This was originally written in 2006 and, in each subsequent year, it has been tradition for it to be run. Some of the players in the game might not be as well-regarded as they once were but, instead of changing the names, we’ve decided to leave it as it was originally written for posterity’s sake. Thus, enjoy our rendition of “A Visit from St. Doyle,” with all due regards and apologies to Clement Moore!

A Visit From St. Doyle

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
The only thing heard
Was the clicking of a mouse

The stockings were hung
By the chimney with care
But nothing was in them
As I looked at two pair

The tournament was late
The blinds they were high
I considered a raise
And behind heard a sigh

The children were silent
And snuggled in bed
As thoughts of a boat
Danced in my head

With mom (who sighed) merrily wrapping
And I in my visor
I had settled in
And considered my raiser

When out on the lawn
There arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair
And ignored the chat banter

Towards the door
I flew like a flash
Threw back the bolt
And opened the latch

To what did my wondering eyes did appear
The saint of the game and eight of his peers
He had a big cowboy hat and a grand old smile
And with a sweep of his hand ushered in those in the rear

“In Chris, in Barry,
In Howard and Annie
In Jennifer, in T. J.,
And Phils, Hellmuth and Ivey”

To the table we flew
The chips they were clicking
The discussion was merry
Over the eggnog we were drinking

He spoke reverently
As we played through the night
He looked in my eyes
And showed me the light

“The game, it is great,
The time spent is a blast.
But it isn’t everything,
Enjoy each day like it’s your last.”

“Play the game and enjoy
Who knows, you may be great.
But remember friends and family
Those things never abate.”

The eight and I nodded in agreement
As a toast was raised to The Man
And he grandly announced,
“Everyone all-in, last hand.”

 The cards whisked to us
As did the flop, turn and river
And we all peeked at our hole cards
To see what was delivered

It came around to me
And I turned up my hand
I stared down wide-eyed
At the royal flush that I had

The hand went to me
As well as the cheers of the gang
And we all left the table
As the Christmas bells rang

The mood was joyful
And as they faded from sight
St. Doyle looked back to me
And had one final insight

“The best to you in the game
And the best in your life.
May your hands be huge,
Merry Christmas and good night.”

From our house here at Poker News Daily to yours, a very Merry Christmas (or Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa or Hail Festivus) and the best of the New Year.

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