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February 3, 2013

The Connection Between Baseball and Poker

For more than 100 years, the game of baseball has been known as America's game. 

Since 2003, another game has been quickly rising in popularity among men and women in America, the game of poker. Both games have deep roots in American culture, so why not take a look at some of the similarities between both games?

Just about everyone has had some association with either poker or baseball, or both. 

Both games have had long histories on film and television and many young boys grew up playing baseball recreationally.  Many adults have played the game of poker recreationally and many have taken to the game as a profession in the last few years just as some Americans have been fortunate enough to play baseball for a living.

When you first look at the game of baseball, you would think that it is a dull game with very little, if any action.  Just a bunch of guys standing around hoping that someone hits the ball their way.  This can go on for several innings before suddenly one team starts a bit of a rally and gets runners on base. 

Suddenly you hear a loud crack of the bat and the crowd goes crazy as a ball goes sailing over the fence and the batter rounds the bases after hitting a home run.

Poker is another game that, at first appearance, seems to be a dull game.  A bunch of guys and girls sitting at the table and regularly folding hands.  Someone makes a raise and everyone folds.  Suddenly, someone calls a raise and a big pot begins to brew.  A player goes all-in, gets called, and everyone is on their feet to see who is ahead in the hand.  Fans watching the game from the rail are now screaming for their player's hand to hold or for their player to catch their card.

Baseball and poker are both games that require more than just a rudimentary understanding of the game to truly appreciate it. 

In baseball, it is not enough just to be able to hit a ball far or throw a ball accurately.  Players must understand all aspects of the game and the deep strategy of the game in order to be successful long term.

The same applies to the game of poker.  In poker, players must be able to do more than make poker hands.  They have to understand the psychology of the game and complex strategy of the game.

Otherwise, they are relying on pure luck and those that rely solely on luck never succeed long term.

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