By John Vorhaus
The sunglass controversy rages. Should you wear them at the poker table? Should you not? Do they help by denying your foes access to your eyes? Do they hurt by darkening your vision to the point where you miss information, or even - horrors! - misread your own hand? Until now I have stood largely outside this controversy for the simple reason that I could never find shades that worked for a poker player.
Drugstore shades are no good because I have awful eyes and require a prescription. Plus, I've generally found that if sunglasses are dark enough to block others' view of my eyes, they're never light enough to let me see what the heck is actually going on at the table. Then I discovered Opticote. My magic glasses. Boy, howdy.
Look, those who know me know that I don't shill for products. For instance, Nike once offered me 50 million dollars to endorse their sneakers, but I turned them down because A) I don't wear sneakers and B) okay, that was Michael Jordan. But I know a good thing when I see it (or see through it) and I feel duty-bound to pass that information on.
To get Opticote glasses, you just pick out some frames you like, have lenses cut to your prescription, then have your optician send the glasses to Opticote. They apply their special "poker mirror" finish, ship 'em back, and you're in business. Simple, right?
In my case, ah… not so much. Turns out I live in an optically-challenged neighborhood where four - count 'em, four! - opticians I consulted did not have an account with Opticote. But I'm not easily daunted. I contacted Opticote directly, and through the good offices of one Mike Bellomo (thanks, MB) got myself hooked up.
Still, I was skeptical. I mean, really, would these glasses be any different? Would they do the job? The first time I put them on I knew that the answer was - emphatically - yes. Looking through Opticotes I found that the world took on a crisp, ice blue hue, giving everything at the poker table an amazing crystal clarity. At the same time, the golden mirror finish blocks all prying eyes (and looks cool to boot).
Now when I play poker I can study foes' faces and they don't know. I can cast sidelong glances at would-be bettors and they don't know. I can scope out the cocktail waitresses and - okay, that's an irrelevancy. Nevertheless, it only took one session with these babies to know that they'd have a permanent place on my face. Let the controversy rage. I don't care about controversies, I just care about elegant solutions, and this is definitely one.
Like I said, I don't shill for products, but if you've been looking for poker shades that really work, you might want to check out Opticote. It's literally changed the way I look at poker and it could do the same for you.