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You might dream of entering the Octagon to compete on the UFC’s biggest stage. Or you might just watch and admire one of the most intense sporting spectacles anywhere.

Whichever one you are, you likely realise it’s a pretty tough gig.

Even with the training, the dedication, and hard work, few fighters enjoy the kind of success that gets their face on a poster, or their name on a Pay Per View undercard.

Poker and UFC involve very different attributes. But in a few crucial ways they rely on the same thing

And that’s before considering those other qualities possessed by every successful UFC fighter.

Determination, courage, and resilience.

Not everyone has the time or ability to dedicate themselves to reaching standards like you’d see from Junior do Santos or Amanda Nunes. But there is some consolation to be had.

Those same skills can be used elsewhere.

The surprising similarities between UFC and poker

The same qualities that make successful fighters make for great poker players.

Determination, courage, and resilience work just as well at the poker table. Only in poker there’s no waiting, and those years spent in the gym are, well, let’s say optional.

In poker, you get to compete right away.

It might not involve a flying knee, or Superman Punch, but you could try a check-raise or four-bet in much the same way.

Which is one of the things that makes the new UFC Spin and Go’s a great place to start playing poker.

If you’re familiar with UFC, but not as much on poker, you can follow the same pre-fight routing.

First you can get in shape

This is where your determination comes in.

It means learning a bit more about the game (PokerStars Schools is the place to start), but also about Spin & Go strategy.

For instance, what are the things that make three-handed turbo poker different?

Think of these high-speed games like you would a one-round scrap. Albeit with two opponents not one — each less likely to inflict significant physical punishment.

Then you judge what level you should play

This is where you can use some of that courage.

Buy-ins start at as little as $0.25, and go all the way up to $25. So even beginners have a place to pay.

Then it’s up to you when you try a higher level (or not), and tougher competition.

You could add some faith to this part too. The same faith in yourself than gets you to that next level.

Delivering the winning blow

Then there’s the resilience.

Spin & Go’s move quickly, and that means they can be unpredictable.

The turbo structure means you can’t sit around and wait. If you don’t take action you’re likely to suffer.

And like in UFC, one moment out of sync with everything else, can change the result in an instant.

Then there’s how to finish. Heads-up play is a little different. Strategy comes into play very quickly. Experience and preparation are invaluable.

One more thing fighters and poker players have in common

There’s one more similarity.

How you react to winning or losing can make all the difference.

It takes that resilience to pick yourself up, get back in the gym (or PokerStars Schools) and getting back at it. But it’s something all good players have in common.

Before you know it, you’ll have out-prepared, out witted, and out fought your opponent.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

You can find out more about UFC Spin & Go’s on PokerStars, here. You’ll get all the details on how to play, and about some of the great prizes to be won. Some of them being life changing.


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