Baseball is a game famous for long periods of inactivity followed by moments of high drama and excitement. A team is held scoreless for several innings and then you hear the crack of the bat and the crowd erupts as a ball is sent sailing over the bleachers. Another game that has been gaining in popularity worldwide has many of the same characteristics as baseball, and that is the game of poker. Let's look at some of the similarities.
You may not realize this based on televised productions of poker or reports from sites like Pokerlistings.com (such as this article), but many poker tournaments have long periods of inactivity similar to baseball. At time, play can go on for hours where you may see nothing but a pre-flop raise or someone bet out of the pot on the flop.
Then suddenly, a big pot starts to brew between two players and one of them goes all-in. The other players call and players railing the game are all of a sudden on their feet and trying to see what hands the two players have. Then, the fans of a particular play will start screaming for the card their player needs or for their player's hand to hold. When the turn or river card hits, the crowd erupts into either cheers or groans depending on the outcome for their player. It is definitely high drama for the fans watching.
However, the fan experience is not the only thing similar between the two sports. Poker, much like baseball, involves a huge amount of strategy. For example, players must act as their own coach and scout all during the play of a game. They have to constantly evaluate their opponents’ play and try to spot any weaknesses much the same as the coaches do during game day.
Also, every hand can present different situations much like baseball. Depending on the ability of your opponent and how the hand is unfolding, you must adjust your strategy and sometimes try new plays. Much like the great managerial minds in baseball, poker players must always be thinking at the table. Otherwise, they will get run over by the better players.
As you can see, there are definitely similarities between baseball and poker. However, one big difference in the two games is that when people reach their 40's, they can still play poker at a high level. That's not as easy to do with baseball. Of course, you can't take your 10 year old to a poker room and watch the greats of poker like you can with baseball. One thing that remains the same in both are their passionate fans that will hang on every pitch or every turn of a card.
This is an interesting point of view that I have not thought about before... This post was written by Andrew Perry, a professional Poker player and a very big fan of Baseball