About Blue Sharks
Do you know why many professional poker players wear mirrored glasses at the table? Most people guess that it is to hide their eyes so people can’t read anything in them. This is a very small part of the reason why wearing shades can give you a big advantage. The real reason to wear shades at the table?
The other players won’t know that you are watching them!
I know, you are an old pro at this whole poker thing. You are way past the point where a big hand will cause your pupils to dilate significantly or your eyes to dart down to your chips when you flop a monster. Or so you think. But it’s very tough to hide where you are looking.
Any great player knows that you don’t watch the flop. You watch your opponent watch the flop. The flop isn’t going to change, it can wait. When the flop is revealed you should be watching your opponent’s reaction. That first few seconds of reaction is priceless.
The eyes that shoot down to their stack, the hand that wants to bet so bad it twitches, the lips that purse in a barely perceptible micro-frown, are all gone in a second or two, but they are often on display for the instant after the flop is revealed. Most players don’t know these kinds of tells exist, and even if they have heard about them, they have no idea how to control them.
If players see that you are watching them as the flop falls, their behavior will change. Everything they do will be a conscious decision, and they will be much harder to read. They will also know that you are watching for tells, which may indicate that you are a strong player. Some of them will even learn from you and start watching their opponents instead of the flop.
It’s not just your opponent who may learn from you. The whole table has a chance to see where you are looking if your eyes are visible. When an opponent learns that the strong player is watching the players instead of the flop, and he starts doing the same thing, the game gets tougher. If you often play with the same opponents, it can be a disaster to give away this valuable information.
Will they learn something about you from the fact that you are wearing poker shades? Absolutely. But not nearly as much as they can learn from you without them. When you walk up to the table scouting out every player’s stack and watching them like a hawk, half the table will take note of it. I call it “shark eyes” when a player walks up to your table with a rack of chips and they are already scoping out every stack and every player’s appearance. You can be almost certain that a new player is strong when you see shark eyes.
What if a new player has shades? That doesn’t mean much. They may be strong, but I have played with a lot of terrible players with shades on. I don’t learn nearly as much about them from the shades as I would if I could see their eyes.
I have tried quite a few different types of glasses at the tables. After playing for a living for more than ten years, I understand how valuable they can be. I used to spend $300 to $400 on a pair of sunglasses at least once a year. I got the lightest tint I could with mirroring on them, and I wrote them off on my taxes and tried not to think about how much money I was spending money for shades that I couldn’t wear half the time because the table was too dark.
Then a few years ago at the World Series of Poker, I stopped by the Blue Shark booth and met the owner, Kerry. He showed me a few pairs, and I tried them on. Some worked better for me than others, and I walked away with a pair that I liked fairly well. They weren’t perfect, but they were much better than anything else on the market. I wore them daily.
Every year when I went back to the WSoP, I picked up a new pair of Blue Sharks, and they got better every year. I’m not used to wearing glasses, so I need very lightweight frames that are comfortable or they really bother me, and every year they were easier to wear.
The 2015 models are amazing. The lenses are near perfect, leaving the table bright and clear so that I can watch my opponents, but blocking the view like a one-way mirror so they can’t see where I am looking. The new frames are super lightweight, and with the wrap around style of my signature model, I have absolutely no glare from external light.
I just spent ten hours wearing a pair of Blue Sharks, and they are by far the most comfortable and shades I have worn. Blue Shark really has this thing figured out. I can wear them all day and I see perfectly. At around $150 they cost half of what I used to spend on a pair of sunglasses, and they do the job so much better.
If you are serious about making more money playing poker, get yourself a pair of Blue Sharks at BlueSharkOptics.com and use my code FOX2014 for a 10% discount when you order.