Archive for December 4th, 2012

Tuesday: 12.4.2012

Baseball & Poker – Different Yet Similar

By Daniel Smith

When thinking about games that are as “American as apple pie” the two games that come to mind are baseball and poker.  While the games look very dissimilar, the reality is that both game share some interesting similarities. Both games have roots in American culture and are enjoyed by just about every American in one form or another.  Let’s take a quick look at the similarities of baseball and poker.

The very first thing that many people say when they look at baseball or poker for the first time is that both games appear boring.  In baseball, you can go several innings without either team scoring a run or in some cases even getting a base hit.  In poker, there are long period of time where players are constantly folding their hands.

In both games, long period of inactivity are followed by period of intense action.  In baseball this can be a sudden upper deck home run or a series of runs scored.  For poker, a big pot could brew between two players and one player or the other finds their tournament life at risk in an all-in situation.  In both cases, fans are on their feet trying to root their respective teams to victory.

Successful players in both games share many of the same traits.  Both baseball players and poker players have to have sharp focus to keep aware of what is going on at all times in the game.  In addition, both baseball and poker players have to be able to change their strategy multiple times during the game depending on the situation presenting itself.

Believe it or not, both baseball players and poker players need to be in good physical condition to be successful.  While it is true that there are poker players that are fat and out of shape, in the past few years it has been discovered that those in better physical condition are better able to perform more consistently during the long hours at the poker table.

As you can see form above, both baseball and poker has similarities while both being very different games.  This may be why some baseball players such as Alex Rodriguez and Orel Hersheiser have taken up the game.  They are both games that are easy to learn, yet can take a lifetime to master.