The explosion of the poker boom in the past decade has resulted in increased television broadcast coverage for the classic card game. What’s more, the growing mainstream popularity of poker has redefined the image of its professional players to the world. Indeed, the casual and laidback styles of the world’s poker elite are informed by comfort and practicality above all else. After all, there’s too much prize money at stake to be overly worried about trends and ensembles. Nevertheless, it seems like most of the top male poker pros can be found wearing three particular fashion items – sunglasses, hoodies, and caps. Each of these three items serve a distinct purpose in helping poker players win high-stakes tournaments across the globe.
Poker tournaments are probably one of the few occasions where the unspoken “no sunglasses indoors” rule can be freely broken. The appropriate pair of sunglasses in poker should be dark enough to conceal the eyes but not too dark that it hinders the player’s own vision. Of course, the primary function of sunglasses in any poker tournament is to hide any “tells” (a noticeable change in a player’s behavior or demeanor) that a player might reveal through his eye movements. Sunglasses also provide a cover that players can use to discreetly observe their opponents’ patterns. 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event winner Greg Raymer has clearly pushed the boundaries of sunglasses in poker tournaments with his lizard-eye hologram shades.
The vast majority of indoor poker rooms in casinos are very chilly, which makes hooded sweatshirts or jackets a must-have item for surviving the long hours of a world-class poker tournament. Hoodies basically serve to camouflage a poker player’s head and upper body movements. And since the actual hood covers both sides of the player’s face, hoodies are usually combined with sunglasses to fully obscure any tells that may emanate from a player’s tics or subconscious gestures. GDpoker brand ambassador Erion Islamay is just one of the hundreds of poker pros who wear hoodies with sunglasses to effectively disguise facial expressions and any stray emotions floating around.
Billed caps are pretty much ubiquitous in poker tables around the world. Wearing billed caps with sunglasses is another great way to cloak most of the head and face against eagle-eyed opponents. All told, billed caps usually bear the logos of online poker websites or the player’s favorite sports team. When Marvin Rettenmaier won the World Poker Tour (WPT) Merit Cyprus Classic back in August 2012, he received his WPT Championship ring while wearing a “U MAD?” cap. Rettenmaier’s victory in that tournament followed his May 2012 triumph at the WPT World Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, making him the first poker player to win back-to-back World Poker Tour (WPT) Main Events