Similarities between MMA and Poker

MMA and poker share a lot of similarities, as both have a bit of a checkered past but have emerged from the shadows in recent years to become popular, mainstream sports. MMA events continue to be huge draws (and set records for pay-per-view sales) while millions of poker fans can watch poker coverage on ESPN, NBC, GSN, and Fox Sports. With Las Vegas a popular stop for both UFC events and poker action, it’s a natural fit to see famous poker pros ringside to watch the MMA action, and vice versa as well.

No poker pros have crossed over to fight in MMA yet, but UFC star Randy Couture has played in the World Series of Poker as well as various charity events. Fight announcer Bruce Buffer and UFC fighter Dan Henderson are also big poker fans, joining Couture on an episode of NBC’s Poker After Dark televised poker show in 2010. Other MMA stars have been spotted at the cash game tables from time to time in US poker rooms in both Vegas and California, including sitting in on some of the high stakes action.

Fans have the same chance to enjoy both sports as well, especially for those who’ve discovered sportsbetting and online poker game action. Most major sportsbooks and casino sites offer betting action on MMA fights in addition to offering players the chance to play in online poker rooms, so it’s simple to give both a whirl. Playing online may not pack quite the same punch as enjoying poker live but it more than makes up for it with the convenience of being able to log on and play a few hands at any time of the day or night.

Online poker players also have a much wider selection of games and tournaments to choose from, as the largest sites often have 40,000-50,000 players online at their busiest times — something that brick and mortar poker rooms will never be able to offer. Most online poker sites offer cash bonuses for new players as well, so it’s possible to get paid as you play, which is a great way to learn the ropes and get a great start to your online poker career.

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