Risk, aggression, flexibility, unpredictable moves… poker and the UFC feel like cousins separated by nothing but sanctioned violence.
Alright, maybe that’s an overstatement. But there’s a certain mentality needed to succeed at a poker table or in the Octagon.
So, when it comes to the poker table, who is your UFC equivalent?
Henry Cejudo is an Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling. He’s also a Golden Gloves boxer, and now the UFC strawweight and bantamweight champion.
Cejudo is one of the freaks you come across in life with the ability to seemingly succeed at anything they try.
Likewise, we all know the poker player who can crush PLO, NLH, RAZZ… they’d probably sit down and school you at Oxford Stud.
So if you’re crushing the competition across a variety of games and chomping at the bit to find somewhere to play a game of H.O.R.S.E., you may be on your way to becoming poker’s Henry Cejudo.
Nate Diaz (and his brother Nick) like to taunt and talk during their fights. Whether they’re in control or taking shots, a Diaz brother tries to stay in your head.
Likewise, if you’re a poker Diaz, you never stop the table talk.
Just picked up a massive pot? You’re talking.
Just got caught with your hand in the cookie jar making an ill-timed bluff? Doesn’t matter, you’re still talking.
Folded 30 straight hands because you don’t feel like playing? That’s cool, because you’re still letting people know what you think at every opportunity.
Luckily, if you’re truly a Poker Diaz, you’ve got the skills to back up the talk when you decide to get in the game.
Jon Jones is arguably the greatest fighter to ever step in the Octagon. So, if your UFC poker equivalent is Jones, you’ve got serious talent.
Unfortunately, while your game at the table seems to always run good, you just can’t get it together in your day-to-day personal life.
One minute you’re coasting through a game with your bluffs always drawing folds. You’re making the right laydowns at the right time, value betting like a champ and walking away with a nice boost to your bankroll.
The next day, you’ve crashed your car, staked the wrong friend in a high stakes game and your bank account has taken a hit because you invested in some guy you barely know’s start-up business. And it never really started up.
If only you could get it together away from the table, you’d be on easy street.
Georges St. Pierre
If you’re a Poker GSP, you’re a rock. In fact, some might even call you a nit and claim you’re a boring dance partner at the table.
It’s not that you’re really nitty, though. You’re just disciplined and nobody can push you off the gameplan you put together over years of hard work and studying.
Like GSP, you don’t care what people think of your style because it works. You’re not likely to take unnecessary risks and you’d rather simply lean on that old tight aggressive style, waiting for your moments to really make the most of your best spots.
Sure, some people might think you’re boring. But you know success is rooted in sticking to the plan.
If you’re a Poker Johnny Walker, first off congrats on the Pokerstars Ambassador role.
This is a player who isn’t planning to stick around the table too long. A Johnny Walker type might look like a maniac, but he’s at the table to make money and go party.
Walker has only seen a decision once in 20 professional fights and 15 of those fights ended in the first round. But a 17-3 record shows it’s working out well for him.
So to do the Walker thing at the poker table means you’re coming in fast and hard. You’re getting into a lot of pots and getting in bed nice and early. You’re sleeping the easy sleep of a man who made a nice profit in a short time.
Unfortunately, your exuberance after big wins can lead you to suffer a shoulder injury while doing the worm.
— UFC (@ufc) March 3, 2019
A poker Royce Gracie is getting up there in age. And maybe all the young kids chuckle at the old-school one-dimensional style you used to bring to the table.
But before their fancy internet and data visualization, and talk about EV and game theory, you were paving the way. You were grinding out a living in dimly lit casinos and helping build up the early days of deeper strategic thinking.
So, sure, these new-wave kids wouldn’t be scared to face you. But at least you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re the only reason they’re playing the game to begin with.
Like a sub-six foot heavyweight UFC champion, a Poker Cormier doesn’t “look the part” when his sit down at the table.
Some might dismiss you for your unassuming “dad bod” and friendly smile. But behind the facade, you’re a wealth of skill and knowledge.
You’ve been destroying dudes since you were a kid and you have all the trophies and money to prove it.
In fact, your river of knowledge flows so deep you’re the guy who gets the call when it’s time to analyze the game in new and interesting ways.
Also, while you’re down to take all the chips at any size table, you’re still up for having a good time and a bit of a laugh at your own expense.