Getting LASIK in two weeks. I’m fairly excited. I’ve been wanting to get it for a few years, mainly for poker-related reasons. I’ll tell you some of my reasons in this post.
1) Contacts are uncomfortable. I’ve tried contacts a few times over the years and they’ve always made me uncomfortable. I think I’m very sensitive physically to a lot of things and contacts always made me feel like I had something on my eyes (which was true).
2) Glasses are uncomfortable. Sometimes they make my ears hurt. I am constantly having to push them up. I feel constrained wearing them; I always have to be basically facing straight ahead. I can’t look at things out of the corner of my eye without feeling weird.
3) I can’t wear a baseball cap the right way. I usually wear a baseball cap when I play poker, but the glasses prevent the cap from sitting all the way down on my head. I can’t pull the bill of the hat down low over my eyes, which is how I’ve always wanted to play. I want to be able to watch people out of the corner of my eyes and not have it obvious I’m watching them. I’ve never felt comfortable playing with glasses.
4) I can’t wear cheap sunglasses. I can wear the clip-ons, but those suck and are not cool. I want the freedom to pop on a cheap pair of sunglasses when I’m on the beach. And the freedom to have an expensive pair of sunglasses and look like a tool. These should be inalienable rights, available to all men, and I have been deprived of them for my entire life.
While I’m not a fan of sunglasses at the table, I will sometimes wear them; like if I think I’m facing tough competition (to hide potential tells) or if the overhead lights are very bright, which they can often be. I’d also just like to experiment with them more; see how much it changes my game to be able to look at people without them knowing I’m studying them. I’m usually kind of timid about staring at people openly, so this could potentially be a game-changer for me.
5) I want to make my image more neutral. I often feel like some people form a certain opinion of me from my appearance. Glasses combined with my often stoic manner probably leads some people to characterize me as a poker nerd; somebody who takes the game very seriously. The more I can do to cut down on that perception the better. While I think a scholarly image doesn’t hurt me in limit, it’s not the image I want to have in no-limit games. If I had my druthers I’d have a completely neutral image, so that I could theoretically create any image possible.
There’s also the fact that glasses places you in a certain socio-economic category. It is just another physical clue that allows people to further define you. If you’re wearing glasses and look somewhat decently dressed, it’s safe to assume you’re doing all right financially. Call me strange, but I want my image so initially neutral that people are just as likely to think I’m a degenerate, broke gambler as they are to give me credit for being a wealthy businessman/poker player.
I want to have a more intimidating image. On a related note, there’s the fact that glasses just aren’t intimidating, and people are apt to be more aggressive or demeaning of you if you’re in glasses. Because if you’re wearing glasses it’s less likely you’re going to be the type to come across the table on them or meet them in the parking lot. Yeah, I know there are some complete badasses out there who wear glasses, but let’s face it; it’s far from the norm.
So it’s mainly all about changing your personal image and your comfort level. I guess those are the main reasons most people get LASIK, after all. Anyone else get LASIK for mainly poker reasons? I’d like to hear about it.