PokerNews Op-Ed: Dress as You Please at the Poker Table
Orpen Kisacikoglu is currently playing at the EPT Monte Carlo, and wrote this piece in response to Patrik Antonius' ideas about how he wants to change poker, which he shared with PokerNews in this video.
Live tells are part of the game as much as hiding/faking live tells is part of the game. But none of these are mandatory parts of the game. This is very important to realize. Otherwise online poker (no live tells) would not exist, thus PokerNews would not exist, thus all these lovely live poker stops would not exist.
"We need to let people be and dress like as they feel comfortable at the tables."
We should all have a responsibility to make this game more welcoming, more colorful and more inclusive. We need to let people be and dress like as they feel comfortable at the tables. We need to be kind and inclusive up to a limit where/if things start to damage the "core" of the game (i.e. slowing down the game intentionally, angle-shooting, etc.). I have never witnessed a hoodie or sunglasses etc. slowing down a game or annoying anyone. This is key.
Before I started playing poker, I remember seeing Phil Laak with his all-the-way zip-up hoodie, covering all his face on a televised event 10-15 years ago and remember thinking "Wow, that is interesting, there is probably more to poker than being just a luck based card game."
These are our values. Hoodies, sunglasses, headphones, scarves etc. have been an integral part of the poker player image for a VERY long time.
- I do not want us to force Phil Hellmuth to be without sunglasses.
- I do not want us to force Phil Ivey to be without headphones.
- I do not want us to force Doyle to be without his cowboy hat.
I really like seeing people like Kempe and Vogelsang using fashionable scarves to cover their necks. They are so stylish and great for the imagery of the game. I even love Vogelsang's "stupid" hoodie as well :) Can you imagine how many eyebrows it is lifting and making people more curious about the game? It almost got viral on social media!!! These people are role models of the game and indirectly recruiting so many random people to poker.
"I really hope we will do everything as a community to keep poker very inclusive and welcome everyone to the game."
Also all the nonsense around headphones making the game less social is unfortunately not accurate. We can't force a person that wants to be unsocial, to be social by removing his/her headphones. This would be pure abuse.
To me all these ideas around starting to mess with people's appearance at the tables are a little medieval, populist and completely unnecessary. Let's let people be as they please as long as they come over and join us to play the game and help reach out to others.
I really hope we will do everything as a community to keep poker very inclusive and welcome everyone to the game.