The term “sports” is primarily tied with physical strength. We imagine strikers dancing around the football pitches or perhaps basketball pros playing hoops on the hard court. No matter where we go, we all share the same bias or at the very least, the same definition of sport as something physical.
But of course, sport has a different aspect to it, which is mostly seen in strategy-involved games. This is where sports betting, fantasy websites, and the tactical card games like poker come in. You see, strategy is a huge role player in a team or a player’s success. This pretty much correlates with skillful poker professionals who can turn a bad hand into something good. You see, the World Series of Poker champions don’t rely on luck to win. Instead, they rely on skill and strategy. Sport, after all is a science. There’s a certain consistency that we find from regular contenders. Champions are champions not because they are lucky but because they possess traits that make them champions. This lesser-known “side” of sport creates a new breed of athletes—the sports betters and card sharks.
Recurring concepts of strategy and pattern recognition
Much like poker professionals, betting involves a carefully planned decision. Throughout gruelling hours of play, these poker players often need to adapt their strategies to what the situation requires. This is where the psychology of sport is highly useful. Reading tendencies and using these instances to gain the upper hand is a common practice for athletes not only in casinos or poker tables, but also in the physical sports.
In football, for instance, it takes a tremendous amount of pattern recognition for goalies to predict where the ball is going to strike. In basketball, timeouts are utilized at a greater extent to draft inbound plays and make the most of each possession. The same can be said with the poker game itself. In high stakes poker tournaments, timing is always of the essence. The decision to fold or to go all in can make or break a poker champion. Why do you think names like Antonio Esfandiari or Doyle Brunson surface every time we mention the Partypoker-sponsored World Poker Tour or even with the famous WSOP. These players don’t employ only one strategy to ace the felt tables. Instead, they adapt to specific situations. Similar to sports bettors, knowledge is power. A certain knack and understanding of team strategies and tendencies like in a game of poker is a potent weapon any athlete should always incorporate into his game.