This may seem like the most unimportant news you're going to hear from the 2007 World Series of Poker, but after hanging out in the Amazon Room at the Rio for two weeks with thousands of poker players mainly clad in T-shirts, blue jeans and pajama pants, there are a few players who deserve some props for bothering to actually get dressed each day.
Who tops the list?
1. David Ulliott
This might seem like a surprise choice given his age and all, but we're not talking about sexiest players at the WSOP, just the best dressed. If aging, British rock star is your type though, he might just top both categories.
The Devilfish certainly has a flair for that rock star style of dress - slim fitting button down, collared shirt with something interesting on it, and those distressed jeans that you know cost more than some of those players' entire outfits, times two.
If you've seen the movie Love Actually, he'd remind you of the aging rock star in that movie played by Bill Nighy. In fact, he and Nighy could almost be brothers the resemblance is so close. Picture him in that rock star roll or even as Viktor the vampire in the Underworld movies, and you've got Ulliott dressed for success at the WSOP.
2. Mary Jones
There are a lot of girls seeping into the tournament world, but Mary Jones is what you would definitely call a lady. Aside from the Queen of Hearts T-shirt she had to wear in the Ladies Event, she's always the epitome of class when she sits down at the poker table.
When I've spotted her she's been in slacks and nice tops that don't make her too overdressed, but definitely leave her a cut above the rest of her table. She has an air of royalty befitting of the reigning queen of poker who just recently gave up her title to another.
3. Marcel Luske
He'll probably be disappointed that he didn't top this list, but Luske is definitely someone who belongs near the top. He'll be the first to tell you his style is in the line of Bond, James Bond.
Suave and debonair is his goal, and he pulls it off with his various suits, though the silver or grey ones work best for him. He's one tall drink of water and the gray suit adds a hint of romanticism to the suave look, and you can easily picture him whisking some lucky lady off in a limo for some exciting night out.
Of course, Luske is also happily married so don't get any ideas from the look ladies. That's one part of the James Bond attitude he isn't into.
4. Liz Lieu
If you want to see how a cute young woman should dress to impress at the poker table, Lieu is totally clued in. Even if she's in a T-shirt and jeans, she never looks sloppy and you'll rarely catch her without her hair, makeup and nails perfectly done.
She always looks put together, no matter how dressed up or dressed down she is. It may seem a little girly for someone in a very male-dominated profession, but it doesn't seem to hurt her game any, and it never hurts to have the men distracted from their actual play either.
5. Marco Traniello
There is so better player to look to for an example of casual, cool style. Traniello tends to dress down with T-shirts and jeans, but we're talking about form-fitting tees and again those worn-in designer jeans that look second-hand but cost a mint.
He definitely knows how to be comfortable without turning a T-shirt and jeans into the normal slob-like attire of the rest of the crowd. It's a sharp contrast from his wife, Jennifer Harman, who is very cute herself, but definitely dresses down and dresses for maximum comfort usually during the tournaments.
6. Raymond Davis
You know that any man who brings about $100,000 worth of clothes is going to be dressing sharp each day. Davis admitted it himself in an interview with PokerListings.com the cost of what he brought along and how he likes to look good.
Davis sort of falls in the pimpin' style. It's mostly because of the hats, but they definitely lend a little something to every obviously well-thought-out outfit he lays out for the day. If looking good translates to great play as well, Davis should be rolling in the dough.
7. Jennifer Tilly
She probably learned how much it pays to stay well-dressed at almost any time from her acting career and Tilly has transferred that to poker as well. On occasion she can be caught in just a T-shirt and jeans, but even then, like Traniello, it's never of the snobbish variety.
Tilly isn't a glam girl when she comes into the poker world. She obviously can do glam, as her red carpet appearances show, but she's more natural when she comes to the tables and her outfits are nice, but not so heavy with the cleavage.
Her look is really one that a lot of the women sport during tournaments. Fairly casual, but still looking good, without over-emphasizing too many "assets" that could detract from the seriousness of their play. (Even if it would help distract many of their opponents.)
8. Mike Sexton
Laugh all you want at this choice, but Sexton represents all the older players out there who still know how to do dress-casual the right way with slack or jeans and button down or polo shirts. It's very predictable, but it works well for him.
Another player who could have filled this slot is Doyle Brunson, who does cowboy gentleman very well each day with the same basic wardrobe.
They're the old-school type, and they come to the table looking good and with good manners no matter what. I can't even imagine either of them sporting the pajama pants Antonio Esfandiari seems so fond of.
9. Phil Ivey
This list wouldn't be complete without Ivey. He's a little bit golf country club and a little bit hip-hop and yet he's managed to blend them both into a style all his own that works for him.
Perhaps it's because he knows he'll end up attracting quite a crowd as one of the most recognizable pros out there. Everyone wants to see how Ivey plays, and with all eyes on him, there must be some pressure to always look his best.
Not that Ivey has anything to worry about. He could look like a hobo pulled in off the street and people would still be more interested in that intense stare and how he plays his hands rather than what brand of jeans he's got on.
10. Brandi Hawbaker
I hesitate to even put her on a list that contains pro poker players. But for the sake of argument, we'll include her just because she's one of the few women who bother to glam it up a little for the tables.
Dressed like she's heading out to a club with three-inch stilettos and a dress, Hawbaker has definitely come to the tournaments dressed to impress the males in the room. She looks great, but perhaps it a little bit of overkill as she sticks out like a sore thumb in the room.
* * * * * * * * * *
So if those are the best dressed, who are the worst, you may be wondering. You got a couple of hints with Gavin Smith and Antonio Esfandiari. Humberto Brenes could also use a little personal styling so he doesn't look like he's just come from a retirement home where he was playing bingo.
For the women, sadly, Kathy Liebert may be high on poker skill, but not so much on sense of style. She obviously loves the color purple, which would be fine if it wasn't head to toe in some sort of sweatsuit.
Keep track of all your favorite players, slobs or not, in the PokerListings.com Live Tournaments Section.
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