Pro Poker Player Signature Accessories

2 years ago
Poker Player Signature Accessories
12 May

Any poker player will understand what you mean if you said “they look like a poker player”. Poker fashion is unique, with colorful combinations of flamboyant sunglasses (worn indoors of course), bracelets, rings, large caps or hats, and hoodies. Sometimes even all of the above! These accessories have a greater purpose than simply looking good. Accessories are utilized to hide physical tells and to distract opponents.

Some poker players are as well-known for their accessories as they are for the tournaments they have won and the money they have earned. Here are a few of the best known examples of an accessory becoming almost as famous as the player themselves.

Greg Raymer’s Lizard Sunglasses

In 2004, Greg “Fossilman” Raymer won the World Series of Poker Main Event, collecting the record (at the time) first prize of $5 million. On his way to beating the other 2575 entrants, Raymer turned heads by debuting his attention grabbing “Lizard Eye Sunglasses”. When Raymer put his opponents in a tough spot he put on these glasses and stared down his opponent.

Raymer intended to distract his opponent and it certainly worked. If even a fraction of his opponents' attentions were on the two holographic lizard's eyes staring right through them, then it would be impossible for their full attention to be on the decision they had to make.

Humberto Brenes Shark Card Protector

Costa Rican Poker legend, Humberto Brenes, is well-known for his shark card protectors which are most often used when he is about to go all-in. Brenes stands up, waves around the shark card protector and charismatically announces himself all-in.

His antics draw the attentions of both the TV cameras and other players, whilst his opponents must think over their big decision amid the disruption. Anyone would struggle to concentrate with all the commotion going on, and this is the reason Brenes employs these tactics.

This strategy has paid dividends for Brenes as he has had a stellar career at the World Series of Poker cashing 82 times. Brenes has won two WSOP bracelets and has over $6 million in tournament winnings. His nickname befits his utilization of the famous card protector. He is known as “The Shark”.

Phil Laak’s Hoodie

Phil Laak burst onto the poker scene years ago, by winning a 2004 WPT Celebrity Invitational and then finishing second behind Johnny Chan in a 2005 Pot-Limit Hold’em event. Best friends with Antonio Esfandiari and long-term partner of Jennifer Tilly, Laak’s effervescent personality always draws attention to himself.

He became famous for his hoodie and in particular, his decision to completely conceal his head during big moments. Laak aimed to give away no information whatsoever about his hand to his opponent and often sat for minutes at a time with his hoodie tied around his head as he waited for the opponent to act.

Laak is no stranger to setting trends at the poker table. He won his only WSOP bracelet with multiple injuries after a vehicle accident in 2010 and had actually caused a rule change in 2008 when he played Day 1 of a poker tournament in complete disguise! This prompted the WSOP management to change the rules surrounding the use of facial masks.

Chris Ferguson’s Cowboy Hat

Known as “Jesus” because of his slender, build long dark hair, and goatee beard, Chris Ferguson is best known for being a founding member of Full Tilt Poker, but is also well-known for his image which includes the familiar attire of dark sunglasses, a very large black cowboy hat, and his distinct facial hair.

For over ten years, Ferguson has been one of the most recognisable poker players in the world. He built his profile prior to the 2003 poker boom by winning the 2000 World Series of Poker Main Event for $1.5 million when he beat TJ Cloutier heads up. Unfortunately for Ferguson, the collapse of Full Tilt Poker has led to a dramatic fall from grace for him and it is unlikely he will don this recognizable attire when out and about these days. Ferguson remains, however, as famous for his accessories as for his other significant contributions, both good and bad, to poker.

Johnny Chan’s Orange

Famous for his cameo role in the poker movie “Rounders,” and for winning back-to-back WSOP Main Events in the 1980’s, most of us would subscribe to the motto that “if it is good enough for Johnny Chan, it’s good enough for me”. You may therefore expect to occasionally see more fruit at the poker table, because Chan was always seen with an orange at the table during poker tournaments.

When asked why, Chan said that he has spent hours and hours at the poker table over the years and finds it unpleasant to occasionally be in close proximity to poker players with poor personal hygiene and/or players smoking pipes or cigarettes all day. He prefers to hold the orange to his face rather than endure his immediate surroundings, and who could argue with him? His results speaks for themselves.

One thing all of the above players have in common is that they have were first known for their poker skills before they became famous for their accessories. Yes, they have tons of charisma and make watching poker far more fun, but there is method in their eccentricities. Whether it be deception or distraction their accessories add to their arsenal of poker tools. Behind the crazy sunglasses, the stylish hoodie, or outlandish hat lies a savvy poker pro that is just waiting for the opportunity to take all of your chips. You have been warned!

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Malcolm comes from Consett in the North East of England and is an avid poker player and writer.Read more


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