The poker world is filled with haunting bad beat stories, spooky busts and eerie tales of table behavior, but nothing comes as close to a Halloween theme as the costumes and other gear that people show up wearing for the World Series of Poker.
Whether it's a way to grab some TV time or perhaps a lost prop bet, there are plenty of poker players who show up sporting some interesting choices in clothing that they could easily pull out of the closet today to celebrate Halloween.
Jeff Madsen lost a prop bet to Joe Sebok this year and had to show up for the first day of the WSOP Main Event in a jester suit. It may have looked completely ridiculous, but perhaps it was a good luck charm for the 2006 WSOP Player of the year as he survived the first day of play.
It wasn't enough to get him through Day 2, though, and he had plenty of time to clown around while the rest of the tournament played out.
Phil Hellmuth arrived at the World Series Main Event this year as a cross between a NASCAR driver and a human billboard. There were plenty of other players who were plastered with logos and advertisements as well, but nobody does it with quite as much flair as Hellmuth.
Only Hellmuth can pull off wearing his own name in gigantic letters down his pant legs and his initials on his back along with the much smaller advertisements for other things he endorses besides his own ego.
If you take a look at a few other top pros, though, they may not have been wearing their own names, but some of them had just as much patches going on as well.
The best costume for 2007 has to be Vinny Vinh with his invisible man impression for a few events of the World Series. For two separate events, Vinh showed up to play on the first day and built large stacks, but on the second day his seat appeared to sit empty as his chips remained in play.
As the invisible man on the second day of play in both of those events, Vinh still managed to cash. Perhaps it'll become a trend for 2008 as players test out the invisible man costume to try to make it deeper into tournaments.
At the 2006 WSOP, Joe Sebok was the king of the costumes. After losing a prop bet to Gavin Smith about who would finish best in the events leading up to the Main Event, he was forced to wear a costume each day of the Main Event. Smith wasn't about to make it easy for Sebok either.
The first costume was a Robin costume, as in Batman's boy wonder sidekick, complete with tights and yellow cape. His second day he showed up as a baby bear, complete with full mask and a giant diaper. Day 1c at least had him back to being a super hero and perhaps a little less hot and stuffy as Spiderman.
He wasn't the only one in full gear that year either. Plenty of other costumes were at the felt including someone dressed as a nun.
Not everyone is brave enough to go that far for the attention, or the humiliation as the case may be, at the World Series. Many settle for just a flashy shirt or a funky hat instead. Over the years, chef's hats, pimp hats and even a fish hat that resembled Disney's Nemo have been spotted in the field of the usual cowboy hats and baseball caps.
At the World Series, they wear these things to stand out from the crowd of thousands. If you're not a pro player with a well-known name, you can get lost in the crowd pretty easily. At least with a costume, you're going to get noticed, and it can always get double use for Halloween.