It seems incredible that in a world where we have patron saints for television, fallen women and alcohol, there is no patron sainte of poker. Many believe that St Jude or St Bernadino should hold that title, but as they are respectively the patron saints of lost causes and impulsive gambling, they hardly seem like appropriate candidates for a game of skill such as poker.
In searching through the lists of saints and their patronages, we discovered handful of potential alternatives, but none more suited for the position than St Eustace of Tivoli.
St Eustace was originally a Roman general (called Placidus) who converted to Christianity in 2 A.D. after seeing a vision of Jesus whilst out hunting (hence St Eustace is also the patron saint of hunters). He change his name to Eustace (which in Greek means “good stability”) and allegedly endured an incredible journey throughout the rest of his life – having his wife kidnapped and his children taken away by animals on the way. However, he kept the faith and was rewarded by the family´s eventual reunion.
There are a number of reasons why poker players should consider St Eustace to be the patron saint of poker. Not only do the references to “hunters”, “stability” and “reward” reflect on the qualities needed to be a successful poker player but, because of the way in which St Eustace kept his faith when he could have packed it in and gone back to being a Roman general, he also acquired the patronage of “those facing adversity”.
Admittedly, “adversity” may be too strong a word when it comes to playing poker, because if you practice good bankroll management you should never be in a position where calamity is about to befall, your wife get kidnapped and your children taken away by animals. However, in all forms of poker multi table tournaments, there comes a time when our tournament life is at risk, and whilst others may wish to place their faith in saints who represent lost causes and impulsive gambling, maybe it will be more rewarding to have a word with St Eustace.
Everybody needs a little good fortune when playing poker, and although there are many good practices you can apply to ensure that your poker experiences are lucrative, a little positive divine intervention never hurt anybody. Just remember you heard it here first!
Saint Eustace patron of Hunters and those facing adversity