There are a bunch of polarizing debates in sports with diehard fans on each side. Manning or Brady? Kobe or Lebron? Designated hitter or no designated hitter? Greedo or Solo?
Some of these debates can rage on for centuries and there will never be a clear-cut answer. Poker has a few debates itself, one of those debates is about eyewear.
They’re present in every poker tournament and some players swear by them. Others consider it unnecessary.
The rift even goes deep within Team PokerStars Pro. A few days ago Team PokerStars Pros Celina Lin and Raymond Wu were having a debate about these darkened spectacles at the table. Wu was in favor, Lin was not. Wu has one Red Dragon, Lin has two.
The two then named players to back up their side. Negreanu, Lin said. ElkY, responded Wu. The stakes were raised and the most popular names in the game were mentioned: Ivey, no sunglasses. Hellmuth, sunglasses.
We started the day with 25 players and seven of them are wearing sunglasses. The bespectacled ones include Shaun Conning, James Collopy, Aditya Agarwal and Michael Allmrodt. Our chipleader, Daniel Spence, also has sunglasses but has them on his hair instead of his eyeballs. We’ll call that a wash.
But that still leaves 18 players without sunglasses. Are they passing up on some edge? APPT staff member Sam Dawson doesn’t think so.
“I think they just like the image. It makes them feel like a poker player,” said Dawson. “Lots of poker players whine about tells, but managing your face is part of being a player.”
Dawson doesn’t wear glasses at the table.
“I’m always shaking, whether I have a good or a bad hand. That throbbing neck vein that players are worried about, if I’m in a hand it’s going,” Dawson added. “Maybe always having tells hides my tells.”
Today is the first time that Michael Allmrodt is wearing glasses.
“I was noticing people were starting to see too many tells,” Allmrodt said. “Now I can hide my eyes, hide some tells and I actually feel better.”
Lynn Gilmartin would tend to agree and says that sunglasses are a very personal decision. Her boyfriend, Team PokerStars Pro Angel Guillen, is a constant sunglasses player, but his reason is much different.
“He has very sensitive eyes,” Gilmartin said. “And lots of times the casino lights or TV table lights are too bright and the glasses help.”
Gilmartin herself doesn’t go for the glasses.
“But maybe that’s why I’m not a pro,” Gilmartin added. “They say eyes are the window to your soul and if people are going to try to soul read you then…”
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Alexander Villegas rarely wears sunglasses for the PokerStars Blog.