In my never-ending search for a poker edge I've been considering new angles for my appearance. As is the case for CEOs, a disproportionate number of WSOP ME winners are above average height. Because stopping smoking at my age is unlikely to lead to a sudden growth spurt I did what I could in this area and started wearing 2" Cuban heels and a hat.
Greg Raymer, of course, is above average width, and it is not clear to me that this leads to any particularly intimidatory advantage. However, I do find those voluminous cargo shorts that he wears to be unsettling. Somehow they communicate the idea of camping and I do poorly when asked to sleep in the wilderness when I know there's a perfectly good Marriott within twenty miles. Greg also has the worst nickname in the poker world. He gave himself the handle of "Fossilman" and frankly it's so naff that a strange feeling (maybe it's 'sympathy'?) creeps up my neck when I see him, potentially taking my head out of the game.
But when it comes to clothes and accessories, Raymer is best known for the shades he wore when he won the big one. Many of his opponents have stated that the holographic monsters not only made Raymer harder to read but were simply unpleasant to look at. Indeed I suspect the slightly mesmerizing effects of these shades may have inspired some of the avatars used by players at PokerStars. The timing could have been a coincidence, but immediately after Raymer's ME win there was an outbreak of out-of-focus, double exposed, swirly things that could lead to migraines. None are as disturbing as the ever-popular, ever-nauseating baby pictures, of course, but whatever the nastiness presented in the little Stars' circle I have the ability to block the horrid thing. Something that cannot be done live without drawing undue attention to oneself with masks, fans, and so forth.
To simply imitate Raymer and wear holographic shades is clearly not an option here. But this is an angle I want to shoot. So I have been experimenting with high-wattage halogen lamps tucked into the inside pockets of my double-breasted jacket, pointing them upwards in the traditional manner used for telling scary stories around the camp-fire. There are still a few practical issues to iron out in order to use the set up in a casino, but I am pleased with the initial results...