Thursday, June 30, 2005

Lesson Learned in Vegas

No, this is not a post about not mixing hard liquor with beer or wine.

I learned something about my live poker play while in Vegas. Disturbingly, it is the fact that I play better poker with sunglasses.

And MAN, do I hate guys who play poker with sunglasses.

I never wore sunglasses when playing live poker, mostly because I played limit poker and I didn't think sunglasses would make any difference. In my opinion, the only reason people wore them was to "look cool." I think they look retarded wearing sunglasses inside, so "looking cool" would be difficult.

But I decided to wear them in Vegas at the NL tournament at Mandalay Bay. It was reasonably bright in there, and there were a half a dozen other players wearing them. Granted most of them were donkeys wearing "Party Poker" hats (I kept thinking of ParPo and Fish from my comic) but I wouldn't be completely off base because a few of these guys seemed to be decent players.

Immediately the entire table said they were afraid of me because I was shuffling a stack of 20 and had a PokerSourceOnline Hat and glasses on. This might have been a good thing, people were actually laying hands down to me.

But what I really noticed is that the glasses made it MUCH easier to study other players as they were making decisions, especially in hands where I wasn't involved.

Maybe I am too self conscious to stare at a player when he knows I am staring at him. But I actually studied the players, looking longer than I would normally feel comfortable doing without sunglasses. And the info definitely helped me make decisions later in the game.

I continued wearing the glasses in the $200 NL game after the tournament, and it again helped me observe other players at the table.

I still never wore the glasses at a limit or spread limit game. I don't know if it would have made much difference, but it's something that I need to think about.


Shelly said...

Interesting point about the sunglasses - wearing them so you can study others as opposed to preventing others from studying you. I too am a bit too self conscious to stare at people - if I am watching someone and they catch my gaze, I look away immediately. (I was raised to believe it's rude to stare... thanks alot, Mom!) I've never worn sunglasses while playing, mainly because it makes it harder to see the board! Interesting concept though. I might have to try it.

Heafy said...

if it makes the other people at the table think you are another one of those sunglass wearing idiots, it may help in the short term too.

TripJax said...

Though I've never worn sunglasses while playing poker, I've always said if I did, the reason would be to watch other people without them knowing it. It just makes perfect sense. Still, I haven't done it yet cause - like you - I think some folks look like idgets while wearing them...

Good post.

May the felt be with you.