Why You (Now) Look Stupid Wearing Sunglasses at the Poker Table
How many of you went out and tried to find sunglasses like Greg Raymer's after his 2004 victory in the WSOP Main Event?
The purpose, ostensibly, was to hide your eyes and protect against giving away any tells to your opponents.
What started out as a cool novelty has now devolved into a running gag at the tables.
In short - you look stupid when you wear sunglasses at the table and they actually hurt your poker game.
1. It Telegraphs that You're An Amateur
For many of you, wearing sunglasses at the poker tables marks you as an amateur.
It shows your opponents that you do not have the self-control for a poker face and chances are your other skills are just as underdeveloped.
Unknown players wearing sunglasses at the tables tend to get called down more often. Worse still it opens you up to ridicule from other players, especially if you're wearing sunglasses at low-stakes poker.
I once saw someone wear sunglasses at a $2-$4 Limit Hold'em game. Every time that guy was in the pot there were at least four callers because they wanted to tilt the douche wearing sunglasses indoors.
2. People Think You're Stoned
Call it profiling or stereotyping but if you're wearing sunglasses at the poker table, someone is going to think you're stoned.
I was once at a major poker event and overheard a couple of the floor staff speculating whether a select pair of sunglasses-wearing players were doing so because they were stoned.
As one stated, "Why else would they wear them? They're good players."
For casinos that have strict "no tolerance" policies against drugs, staff are trained to look for signs that players are high. Regularly wearing sunglasses at the table is a potential sign.
If you're one of those that consistently wears sunglasses indoors while playing poker, you will be ok. However, for those of you that infrequently do so, you're setting yourself up for suspicion.
3. Nobody Cares Who You Are
Some poker players play the game because they want to become famous. These players almost always are trying to find ways to stand out.
Wearing sunglasses indoors will definitely help you stand out, but nowadays it is for all the wrong reasons.
By and large nobody really cares who you are at the poker table. They just want to take your money.
If your game is worthy of getting noticed, it will. You don't need to have a special gimmick to get noticed. Let your play do the talking and keep the sunglasses in your pocket.
4. Don't Hide Your Eyes - Use Them as a Weapon
The worst part about wearing sunglasses is that you're abandoning a potential weapon you can use at the tables.
Some of the things that players are trying to hide can be used to give off false tells. A quick glance at someone's stack often means you're strong and looking to stack them.
Why not use this "tell" when you're bluffing to scare them into potentially folding?
Also, how are you ever going to develop a killer stare like Phil Ivey or Joe McKeehen if you wear sunglasses?
The eyes are the windows to the soul but they can also burn like fire when used properly. Keep the sunglasses in your pocket and use your eyes to help you win more money at the table