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Sunglasses and Poker----Really?

by Roy Winston |  Published: May 10, '10

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Sunglasses in poker
So I guess since we are having trouble legalizing poker in this country we should instead ban sunglasses during live play. On top of that a certain well-known player/blogger compared wearing sunglasses to cheating, which is just plain ridiculous. He went on to say that he would expect players like Russ Hamilton to wear sunglasses. What about players like Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, or John Phan, all of who wear sunglasses and all of who have honor beyond reproach.

Where do you draw the line if you do ban sunglasses? What about those of us wearing prescription glasses, some of which are tinted. Tinting runs the range from light to heavy and might be hard to police. So before you open a can of worms you really need to think about the ramifications. Comparing sunglasses to performance enhancing drugs or outright cheating is nothing short of ridiculous. He also talks about how much better it shows for TV without sunglasses. Look at the great exposure Raymer got with his funky sunglasses during his WSOP main event Victory, pretty good TV in my opinion. Now that he’s doing poker TV and playing heads up against priests in a let’s just say “interesting” format all of a sudden he is dictating rules. Hey, he didn’t event seem to know the rules at a major live event when it came to a partially exposed hand on the river. It might seem that for some, what you call cheating depends on which side of the line you are standing on.

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: www.oraclepoker.net or send an email to: winstonpoker@yahoo.com with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

 
Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of CardPlayer.com.
 

Comments

Q-10os
over 11 years ago

Well put Roy! The negative reaction that Negreanu is getting by players does not necessarily have to do with sunglasses. It's rather about taking away personal freedom and choice.

Poker Stars made a huge mistake signing this immature little dictator, and this will all be felt by PS since they did cower to this guy's demands to ban sunglasses at The Big Game. Negative publicity and the wrong political ideology is what Daniel "I-can't-fold-my-junk-hand-even-though-I-know-I'm-beat" Negreanu brings to the Poker Stars table.

BTW, I need prescription sunglasses too. Any recommendations?

 
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RoyWinston
over 11 years ago

Actually I do, send me an email at winstonpoker@yahoo.com and I will let you know what I am doing as far as indoor poker glasses.

 
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runitwice
over 11 years ago

Roy, I really agree with your veiled Negreanu references. I'm tired of Negreanu making rules for the rest of us to follow. He may have done great in 2004 but hearing about how he's spending his life trying to break 80 on the golf course. He gets so out of line on so many levels its really incredible.

What he did at the PCA was way worse than wearing sunglasses. Danny boy needs to grow up and stop throwing stones while living in the ultimate glass house.

 
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KenGriffeyJr
over 11 years ago

add me to the list on people that's getting tired of Danny boys whining.......someone call a him a whambulance pronto!

Sunglasses are not ruining the game in any way shape or form, just play poker.

 
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mkhammer
over 11 years ago

I can't wait to see if he will respond to your comments. I agree with you especially on how he compares it to just flat out "cheating." I mean, who could make such an ignorant statement claiming that is everyone's intent. I never even realized that it's supposedly easier to see marked cards but I'm skeptical about that.

Daniel compares poker to several other "Sports." Is anyone who's ever really been an athlete thinking a game with cards and strategy is really a sport? Someone who can't drive the golf ball 200 yards thinks he is a professional athlete! C'mon little johnny, go and play some sports so that you don't suffer from childhood obesity........"ok, I will sit on my ass and play poker for ten hours, imagine the shape I will be in dad!"

 
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cutsr
over 11 years ago

Interesting..

On one side of the argument, you have a future Hall of Fame poker player, who is one of the most constant winning tournament poker players of all time. On the other side you have a one-hit-wonder with one tournament win in 2007 and no descent cashes in the past two years.

Daniel Negreanu does not set the rules for poker, however, being a advocate of the game and well respected player, those that do set the rules often listen to him. In addition, he cares about the game, and is promoting things he feels will help the game. He is one of a few players that think about every aspect of the game and how it can be improved. Often times he advocates things he believes should be changed to an avail (i.e. tournament structure).

While he mentioned the cheating element, I think he was really stating that it is not good for the game. While I see the arguments for both side, as a fan of the game, I agree. I have no interest in watching a poker show where everyone wears hoodies, sunglasses and headphones. I can login in at any time and watch that on the internet. Poker is a social game, it is a game of human interaction, that is it's roots and what I believe to be a fundamental of the game.

My question, where do you draw the line? Can someone wear a full motorcycle helmet or better yet, a full costume (like a mascot).

