When it comes to showing off your fashion sense at any event, whether you’re walking down the red carpet or attending a house-warming party, wearing the most popular clothing and accessories has a high level of importance for many. But while not every social gathering will require gorgeous gowns and expensive tuxedos, such as poker tournaments, there are still fashion considerations players take to the table to not only stand out from the crowd, but to maintain their confidence as well.
Just take a closer look at the various styles players bring to the poker tables and you’ll quickly learn what the latest trends inspire. In fact, for some players, maintaining a unique sense of style is what completes their individual personas, and may even be strategically crafted to intimidate their competition.
As it’s quite uncommon to see poker players wearing anything fancier than slacks and shirts or blouses, one may wonder whether their particular choice of clothing serves any purpose in terms of improving their game strategy. However, many players make it a point to wear certain pieces of clothing to each game they attend. For example, some players wear the same T-shirt they were wearing when they experienced their first taste of success in the past, which only help make them that much more recognizable.
Phil Laak, also known as “The Unabomber,” is considered to be one of the most eccentric poker players of today. After appearing at a poker tournament wearing sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt, it ended up becoming his own unique trademark.
While it’s common to see poker players wearing this same kind of attire to keep a poker face, there was a special story behind Laak’s particular ensemble. Following a long night of celebrating, he initially chose to wear sunglasses to protect his eyes from the bright lights and a hooded sweatshirt over his head to hide how sick he was the next day.
When it comes to fooling your opponents into thinking you’re a calm and collected player table image is only part of the game, but dressing the part can have its effects as well. Take Liz Lieu, for example.
Always dressed to impress, Liz is known for taking the typical T-shirt and jeans look to a completely sophisticated level. Rarely do fans find her without her hair done, virtually flawless makeup, and freshly-painted nails. Regardless of how dressed-up or dressed-down Liz is, she always looks the part of a confident and pampered poker player.
And then there are poker players who go completely out of their way to make sure they are the most memorable ones at the table, like Bertrand Grospellier. Also known as “ElkY” in the poker community, Grospellier is known for working equally as hard on his career as on his own wardrobe that he shows off at the tournaments. Though dressed in some of the most striking attire, his once bright pink hair and eccentric clothing choices only added to his growing fame.
And when asked about his “questionable” sense of fashion, ElkY stated that he merely wanted to be noticed to get more attention from sponsors. Today, he still insists on making his own fashion statements, only slightly less aggressive than when he first started playing poker, sporting Christian Audigier rhinestone-encrusted T-shirts, designer jeans, and bleached blonde hair.
A little over twenty years ago, it wasn’t nearly as common to see professional female poker players compete at the most popular poker tournaments we know today — even celebrities like Jennifer Tilly have been making their way to the top rankings. But when it comes to recognizing the best-dressed ladies of the poker community, Mary Jones is often referred to as the epitome of class whenever she enters her poker events.
In addition to the Queen of Hearts T-shirt she wore in the Ladies Event, she’s also been spotted in slacks and tasteful tops that keep her well-dressed for any game.
Son of Santo
While most professional poker players don’t go beyond wearing designer clothes or dying the hair unnatural colors, there are some who go as far as wearing full masks. Though it’s true there are usually rules in some poker tournaments that may restrict full face masks, they made an exception for “Son of Santo”, a Mexican professional wrestler and successful star in Luchador wrestling community.
If you thought anything more than sunglasses was over-the-top to hide your poker face, there are still poker players who will go to nearly any length to disguise themselves at the tables — even full costumes. Kara Scott, for example, once wore a pink bunny outfit to the 2008 European Tour in San Remo.
But aside the fuzzy suit that got her attention at one of the most prestigious poker events of the year, Scott is well-known for fashion sense in the poker community. Bringing an elegant and sophisticated style that is difficult to replicate, her femininity and glamour give only contributes to her regal posture.
Over the years we’ve seen poker players go both ways with their fashion choices, but whether they surprise the crowd with extravagant costumes or a simple ensemble of T-shirts and torn denim pants, it’s the skill these players bring to the table that make them winners. You don’t have to wear designer clothing or expensive jewelry to feel like a champion at the poker tables, but it’s important to feel confident with yourself at the same time. Whether you need sunglasses to maintain that poker face or a hooded sweatshirt to feel more comfortable with your poker strategy, the best clothing to wear at a poker tournament is up to you and your unique style.