands per day isn’t appealing.

These days, Lew has been mixing his time between online poker and live tournaments. This is interesting when considering that he rarely played live tourneys in the past. His PokerStars sponsorship may have something to do with him making more live poker appearances. But his successes also fuel his desire for live tournament.

Lew has earned $1,474,790 in live tourney winnings at the time of this post. He makes annual trips to the World Series of Poker to compete for bracelets and winnings. Nanonoko has also been dedicating time to Twitch streaming and online coaching. He’s one of the most sought-after coaches in the game thanks to his lengthy history of success.

As for Twitch streaming, Lew doesn’t get to showcase his multi-tabling abilities. His stream quality becomes worse when he opens 20 or more tables. But he’s at least able to play Zoom on PokerStars while running a good stream. Lew offers advice while grinding in these Zoom games.

One more thing worth mentioning about Lew is that he’s gone back to his roots and is gaming again. He signed a professional esports contract with Team Liquid in November 2016. He’s a specialist in the collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, which has become very popular among poker pros like Daniel Negreanu and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.


Again, I don’t see anybody being able to repeat Lew’s same multi-tabling success in today’s poker climate. Lew’s prime years occurred between 2007 and 2011, when he was a Supernova Elite for five straight years. During this time, he earned around $700k in rewards and nearly $2 million through in-game profits.

This leaves Lew with $540,000 in winnings per year. I assume that he’s made at least another $1 million total since then, especially since he achieved Supernova Elite again in 2013. One major problem, though, is that PokerStars got rid of Supernova Elite in 2017. This means that you can only earn up to 30% rakeback now, which is half of what Lew was getting. Another roadblock to reaching’s Lew’s success is that the competition is better. Even if you become as good as nanonoko, your win rate will be lower due to tougher players.

Here’s an example on what you could expect to win today as a legendary low/mid stakes online grinder:

  • You put in the same volume as nanonoko at $1/$2 to $5/$10 games.
  • You play for five years.
  • You earn half the rewards that Lew did due to lower rakeback.
  • $700,000 (Lew’s rewards) / 2 = $350,000 (your rewards).
  • You win at 60% of nanonoko’s win rate.
  • $2,000,000 x 0.6 = $1,200,000
  • 1,200,000 + 350,000 = $1,550,000
  • 1,550,000 / 5 = $310,000 per year

Chances are that you won’t complain about a $310,000 salary while playing poker. But it’s also important to consider that you’d be putting in the same amount of work as Lew, only with under 60% of the profits. Note that the variables being used are made on assumptions. Therefore, the competition might be so tough that you don’t even win at 60% the same rate as Lew did from 2007-11.

Nevertheless, you can still earn a lot of money today if you’re willing to work hard enough. Just be sure that you’re a winning player at your chosen stakes before trying to multi-table.

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