 
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maximose
over 11 years ago

Roy,

You are just not very good at analyzing arguments or reading comprehension are you? He's not "comparing" it to cheating. He's saying sunglasses are a way some players could cheat, WHICH IS TRUE. Also you are just naive or stupid if you think that glasses are good for t.v. (I'm leaning towards the ladder.) Viewers want to see peoples reactions and faces, every producer can tell you that.

 
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maximose
over 11 years ago

Why allow something in a sport, that if improperly used, can be an unfair advantage? That's what Negreanu was referring to. Roy you are unbelievably bad at poker anyway, people don't need to pick up tells on you. You are obviously being biased because you have some weird hatred for Daniel and because you are part of the old douchy generation that thinks people are gonna see your blinking tells and so you wear sunglasses indoors. Do us a favor go back to blogging about how you want to give fellatio to the borgata.

 
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BigDoggy
over 11 years ago

I agree with maximose.

He never said people with sunglasses are cheating. All he did was express an opinion and end it with this:

"I don't expect a sweeping rule change for all poker events to ban the use of sunglasses, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with creating a show, or poker tournament, with the explicit rule that sunglasses are not permitted."

Roy, your behavior toward Daniel is irrational. You don't even use his name when referring to his blog.

 
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Jobin
over 11 years ago

Whether or not I agree with Roy or Daniel, one thing is obvious: Daniel could blog about wanting to end world hunger and give his entire bankroll away to a charity of Roy's choice and Roy would somehow find fault with it.

Roy, isn't there a $50 Go Fish tourney at the Borgata you have to hype up?

 
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jimmynils
over 11 years ago

I propose a mma bout to the death between Roy and Daniel, two outstanding athletes, to end this childish bickering.

 
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BDub1
over 11 years ago

Just separating the arguments from the personalities, Danny is full of shit. I wear sunglasses with two separate prescriptions: bifocal on the bottom to see my cards, middle distance to see the board if I am not in seats 1, 9 or 5. Regular glasses are too reflective, and if reading your opponents is part of the "game", then giving false tells, and "hiding" tells should also be part of the game.

Danny does stick in the cheating argument which is perfectly ludicrous. If you are worried about marked decks, change games, casinos, states or recreation. How many of us really believe there are marked decks in the normal 5/10, 10/20 live games at the major casinos? Besides, you can have regular "slightly" tinted glasses (very imperceptible) to read marked decks, so that argument sucks.

Rules regarding cheating (corking a bat, etc) are rules to prevent actual cheating and level the playing field. Glasses do not allow or encourage cheating, and does not make the field favor one player over another.

What about headphones and MP3 players, that Daniel makes judicious use of? he could be getting private communication on the various tendencies of players at his table to make more optimal plays. Obviously, that is not working for him.

And let's not compare poker to an athletic sport, don't get me started on that one.

To summarize, irrespective of Roy's past or current performance, or Daniel's concern for the game, the banning of sunglasses is completely off base and is a personal decision. Next, women cannot expose cleavage, as it is distracting, and since men cannot do it, it's an un-level playing field.

 
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jimmynils
over 11 years ago

I love when people take blogs and totally twist the context. Daniel was making two points.
1. Sunglasses make it easier to cheat, not that wearing sunglasses is cheating but rather that it provides greater opportunity to cheat then not wearing them. I don't think any reasonable person would say that point is not true. Anything that adds to protecting the integrity of the game should be looked at.
2. Sunglasses do not add to quality on tv, yes Raymer and Hellmuth both wear sunglasses at times and have provided great entertainment, but if you look at the highest rated poker shows on tv (High Stakes Poker or Poker After Dark), they are the ones with the most interaction between players and least barriers affecting interaction (very few wear sunglasses and no one wears earphones) even Phil Laak has gone away from covering up his appearance on these shows. Sure is causes problems with prescription glasses and tint, all rules need work to look at all the different implications, but to throw out a suggestion that would add to the protection and integrity of the game just because someone can come up with a situation that would make it difficult to apply would be misguided.

 
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texasroadgambler
over 11 years ago

BigDoggy:

It is my opinion that Roy doesn't mention Daniel by name because he is afraid that he might have a defamation action brought against him for libel.

Daniel is an affable guy, but he does after all have an 800 pound gorilla for a sponsor that will move to protect its interests. Roy knows that.

 
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DCJ1
over 11 years ago

maximose, several posts above this one, said, "Also you are just naive or stupid if you think that glasses are good for t.v. (I'm leaning towards the ladder.)

I am often amazed by the lack of intelligence possessed by those who call others "stupid." maximose. Are you still leaning towards that "ladder?"

 
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texasroadgambler
over 11 years ago

And one more thing: Daniel or his sponsor would most likely bring the libel action if they chose to in Great Britain where the libel laws favor the defamed.

