Wearing sunglasses to play poker? Isn't that lame?

With the proliferation of poker on TV, with celebrities and big shot professionals playing in tournaments and so on, I keep noticing that a lot of the pros wear sunglasses as they play, sometimes even mirrored. I’ve seen some sit there in great big wraparound shades that keep you from seeing even a hint of their eyes.

Now I’m not a poker player so I don’t really know what’s considered normal or acceptable in that circle, but when I see someone playing in sunglasses I think it’s really lame, almost a form of cheating. Isn’t part of poker trying to read your opponent and know when he’s bluffing or unsure of his move, or so excited he can hardly hide it? So if you sit there with your eyes completely hidden, isn’t that really weak? It’s like saying you don’t want to let anyone see your face enough to read you, so by god you’re just going to put on these big glasses so they don’t have a chance.

(I seriously doubt they wear them because of the TV lights or anything like that. The people I’ve seen were sometimes the only one at the table wearing shades, and they were a type that really hides the face well.)

If I was playing poker with someone and they tried to wear sunglasses the whole time, I’d give him all kinds of shit about being a weak ass pussy and damn near cheating. Why do professionals just accept it as okay, especially when there’s a lot of money at stake?

It seems that if you’re going to hide behind your Ray Bans like that, you might as well be playing remotely on your computer. I keep expecting someone to sit down at the table wearing a full face motorcycle helmet, to make sure no one can see anything.

I don’t wear them, but they do serve a useful purpose. Mainly, they don’t allow other people to see where YOU are looking. This is mostly important when you’re an unknown in a game, and other good players can spot a good player by watching what he’s paying attention to. By wearing sunglasses, you can look like just another dweeb who’s watched too much poker on TV.

At the highest levels, I suppose it’s possible that great players could read tells from you by watching your eyes, but a better response to that is to learn not to give off tells with your eyes.

And part of it is keeping your opponent from reading you. Short of gouging his eyes out, sunglasses appear to be the next best thing.

I don’t think it comes anywhere near cheating, but it certainly is lame. Very few top tier pros bother to wear sunglasses at the table. You’re just as likely to give away a tell with your face, your hands, your body language, anything, as you are with just your eyes.

We were talking about this at work last week and came up with a great scheme to prevenet tells - you wear those glasses withe eyeballs hanging out of them and you wear stupid hippy style hats. You carry a pile of cards and before each hand you read one and act as it says. For instance it may say “Pocket Aces” so when you look at your cards you jump up and run around pumpimg your fist although you have 72 off suit. Alternatively the may say say "72 off’ so you bitch and moan and then go all in with AA you really have.

Well… yeah… I understand that. It just seems counter to the spirit of the game. I mean, why not just erect a screen around your chair so no one can see anything?

If you’re going to play the game, play the whole game, which includes people sizing each other up and trying not to let others read you. The sunglasses remind me of the pansy kid on the playground who was always twisting the rules: “This tree is home base, too! You can’t touch me!” or “I’m in an invisible tank! You can’t see it but it’s a tank and you can’t shoot me!”

Lame. I can’t beleive other players don’t give those guys a hard time for wearing glasses.

I’m guessing this isn’t the case, since they are being worn, but isn’t there a chance your cards might be reflected in the glasses?

One fairly well know pro wears not only glasses but a hooded sweatshirt that he will pull the drawsting tight on the hood when involved in a hand. Lame, maybe. I bet he makes more than I do.

I was being a bit facetious in my first reply. There is nothing in the rules against wearing glasses, there are good players who wear them and good players who don’t. If you are confident in your abilities, then you don’t need them. If you feel they give you some protection, you can wear them. If you feel they are lame, you can smack talk to the guys wearing them and maybe put them off their game.

But if you wear them when you play online poker you are definietly lame. No question.

Damn, I’ve been discovered.

Yes. I discovered this when Hubby played cards with some of his friends who apparently copied the “pros” in wearing them to the table. I learned a lot during those games, because I was able to compare their play with the cards. (Meaning, I know all of their “tells” now!)

Screens are used in some forms of tournament bridge to prevent a player from seeing his partner during the game.

See Bidding boxes and bidding screens in this Wikipediaentry.

The whole poker “craze”, along with tattoos, cigars and choppers, is lame.

Phil Laak

He probably does make more than you. He’s also banging Jennifer Tilly, in case you wondered.

Yeah, I knew his name, and his squeeze. He’s just so lame occording to the OP I didn’t make the effort. But then what do I know, I was just about to take off my sunglasses from playing poker online, hop on my chopper, and smoke a cigar on the way to the tattoo parlor.

Poker as a “sport”? El lame-o!

Well hell, why not just play with the cards face up?

Poker is a game of incomplete information. Successful players gather as much information from opponents as they can and conceal as much information from opponents as they can, within the scope of the rules. Trying to prevent a player from gathering information on you by wearing sunglasses is no more against the spirit of the game than refusing to answer questions or sitting still.

Despite Tilly’s name being quoted right in the post, I read this and thought “you memorized how Phil Laak looks at his cards?”

Count me in for thinking it’s lame. I’m sure they golf with those giant clubs and drive from from the ladies’ tee, too.

Oh please. Golf is uber-lame, no matter what clubs or tees you use. Plus, it’s a bitch hauling clubs on a chopper.

One 2005 WSOP player decides not to wear sunglasses