By: Stache Staff

The Similarities Between Poker and Baseball

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The game of poker has become increasingly popular over the last several years.  Many think of it as a simple card game, while others compare poker tournaments to sports like baseball.  There are indeed many similarities between the games of baseball and poker.  Let’s look briefly at a few of them.

First, think about the abilities needed to play both games.  While not a team sport like baseball, it is a game that tests a players physical and emotional abilities to the fullest.  No, the player does not have to beat out a throw from an outfielder, or knock a ball 400 ft, but they do have to compete for hours on end and constantly make decisions about their play that affects the final outcome.  Much like on a baseball field, each decision can potentially have an impact on the overall game.

Next, both poker and baseball are situational.  In baseball, you have to constantly evaluate how your opponent is performing in the game and try to adjust or guess the play he is going to make.  Will they throw to the clean-up hitter?  Are they going to put in their setup man or let the starter work through the 7th?  Similar is the case in poker tournaments.  Is this player bluffing with three cards to the flush on the board or are they bluffing?  He had continuation bet after raising in middle position each time.  Can I make a play back at him here?

Finally, both games require a lot of hard work by the players to stay successful.  Baseball players practice nearly daily during the season in addition to watch film, read scouting reports, check out MLB.com and talk with other players about how best to battle an opponent.  Poker players study the game regularly, scout players using various tools and software, read articles on websites like Pokerlistings.com and other resources to improve their game, and even talk about strategy with other players.  Regular practice and study are essential to become great in both baseball and poker.

Clearly baseball and poker are entirely different games with entirely different strategies.  However, as you can see from above, there are many fundamental similarities that link the games together.  If you don’t already play the game of poker, give it a try.  You may soon find out why it has become one of the most popular games of the last decade.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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