By: Daniel Smith
The Major League Baseball season has often been described as a grind. A season of 162 games is enough to wear not only physically, but also mentally on any team and any player on a team. Another game is very similar to baseball in certain aspects, and that is poker.
First, the game of poker is very much considered to be a grind. Poker players must play hand after hand and sometimes fold hand after hand for what sometimes equates to hours before end before being able to make a big play. This is similar to a baseball game where both teams are unable to get anything going and then one squad suddenly breaks loose for a big inning.
Another big similarity in the two games is that both games crown their world champion at the World Series. In the case of poker, it is the World Series of Poker. While it doesn’t have the same history as the baseball World Series, the WSOP has been the premier event in poker for over 40 years now.
Regardless of who you are as a poker player, winning the World Series of Poker is the ultimate dream. As the Red Sox nation can attest to, sometimes it takes a long time to finally break through and get a chance to win the World Series, so when you make it, you have to make the best of it.
Finally, both baseball and poker are deceptively boring games. By this, they both appear to be action-less games on the surface to the very casual fan. We aren’t talking about the highlights on Sportscenter or the edited WSOP broadcasts on ESPN. By action-less we mean to those that sit and watch the entirety of both games.
As we recently discovered at the WSOP final table, sometimes there are literally hours on end without any type of significant movement in the game. It took nearly 10 hours to go from three to two players at the final table. Sometimes you can go several innings, which can equate to over an hour without there being so much as a hit or any type of big rally. Then suddenly a big inning gets the crowd right back into the game.
Granted, baseball players will not get paid $8 Million for a single game of baseball and poker players will never have $100 Million contracts. Both games will always have their differences. However, both games do have interesting similarities at the basic level that can be appreciated by fans of both games.