Ever since the Moneymaker poker boom began in 2003, many casinos throughout Sin City and other gambling-friendly sites have increased their live poker offering. Knowing what to wear when heading into a live poker tournament can make all the difference to one’s long term expectation.
Tip #1: Dress For A Cold Environment
Numerous times I’ve seen live poker “newbies” voice their surprise at just how cold it is at a poker table. Often times the more people that are seated inside a single area (such as the World Series of Poker), the colder it will actually be.
This is why you see so many seasoned poker players wear hooded sweatshirts when competing in major events. The great thing about hoodies is that you can always take them off and conveniently place them on your chair if it makes you more comfortable, However, if you enter a live poker session wearing only a t-shirt, you won’t have any remedy for keeping warm.
The easier your outerwear is to store, the better. Bulky leather jackets might keep you warm, but will also require you to lug them around from table to table when seat changes happen in tournaments or ring tables break.
Tip #2: Wear A Watch
Have you ever noticed that casinos almost never have clocks hanging about? There’s a reason for this of course, but unless you want to make frequent walks over to your favorite casino’s sports betting area to ask the old-timers what time it is, bring a watch to the poker tables!
You might also want to keep in mind that constantly asking what time it is may cause from friction at whatever table you’re seated at. I once sat in a poker room with a friend who walked around and asked five different dealers the time… and came up Snake Eyes on each answer.
Poker room time elements are reserved for tournament clocks. If you need to be elsewhere at a specific time, take it upon yourself to know what time it is. If a watch isn’t your thing, then almost ever cellular phone has a clock on it.
Tip #3: Headphones Or Earphones
There are many times when the conversation at a poker table will be to your liking, but sooner or later you will wish you had something else to listen to besides bad beat stories. This is why it is important to bring either headphones or earphones to a poker table — preferably attached to an iPod or similar device that contains your favorite playlist.
Personally I’m a headphones type of guy, as I feel opponents tend to expect you to have an easier time removing earphones in order to listen to whatever tale of woe they have to share.
Regardless of what you decide, long poker sessions tend to happen naturally even if you plan on a short session, so bring a way to “tune out” unwanted poker table chatter.
Tip #4: Avoid Tight-Fitting Clothing
Tight-fitting shoes, pants, and shirts can cause a lot of discomfort at the poker table during long sessions. There are some seasoned pros who are experienced in dealing with this, but unless you fall into that category, loose clothing is better than its counterpart.
You’d be surprised at how any discomfort at a poker table can ultimately give valuable information to your opponents. If there is something that is consciously bothering you, then it will likely be on display subconsciously whenever you’re in an important situation.
Think of this somewhat as a “pebble in the shoe” scenario. You might be able to walk around with it for a short period of time without any consequence, but after hours of doing so the discomfort may become intolerable.
Tip #5: Bring Sunglasses
Sunglasses are socially-accepted apparel at a poker table. You may find that you are much more comfortable without them, but again… you can always take them off if you want to stare down an opponent.
Some pro poker players advise newcomers not to wear sunglasses at a table, but those guys and gals have had years of experience hiding or manipulating their tells without shaded eye wear.
There are quite a few good poker players who can glean information from an opponent just by looking at his or her eyes, so come prepared for this if you’re looking to increase your chances of success at the poker tables.