Dress codes in poker tournaments have long been a polarizing topic in the gambling industry. Here’s everything you should know about it.
Dress Codes In Poker Tournaments: What History & Present Suggest
For years, dress codes in poker tournaments have been a polarizing subject in the community. Poker is a gambling game, so it isn’t easy to maintain respectability. It may be reasonable for participants to put effort into their appearance, given the high-profile tournaments that have been broadcast around the world.
Mike Sexton, a respected commentator and player went on a tirade years ago about the lack of professionalism and responsibility shown by so-called professional poker players. The rant went beyond merely criticizing some players’ attire. The gist of it was that everyone has to make a good impression if they want to ensure the future success of poker.
Before Chris Moneymaker lit the poker world ablaze in 2003, many poker rooms were shut down, and the game was losing its popularity. The explosion of fame was directly attributable to television. If sponsors were going to invest money and time to broadcast the game worldwide, it makes sense that players should make the most of the situation and give the best impression.
Are Dress Codes in Poker Tournaments Really Necessary?
There is a particular reason this topic has become so controversial: many professional poker players have faced ridicule for their appearance. The WSOP Main Event final table was the best example of this kind of transgression.
Joe McKeehen, the tournament winner, looked like he’d been dragged out of bed at 4 AM during the event, compared to his sleek-looking opponents. He looked completely out of place with his uncombed hair and straggly beard. McKeehen probably didn’t mind, as he defeated the eight remaining players and earned $7.7million with an almost flawless display of prowess.
In other words, his poker skills weren’t the problem; his lack of presentability was. McKeehen was the sport’s de facto champion for twelve months. His appearance and how he presented himself to the community remained etched in their minds for many years.
Additionally, no one is saying that dress codes should exist in every poker game/tournament all the time. Even pros can dress however they feel if they’re playing video poker online. Aside from receiving promotional offers as soon as you enter their websites, these venues don’t care what you look like unless we’re talking about live poker. (On the plus side, if you don’t feel like dressing up to play poker, we recommend searching for no deposit bonuses in Canada – the online venues there are more player-friendly than European online casinos).
The Current Industry Situation
When considering the idea of dress codes in poker tournaments, it’s essential to remember that poker is an American game. Those who have not previously been to the US for poker will find that there is no dress code in American card rooms. As the game has evolved, dressing casually has become the norm and has been adopted around the globe.
On the other hand, the United Kingdom and Europe have almost always established a dress code for casinos and card rooms. However, the “hoodie-and-sunglasses” image that is so prevalent at high-profile events like the European Poker Tour continues to be a problem. Many feel that nothing is changing, despite the apparent progress in the form of increasing corporate sponsorships.
It’s absurd to expect Las Vegas casinos to have a dress code for their card rooms at this stage. However, players enjoying casual games should not mimic their relaxed attitudes at all times because it is not appropriate for the most prominent tournaments.
Why Some Players Wear Insane Outfits
International TV stations air high-roller poker tournaments. It makes sense that the final event will be the talk of the town when the buy-in is $10,000 or $50,000. This was the case at the 50th WSOP Anniversary Final Event.
Poker players love to present themselves in all kinds of crazy clothing and accessories. Such antics may explain why they are so attractive to potential sponsors and TV cameras. They also like to disguise their reactions, trying to present the best poker face possible. Additionally, some bizarre things may serve as their lucky charms.
Some Reasons Why Dress Codes in Poker Tournaments Are A Good Idea
Many stories exist about the outrageous costumes worn by WSOP players. The WSOP main events sometimes purposely took place close to Halloween. Note that poker players love risk and are capable of betting on almost anything. They love betting on appearing in quirky costumes, which often goes hand in hand with their poker passion.
We cannot tell you about all of the fantastic things that have occurred at WSOP.
However, we’ve listed several famous examples below, but Phil Hellmuth wins the grand prize.
Hellmuth is a man who loves to be the champion in everything he does. He has won the most WSOP bracelets (15) and cash prizes (150 times), with an overall bank total of $14,727.690. He is a true star who always tries to live up to that reputation. Hellmuth even played the role of Julius Caesar once on a real horse-drawn chariot. This player’s other notable appearances include a WWII General, a boxer, a race-car driver, and a big baby (our personal favorite).
Additional crazy costume examples (making dress codes in poker tournaments an excellent idea) include:
- Jeff Madsen as Jester
- Kara Scott as a pink bunny
- Bruno Politano as Scooby-Doo
- Tatjana Pasalic as a playful leopard
- Daniel Negreanu as Scotty Nguyen (we’re not joking)
- Bertrand Grospellier as the main character from Assassin’s Creed
- Phil Laak did a 6-hour makeup session to appear as an older man.
Countless poker players and professionals agree that televised final table broadcasts should have a dress code. Pokerstars’ Lee Jones, for instance, wrote a blog post explaining his views.
He said …” it’s about getting the corporate world to take us seriously… PokerStars’ TV people go to enormous lengths (and cost) to create an elegant, engaging, and visually riveting set. Alas, most of the people sitting on that set look like they can’t afford a pair of jeans, much less a $10,000 poker tournament buy-in.”
It may very well be time to enforce changes. For example, Marcel Luske was a snappy player, even before the poker boom. He was a sharp-suited man with sunglasses and perfect style. Many also remember Max Steinberg, the World Series of Poker Main Event finalist in a blue suit looking smart – and not just the one time.
Many players care about their image and the quality of poker. Numerous pros agree that players should not allow a small minority to ruin the game for everyone else. Additionally, female players seem to take this aspect much more seriously than their male counterparts, at least when the cameras begin rolling. Maybe male players should take pointers from them when it comes to dress codes in poker tournaments.