At the 2006 WSOP, players came in a wide variety of costumes. There were cowboy outfits, hockey jerseys, even superheroes. There were plenty of t-shirts and caps emblazoned with the logos of various companies, often online poker sites. The winner of the main event, Jamie Gold, wore nothing more out of the ordinary than a baseball cap with the logo of his sponsor, Bodog.
What should you be thinking about when suiting up for your poker tournament? There are obviously no hard and fast rules. While you’re searching your wardrobe though, here are a few things to consider.
One popular item that appears frequently at the poker table is sunglasses. Some people wear them because they feel it hides their eyes (and hence, potential tells) from opponents. Others wear them because they think it looks cool. Some do it for both of these reasons.
Sunglasses may hide your eyes from opponents, but most opponents are generally not looking at your eyes anyway. In addition, sunglasses may obscure your ability to observe your opponents or even the board cards in games like Texas Hold em, so the trade off may not be worth it. Also, the sunglasses may give you a false sense of security, resulting in your giving off other, more obvious tells. However, if you feel sunglasses protect you from opponent’s observation, if they give you confidence without making you careless, go ahead and wear them.
Like sunglasses, anything that dulls your ability to observe what is happening at the poker table is suspect. Some players like to give themselves a soundtrack while playing, others like to block out chatter from needling opponents. Make sure the tournament you are in allows them, and allows you to play music through them, if that is what you choose to do.
This is a popular bit of tournament poker gear, and a good place to display a logo if you have a sponsor and this is allowed by that particular tournament. Other than hiding your face a little bit when you play poker, it confers no other real advantage or disadvantage at the table.
Chris “Jesus” Ferguson likes to wear a cowboy hat along with his sunglasses, long hair and beard to project the image of an old time gambler. He feels this in some way conceals his true persona of a highly educated renaissance man, giving him an advantage over opponents who may make incorrect judgments about his style of play. Of course, since his multiple WSOP wins and ensuing biographical pieces, the jig is somewhat up, but taking on the cowboy role or any other costume that may mislead your opponents can be an effective tactic
The reality is, in a live poker game, you should wear whatever makes you feel relaxed, comfortable and confident. Whether it’s a track outfit or a three-piece suit, whatever outfit is going to get you playing your best poker is the one you should be wearing to the table.