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Are you a superstitious poker player? If so, you are not alone. There are numerous players around the world with various superstitions that they believe will help them win at poker.

While it is supposed to be “unlucky to be superstitious,” all of these players have a story behind their odd behavior. Poker pros are no different and there are several well-known players who have several pre-tournament rituals or bring good luck charms to the table. Continue reading to learn about five of the oddest superstitions by pro players.

Different Jersey for Every Day of the Tournament

Greg Merson, the 2012 WSOP Main Event Champion, had one of the more unique clothing superstitions. He brought several sports jerseys with him for the tournament, a different one for each day of the Main Event.

Merson went on to make the November Nine and then wore a Baltimore Orioles jersey to the final table. He went on to win the event and $8.53 million.

Greg Merson 2012 WSOP Main Event Winner


Lucky Cigarette

sammy farhaIf you have watched the 2003 WSOP Main Event (are there still poker fans out there that haven’t) you know that Sam Farha used to keep an unlit cigarette in his mouth.

Sam Farha and his unlit cigarette became the stuff of legend after losing to Chris Moneymaker. The world found out that Farha is a non-smoker but keeps an unlit cigarette in his mouth as a good luck charm.

Farha is very superstitious (or claimed to be) and according to one story, during a losing session, someone offered him a cigarette and he took it despite not smoking. He then immediately started winning and it became his trademark.

Orange You Glad You’re a Poker Champion?

Have you ever noticed how that two-time WSOP Main Event champion Johnny Chan always keeps an orange with him at the poker table? This stems from his early days in poker when smoking was still allowed in card rooms.

Chan discovered that the odor from an orange would clear his nostrils and was like a breath of fresh air. The orange then became a trademark and he’s kept one with him for the majority of his career.

johnny chan


You Wore that For How Long?

If you’ve ever watched baseball or football, you’ve seen players who will never wash their uniform or jersey because they believe it will cost their team a win. There are some poker players that have the same mentality when it comes to poker tournaments.

pius heinz


The most famous of these players is the 2011 WSOP Main Event winner Pius Heinz. He wore the same white hoodie for the entirety of the 2011 Main Event. Heinz was not the only person at the final table wearing a white hoodie. His cheering section all wore white hoodies to try and support their man.

Writers Note: Pius Heinz. Pius, Pius Heinz. Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah.

Groundhog Day

A couple of years back, Jason Mercier revealed that he occasionally enacts his own form of groundhog day when he makes Day 2 or 3 of a major tournament. Sometimes he will repeat outfits while other times he will repeat the same meals he had the day before. Other times he will reuse the same routes he took the day before.

Something must be working for him because he won his 4th and 5th WSOP bracelet this summer along with WSOP Player of the Year.

Jason Mercier


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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.