Oda recently stated that the old plan for Doflamingo was to have him being a ‘powerful ally’ of Kaido in the battle of Wano. This subject was broached when a fan asked Oda about card game naming scheme within the Beast pirates organization, where Doflamingo is the “Joker” card.
Question: “All the officers of the Beasts Pirates are named after card games, right?” – P.N. Akibee
Oda: Yep, indeed. The three All Stars are pretty obvious, but all of the Flying Six, the Numbers, and the Headliners, only excluding Drake, Apoo, and Hawkins, are all named after card games, as well as the K (King), Q (Queen), J (Jack), and 1 to 10 cards.
If I were to list them all, I’d be filling this entire page. I hadn’t even heard about some of these! I imagined there were many types of games out there, but there really are many ways to play with just playing cards alone. By the way, in Dressrosa Doflamingo being called “Joker” is a remnant of an initial idea where Doflamingo was going to fight as a powerful companion of Kaido in the Wano Country. He’s quite the tricky opponent, so I’m glad we got rid of him at Dressrosa!!
This got me thinking about how Doflamingo’s trajectory might have changed over time. His name “Joker”, in relation to obviously King/Queen/Jack, would have held more meaning as he would have been more closely affiliated with Kaido, i.e he would fight alongside him rather than supply him resources as a business man from the outside like in the manga.