In Great Britain, the defendant must prove that he didn't defame the plaintiff. That is the converse of our defamation laws.

Friendly forum, wouldn't you think? And yes, the courts of Great Britain would have jurisdiction over such a case. The internet, don't you know?

Some of the rest of you posting here might be mindful of this fact.

 
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thumper2010
over 11 years ago

The cheating by wearing sunglasses in a live casino is totally ridiculous. You're much more likely to run into collusion or something of that nature. That being said I like to read both DN's and RW's blogs. Both love poker and to each his own. If DN wants to talk about cheating he should talk about jokerstars. LOL.

 
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mikeyb111
over 11 years ago

a big can of worms has been opened.

 
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texasroadgambler
over 11 years ago

bmpek:

Thank you so much for your so well-reasoned legal opinion. It is so encouraging to find out that you are well-versed about the ability of the English courts to obtain enforcement of English judgments against U.S. citizens. What a brilliant legal scholar you have turned out to be. I did so misjudge you. You'll just have to forgive me.

Is there a chance to enroll in your course in international law for a continuing legal education credit?

 
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texasroadgambler
over 11 years ago

bmpek:

P.S. Another "howler monkey" goes down for the count. I had to add this since I know that you are too dull to recognize sarcasm.

 
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nxt007
over 11 years ago

Finally I can unload. I really think Danny has to stop trying to tilt the game in favor of losers. Losers with money like himself- so that they can try to collect worthless trinket bracelets. He is obssessed with it. He would be happiest if weeded the field down with all kinds of regulations, to dozen buddies and himself for WSOP tourney.

I personally believe all players should play naked poker(including women) because it will really draw TV ratings and of course cheating would be near impossible. Sunglasses maybe needed if you want to avoid stark reality of imperfect bodies.

For someone who thinks poker is social game: earth to space cadet. Poker is one of the most anti-social game ever ingeniously developed.

It is a time and space continuum where people try to rob and steal each other all for fun and relaxation(?)

If you don't have sunglass,a hat and hoodies, how can you rob people?

Go Roy!

 
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Yaksha_NZ
over 11 years ago

Jesus Roy.. As long as you're obsessing again over Negreanu's blog, might you bother actually reading it?

What's ridiculous is your implication that Negreanu is labelling wearing sunglasses as 'cheating'. He wasn't making that claim at all, he was merely saying that wearing sunglasses can facilitate cheating - which is completely beyond dispute, it's a fact.

Pretty embarassing this distinction actually needs to be pointed out to you. Mind you, I guess logic doesn't have much to do with it when you've got a large chip on your shoulder right? :P

 
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maximose
over 11 years ago

Touche DCJ1,

I wanted to fix that right after I wrote it. You are the dude who points out misspellings, congrats. my LOGIC still stands tho. Roy has a completely irrational argument.
For the people who need the glasses, can you really not use clear ones? I really do not know the answer to that.
Also to the person saying that hiding tells is part of the game, I can understand that 50 years ago but the honest truth is people aren't reading your eyes. I know some 70 year old terrible poker player like T.J. Cloutier may say he's soul reading you but in reality he's not. More use can be made for cheating than protecting tells. The older generation loves the tells but the new age kinda realizes its complete b.s.

 
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udflyer
over 11 years ago

Cheating by use of cellphone is pretty silly too. But nearly 100% of poker rooms ban cell phone use at the table

If someone argues strongly against banning sunglasses, yet doesnt give one comment about reversing the cellphones ban, this is clearly because the sunglasses give them some sort of advantage over others, possibly unfair. And since using a cell phone doesnt give them any 'unfair' advantage, they do not argue about its ban being silliness.

Seems like roy and others care more about their bottom line, while daniel actually cares more about the game

 
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BanDanNow2010
over 11 years ago

TexasroadKill

You really get around don't you?
I just love your allknowing comments. You are a jerk of all trades! I never realized graduates from Redneck U. were so versed.
Tell you what moron..summon all your inbred monkey relatives rent a dvd of "Planet of The Apes"..open up a can of Billy Beer and have at it!! Your life must be very pathetic and your puny brain
is clueless.

 
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texasroadgambler
over 11 years ago

BanDan:

Short nap. Awakened refreshed. But you are still here making a fool of yourself. LOL

Don't you have at least one friend to tell you how lame your posts are? Or to tell you that you are completely overmatched against me?

Your cretin posts do cause me to focus my acerbic wit on you.

I'll bet that you are just wearing out Google trying to keep up with interpreting. Hope that helps. The juvenile that joined you earlier demonstrates that "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." LOL

 
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TheFly
over 11 years ago

To Richenough,

Maybe that's why Danny was wearing blue tinted shades on Season 1 of HSP when he brought 1 million to the table??

