What should the players wear at the poker tables? Does it have anything to do with skills or your overall success at the tables?
These are only some of the questions popping up in the poker circles over the last couple of years. Even if you have the need to look good at the tables, what should you wear to earn praise from your poker opponents on the occasion?
Believe it or not, the way you dress for the poker night may make all the difference as it affects the way other people at the poker table look at you while you are making crucial decisions. Obviously, it has nothing to do with those who are playing online poker for real money as you can dress however you want in the comfort of your home.
However, when playing in a live environment, the old saying dress for success goes a long way. Poker is a game of wits and one in which many different psychological elements play a part. By looking good and intimidating to your opponents, you will often get the desired results without even playing a single hand of cards. We explore how dressing at the poker table can help you and what some of the game’s great have to say about it.
Mike Sexton and his view on the theme
One of the most recognizable faces in the poker world, Mike Sexton, has been pretty loud sharing his thoughts on this particular subject. He considers dressing well at tournaments and cash games, particularly those televised, brings a wide range of benefits to a player. A veteran player and announcer for the World Poker Tour argues that the whole poker industry could rise to a new level with a proper dress-code the players would need to follow.
Mike himself is always seen wearing suits and looking very sharp to the poker tables. Along with a number of veterans of the game, Sexton has always had a touch of class that seems to be unknown to much of the younger generation of poker players. Many of them coming from an online background, young players have widely forgotten what it means to look smart at the poker tables.
The rise in popularity
We have witnessed a huge expansion of poker in the last decade. We came to a point where all major EPT and WPT events have become televised. If you are lucky and skillful enough to make it to the late stages of these tournaments, you may probably think of your looks, which may help you seem more fearless and intimidating to your opponents.
Nowadays, sponsorships are a major source of revenue for athletes all across the universe. If you have ever watched a poker event live on TV, you must have seen the popular players such as Daniel Negreanu wearing a sponsored suit. So, even though the apparel has nothing to do with your skills as a player, it may play a significant role in attracting sponsors who want someone who is appealing to the masses to wear their logos.
How to look stylish at the poker table?
We’ve now come to the main question. How to look stylish at the table? Exclusive poker tournaments and cash games are now considered to be genuine events and you can compare them with going for dinner in a restaurant or visiting a theatre. The dress-code across all events of this kind is very similar and pretty much straightforward.
For men, it’s usually a button-up shirt with a blazer and regular trousers (not jeans). The styling has to be completed with leather shoes which can also be combined with a shirt and jeans. If you want to look dressed for the occasion and meet Mike Sexton’s criteria, wearing leather shoes is a must. Items such as oversized hoodies, cap or sunglasses will hide your face and emotions, but won’t quite help you in attracting the much-wanted sponsors according to Sexton and his followers.
Women are advised to keep pieces of jewelry on a minimum and to avoid wearing too revealing clothes. They certainly do not want to draw too much attention and increase the pressure while making decisions on whether to call or fold.
The impact your apparel may have on your competitors
Sometimes, the way you dress can reveal much more information about your playing habits for the day than you think. Let’s say you woke up on the wrong foot on the last day of an important poker tournament and just quickly put on the clothes that were available. Proportionally, your decisions at a poker table will likely be as haphazard. Experienced players will know how to take advantage of it by waiting for your mistake at the crucial moment of the tournament.
However, there is another element to consider in choosing what to wear to the poker tables. With tournaments nowadays being filled with young, and often presumptuous players, dressing sharp may have you perceived as a tight fish. The fact that many businessmen who don’t quite understand poker at a high-level dress in suits to poker tournaments may actually help you deceive some of the younger population of players.
Combine looking good and feeling good in your skin with opponents being deceived into thinking you play weak and you have yourself a winning combination. Of course, what you wear will not be the ultimate factor in how you do in poker and you will still need to study the game, but it can help quite a bit. In the end, even if you were going to do the same wearing sweatpants or a suit, at least you will look the best in the snapshots taken by all the poker journalists at the venue.