Nicholas Rigby Talks "Dirty Diaper" Strategy in the 2023 WSOP Main Event

Pittsburgh’s Nicholas Rigby made a name for himself in the poker community in 2021 when he ran deep in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event by playing deuce-three offsuit at every given opportunity. Known as the “The Dirty Diaper” in his local games, Rigby kept his opponents guessing by bluffing, value betting and doing everything else in between with the less-than-premium holding.

Two years later, Rigby again finds himself making a deep run in poker’s most prestigious event. And for those wondering, he hasn’t forgotten about The Dirty Diaper, a hand he used to build up a Day 1d chip lead that further grew on Day 2d to see him bag the second biggest stack in the room.

PokerNews caught up with Rigby on Day 3 to talk about his tried-and-true loose-aggressive strategy in the WSOP Main Event. Heading into Day 5, Rigby finds himself with a stack of 3,655,000 near the top of the chip counts.

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The Legend of The Dirty Diaper

The Diaper, which is any variation of deuce-three — “doesn’t matter, any direction” — came to be as Rigby played with friends “back in home games and at our local casino.”

Rigby rose to poker fame when he played several memorable Diaper hands at the feature table of the 2021 Main Event, including one where he lost a chunk of his stack late in the event after calling a four-bet shove from an opponent holding ace-king.

Nicholas Rigby
Nicholas Rigby

“We just always referred to it as the Diaper, so (I) just kind of ran with it last year once I started (playing it). I wasn’t getting aces, so I had to start playing two-three like I had aces,” said Rigby.

Now a notorious name in the poker community, Rigby is still up to his old tricks with the raggedy holding. He told PokerNews he’d seen The Diaper “more than ten” times during the Main Event, though he wouldn’t disclose how many times he played it.

“We’ll keep that a secret,” he said.

Find Out How Nicholas Rigby Bagged the Day 1d Chip Lead!

“It’s A Feel Game”

While there are few poker books that would advise aggressively playing deuce-three as a starting hand, it is a strategy that has clearly worked wonders for Rigby. And there’s a method to the apparent madness.

“A lot of players (in the Main Event) are going to play it a lot more passive,” Rigby said. “They can sit there using their charts all they want, they don’t know how to play poker. So they can do what they want, but at the end of the day it’s a feel game, it’s all about reading other players, putting them in uncomfortable spots, playing position and that’s my game. So hopefully it works out.”

And Rigby plays premium holdings as well. On Day 2, he flopped top two pair with A10 to beat out the inferior two pair of Phil Hellmuth with 109 to cooler the all-time bracelet leader.

“That was great,” he recalled. “You can’t ask for much more on Day 2. I came in already getting a lot of coverage because I had the big stack, which is difficult to do on Day 1 … It was a great experience playing with Phil and even better to knock him out.”

Despite his trademark loose-aggressive style, there are hands even Rigby tosses into the muck preflop.

“There’s tons,” he said. “Ten-three off, two-seven off, the list goes on and on. You’re going to see me folding a lot more ace-mid ranges than The Diaper, I’ll tell you that.”

Rigby finished 52nd in the 2021 Main Event for $136,100. We’ll see if he can best that career-best cash during this year’s Main Event.

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