Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Similarities Between Poker and Baseball

In recent years, there has been a new game slowly croppingup as a regular pastime of not only Americans, but of people all over theworld.  It is the game of poker.  In many ways, poker very much resembles thegame of baseball.  Today we will look atsome of those similarities.

First, anyone that follows baseball knows that there is animmense amount of strategy that is required in playing baseball.  Many times, you have to think on the fly andtake into account not only the ability of your players, but also those of theother team.  Poker is much the sameway.  Every time a poker player sits downto the table, they have to not only play according to their strengths andweaknesses, but also to the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents.

Also, players must be able to think on the fly in a pokergame.  Every hand can present a uniquesituations and they must be constantly evaluating their opponents.  Think about Baseball for a moment.  A good manager can spot when their player ora player on an opposing team is struggling or not playing their best game.  Adversely, they can spot when a player isstreaking.  Poker players have to be ableto make these same types of decisions on a daily basis, and sometimes multipletimes during a game depending on how many players trade out from the table.

Next, poker and baseball both have long periods ofinactivity followed by fierce action. For example, if you read sites like Pokerlistings.comand others during a final table,  youwill see hand after hand where there is a simple raise and fold.  This goes on for hours sometimes.  Then, all of a sudden a big pot can brewbetween two players and the fans really get into it.  The same happens when a player goes all-infor his tournament life and gets called. The fans erupt into cheers and get on their feet to find out what thehands are and where their favorite players stand. 

The above are just a few ways that poker and baseball aresimilar.  It should come as no surprisethat some former Major League players like Orel Hersheiser and Jose Cansecohave taken up the game on a serious level, from taking stage on the World Series to the World Series of Poker.  Poker will likely never become the nationalpastime like baseball has, but it is a game that is enjoyed by Millions andwill continue to grow in popularity.