 
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L2K4FC
over 11 years ago

I can't WAIT to hear Norm and Chad talking about BANNING SUNGLASSES this summer at the WSOP. It'll be great. Then Helmuth will comment to DN about it at a final table somewhere and all hell will break loose. Finally something to look forward to in poker LOL. Good times.....

 
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Kind_Bud
over 11 years ago

Tournament directors will never ban shades cuz the only people who would show up are really good players who don't need to hide behind a facade that they can actually play poker because they saw Greg Raymer on the TV, everyone should just quit whining and play some poker geez louise

 
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Kind_Bud
over 11 years ago

and will people stop saying REALLY, gosh I hate that, you sound like a pre-teen girl

 
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MoosPlayer
over 11 years ago

Be a big boy, Roy. You can call DN by name; he won't mind or be embarrassed or be threatened by your criticism.

You disagree with DN, so try to be an adult about it.

DN outshines you as a player and a person. You come across as pathetic and jealous.

 
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omniplex
over 11 years ago

"Let's just say that guys like Russ Hamilton would oppose such a ban. I heard Durr say it on High Stakes Poker last week and he is absolutely right. You should always be uncomfortable playing high stakes poker against someone wearing sunglasses. I'm not making this up, it's just a fact. Banning sunglasses helps to protect the integrity of the game against cheating. For that reason alone, they should be completely outlawed from poker. No other sport or organization would allow competitors a device that makes it easier for them to get away with cheating."

As you can see he didn't say it was cheating, he said it would protect the integrity of the game. Get your facts right before you ramble on.

 
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TheFly
over 11 years ago

I guess since Matusow stacked Danny's arse not once, but twice on HSP, Danny now feels it wasn't fair for Mikey to wear sunglasses, and if only he hadn't "my ass wouldn't have been stacked three times on HSP this season" LMAO. Danny, your embarrassing crusade against eyewear at the poker table now almost rivals your embarrassing play at the poker table.

 
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g8rs5220
over 11 years ago

Man, you ripped Negreanu to shreads Roy, I wonder If he'll respond

 
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seamarfan269
over 11 years ago

I like pre-teen girls...oh sorry...this isn't a blog about that. "my 2 cents". ;)

 
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seamarfan269
over 11 years ago

Seriously though, here we are debating sunglasses for godssake. An issue that will not be resolved in the next 20 years. But...we are with days of the implemintation of the UIGEA and Kentucky seizing domains and much more important crap than stupid sunglass, but does a blog about taking away our personal rights within the combines of our homes garner this much attention from casual "mud-slinger"....hell no, why, cuz it's more entertaining to rip each other over eye-wear. I can't believe i'll never get this hour back i spent reading all these comments on these 2 blogs. "my 2 cents".

 
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seamarfan269
over 11 years ago

within*

 
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KingaDimuns
over 11 years ago

L2KF4C:

"Norm and Chad" LOL. It's Norman Chad, and Lawn McHearon. that's kinda funny.

 
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seamarfan269
over 11 years ago

I think it's Lon McCarren. "my 2 cents"

 
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seamarfan269
over 11 years ago

@Richenough...yes it took me about an hour to read Daniel's Blog and 95 responses and Roy's Blog and 40 responses. Not counting the blogs themselves, i averaged 26 seconds per response and some were quite lenghty and thought provoking. However, a "simpleton" like you wouldn't bother to do the math and figure out approximently how long i would actually take, you are more like a nimwit that just wants to sling some mud at someone because it sounds impossible that someone with above average intelligence would take an hour to do anything in this instant society that we live in. Thanks for proving to all the cardplayer readers how idiotic you and your responses actually are. "my 2 cents".

 
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oldeschoolpkrr
over 11 years ago

Roy (and all others who read this)....
I keep telling all of you why D. Negreanu is the way he is. No, he is not gay...not a crook, not a phony, not a lot of the things you all say he is.

What he is ...is a Canadian.

They are all like that. They can all be mistaken for all the negative attributes listed above, because that is the way they are. And they happen to be the most irritating bunch of bastards to play poke with. I can spot a Canadian at a poker table, just by the way they act, and they way they play. The fact that they get lucky, even for an extended period of time (Negreanu's seems to be running finally)....adds to the irritation. Also, the fact that they want to come here and run our poker games, and modify our well-established rules, is just an extension of their vast national inferiority complex. Canadians, and their country as a whole....are one vast pain in the ass, and I imagine they will continue to be so. They constantly preach how they ar better than us, etc.... ALMOST AS IF THEY WERE A REAL COUNTRY...... So there you have it...Take Negreanu for what he is....

 
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