It is often the subject of ridicule, but is it justly so? Certainly it can be viewed as a pretentious thing to do. Impractical even. But is it possible that the benefits outweigh the image you present?
I am speaking, of course, about the practice of wearing sunglasses indoors at a poker table. Today I’ll take an in depth look at this practice, the pros and the cons.
Sunglasses Indoors: Cool or Fool?
Like many things, wearing sunglasses during a live poker game has a certain influence on your table image. In this case, that influence is unfortunately toward making your table image that of a pretentious, idiotic poser. I’m not totally sure how that happened, but I think it went something like this:
1. Savvy players employed this practice fairly often, to hide their eyes.
2. People took note of this practice from TV after the Moneymaker boom started.
3. Stupid people started thinking imitating good players in this way would MAKE them good players.
4. Enough posers started thinking this way that the practice became associated with them rather than the good players that started it.
Even I don’t want to have the table image of one of these guys. I said poker needs a BETTER class of villain, and there are already quite enough stupid posers and people pretending to be them this way for me to join in, thank you. However, that isn’t to say there aren’t benefits to the practice. I’ll be getting to the obvious thing in a minute, but first I’d like to point out that:
1. With the right look otherwise (clothes, face, etc,) it CAN look good.
2. People who look like poser idiots aren’t taken seriously–you can use this.
3. If you REALLY want to, what’s stopping you?
So you know, whatever floats your boat.
Sunglasses and Tells
The eyes, it has been said, are the windows to the soul. To extend the metaphor, this means that for a poker player, sunglasses can act as a set of shutters. I’m not sure how people’s eyes betray tells (I’m pretty sure mine don’t–I mean they’re like half closed all the time ffs) but I have to suspect there’s something to this.
However, before attempting to use sunglasses for this purpose, I would urge anyone to consider the venue they’re playing at. Specifically, the lighting in their venue of choice. If you play somewhere that’s brightly lit, or at least the poker tables are brightly lit, this is a valid thing to do. I myself often wear my (detachable) sunglasses into the grocery store I shop at, because all I have for a case for them is the flimsy piece of plastic they came in, it’s just easier to keep wearing them on bright days out. I’m able to do this because my grocery store is very brightly lit, so I’m not impaired at all, I have no trouble reading labels, etc etc. If you have any suspicion that you won’t be able to see other players’ tells, or worse your own cards, with sunglasses on, your venue is not brightly lit enough.
So if you play somewhere with even sort of dim lighting and wear sunglasses anyway, you will not simply look like a stupid, pretentious poser.
You will irrefutably be one.