Poker and MMA: Two different games, two similar games
There are lots of similarities in the two disciplines
If you’re going to make it as a pro poker player, much like in MMA, you have to think and act like pros. The two disciplines both involve big money, therefore the participants have to take their job seriously. There are many parallels between the two pursuits.
What it comes down to is the mindset; that of not making mistakes, not getting too over-eager with your hand. Within poker, being able to read people is a massive part of this. Players may have good hands but if they get excited, they’re likely to call very fast. The pros however won’t flinch. They’ll be much more collected with the way they do it. MMA is the same. If a fighter tries to attack without creating a good defense, or without thinking about what’s going to come next, they’ll be much more likely to make a mistake and ultimately lose.
Much like the training for MMA fighting, getting prepared for a poker tournament is all about repetition. You see the hands coming. You assess the percentages of hands you can win and those you could lose, and it’s the same with fighting. It’s all about repetition. When a fighter fights, it should be automatic, no thinking twice, because when that happens, it’s usually too late, people are going to know what you’ve got.
MMA fighters are always in the gyms, sharpening their game. Poker players too, will rigidly play poker in live games and online on sites like All Jackpots Casino getting better and more experienced every time. For tournaments, especially, players should be well into training three months prior. That’s where all the hard work is put in, the long hours, the mental strain and physical exertion. The rewards in the ring or on the poker table are a result of this.
MMA fighters who fake injury to win
It’s a classic poker play, and pretending to be on the back foot has worked trumps in MMA too. One such example of this is when Fabricio Werdum acted like Fedor had hurt him had hurt him and when he dropped to his back, he caught Fedor in a triangle. In fact there are numerous times when Werdum has displayed this act.
Wanderlei Silva has also used the tactic. He took a body shot and bent over forwards, as if he had the wind knocked out of him. Then, while hunched forward, he stumbled backwards towards the cage.His opponent, thinking he was hurt, then rushed in for the knock out. But as Wanderlei was stumbling backwards he reached the cage and used it as a springboard, launching forward with a viscous combo.
MMA fighters who play poker
Three examples of MMA fighters who play poker are:
• Martin Kampmann
• Tito Ortiz
• Terrence Chan
Ortiz is the best known of these, due to his being the former light heavyweight world champion. Indeed, since he has retired from the cage, Ortiz spends time competing in Poker tournaments the world over.
Recently he even won a 200-player fundraising poker tournament in Los Angeles. He also has had a shot at the PokerStars Shark Cage, and will play Day 1B of the PCA Main Event.
MMA fighters have regularly found themselves drawn to poker, discovering a show ground in which their competitive natures can still be satisfied, despite demands on their body being diminished. In common with many top poker professionals, a solid mental wellbeing starts with the body being in good shape. Just one of a number of reasons why poker and MMA crossover and combine effectively together.