If you are a regular poker player then you will know that one of the main aspects of playing professional poker is to keep a straight face to stop opponents figuring out what cards you might have, this is where the term “Poker Face” comes from. Any sign of worry or even confidence has a way of showing the opponent that you may or may not have a good hand.
Nowadays most professional poker players will be seen wearing a form of disguise to avoid giving away any hint of the hand of cards that they hold.
Here we will list a bunch of the most common disguises used during a game of poker. Once you have read through the list, you will more than likely catch a pro wearing such disguises at an event or on tv. If you personally play poker, you should definitely have a shot at some of these disguises and see how they improve your overall performance.
- Facial Hair – Moustaches and Beards
You may think that these are the player’s real facial hair, however, many of them actually have fake moustaches and beards which they stick on just for playing poker. Some men will even take it upon themselves to grow their facial hair to long lengths such as professional player Andy Black has done. This helps to hide unwanted facial expressions that might give away any hints.
This is probably one of the most common disguises that poker players use. Movement in your eyes can be one of the biggest giveaways when playing, players wear all sorts of different coloured glasses in order to stop opponents from seeing them. Movement such as looking in the other direction or down at the floor can make it seem like you have bad cards, influencing how your opponent plays their next turn if they catch you out. You can find players like Greg ‘Fossilman’ Raymer wearing sunglasses during his poker games.
A strange but more common disguise than you may think is players wearing masks. While many Poker Tournaments do not allow masks, games that do allow them are taken to the full advantage. It is certainly a way of hiding any facial giveaways as it covers your entire face and if they were allowed more often in professional poker then I’m sure much more players would use them. One occasion where somebody was allowed to wear a mask was when the player ‘Son of Santos’ participated in a tournament due to the fact that he was a boxer.
- Dressed Like the opponent
This happens more often than it seems. Players will occasionally come dressed in similar clothing to that worn by their opponent. This is not limited to accessories either as some even wear the same watches, chains or hats as their opponent. This can throw the opponent off as they will more than likely notice that you are dressed like them and start to wonder why, in turn, making their mindset move away from the game they are playing.
Players will wear items of clothing such as wigs in order to distract their opponent. Sitting across from somebody that is wearing a silly wig is bound to make you concentrate less on your own hand and more on the player facing you. This has been put in to play by players like Alan Parsons.
- Proxy Players
This is less common, though it has happened. A proxy player is somebody that takes your place during a game. For this to work you would have to make up a good excuse as to why you cannot attend instead. This can be very useful as you could train the proxy in advance so that they know what they are doing. It can also throw off the opponent as they will be facing somebody new and someone that they have no insight into how they play.
- Hats of all shapes and sizes
A number of players choose to wear hats whilst playing poker. It may seem like it will not cover up much but a hat with a large rim is more than enough to cover most of your face to avoid giving anything away. You can find players such as Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson wearing such a hat in his professional poker games.
- Sponsored Clothing
Sponsored Clothing is often worn by professional players that are successful enough to have a brand want to sponsor them. Many Top League Tournaments will have players that come dressed in these items of clothing. They get sponsors from sites such as 888 Poker which can be seen on clothing worn by professional player Leo Margets. This may be off-putting to opponents as they know that they are facing a player with a lot of experience in poker.
- Oversized Headphones
While just having to look at oversized headphones can be distracting, some players even take it upon themselves to play music through them during a match. This can greatly impact the other players thought process when all they can hear is somebodies music in the background. Players such as Vanessa Rousso have been seen doing just this. While it does not exactly disguise you, it takes the opponents thoughts off your face and onto the music.
You will find that some players will do anything it takes to avoid giving away any information at the poker table. This involves coming dressed in any form of costume, from Batman to Indian Chiefs and even a Bunny! Kara Scott showed up in a Bunny costume at the EPT San Remo in 2008. These wild and crazy costumes as certainly going to send your opponents thought process away from the poker game and onto your dress sense for the night.
Now that you have had a look through the list of the most common disguises in poker games, we hope you get a chance to try them out for yourself and make sure to share them with other poker players.