Did you ever feel like registering for that next tournament is like climbing into the ring with partypoker ambassador Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch? Every pot leaves your legs like jelly, flops aren’t hitting you in the face, but each punch you land comes back harder. If boxing is the ultimate battle for the solo pugilist against one opponent – heads-up if you will – then poker tournaments can go from being knockouts to leaving you flat on your back…until the next one. We take a look at the underlying similarities between two of sport’s most comparable fights.

You Need Patience

Boxing and Poker may look like they’re full of action when you watch the highlights on the television, but in reality, both require almost superhuman amounts of patience. Boxing an opponent across twelve rounds who is remotely near your level will test your speed, reactions, chin and reach. But above all else, finding the right time to attack in boxing is vitally important, and it’s the same in poker. Whether we’re playing a tournament or cash game, finding the right moments to attack or defend in poker are everything. From that bluff on the river to a pre-flop fold with pocket queens, poker is a game that demands patience…just like twelve rounds of pugilism.

Packing a Punch

Poker, like boxing, can deliver a huge thrill. Everyone talks about the feeling of winning a tournament being like no other in mindsports, and the same can be said of boxing. Can you imagine being declared the ‘heavyweight champion of the world’? We can, and not just because we’ve been on the pies this Spring. Everyone chases glory in their chosen sport and poker can lift your spirits with a tournament win in a manner that few pursuits can match up to. Outlasting hundreds of opponents in a multi-table tournament is one thing, but defeating that final opponent heads-up is akin to needing a knock-out in the last round for the drama and excitement it provides.

Training

If you’re a boxer, then you’ll know the simple, hard truth about what it’s like getting into shape for the fight of your life: painful. Poker may be less physically gruelling than the hundreds of miles and hours of intensive core training that boxers have to put in before they even think about getting into the ring, but mentally, poker should be hard work. Regular training on your strategy, mathematics, poker training videos and even articles just like this one are crucial. Constant learning and improvement is the only way to be a successful poker player in the long term, just as a relentless pursuit of physical fitness and discipline are the key components of a good boxer.

Crowd pleasers

Boxing has perennially entertained fans, and not just professionally. The art of pugilism has been around for centuries, from amateur fights to the kind of glittering showpieces that now form part of our Saturday night sofa-based entertainment. The sport of boxing may not be horse racing, which is nicknamed the ‘Sport of Kings’, but perhaps it is that of princes, the show-offs and show-men of the sporting world. What is poker but the sport of aces, then? Poker can be all kinds of entertaining to play in, but for many years wasn’t the TV and live spectacle it is today. That was before the age of ‘lipstick’ cameras, which showed the cards from under the table. Suddenly, we could see what each player could see at the same time, yet they couldn’t. Poker as an entertainment was truly born! From the World Series of Poker Main Event to the Heavyweight Championship of the World.

Contenders Climb The Ranks

We’ve all seen (and enjoyed) the montages during films such as Rocky III and Creed that depict a talented challenger climbing the ranks of professional boxers in his attempt to usurp the top dog. While the movies will show the montage as a blur of fun imagery alongside an 80’s rock classic – Eye of the Tiger, anyone – in poker, that montage should last several years! Growing your online presence is the quickest route to a reputation, but one live score can set you up for life. There are a variety of ways of getting to the top in poker, and therein lie the glory. Poker is amazing for its flexibility, but just like boxing, you can’t short-cut to success.

Knockouts Happen

We love a Knockout tournament at partypoker, also known as bounty tournaments. They are where you get a prize for knocking out each player and can be a huge amount of fun, though they require a switch of tactics to adjust successfully from standard No Limit Hold’Em. Boxing isn’t just famed for knockouts, it’s largely a sport that depends on them. Frequently, fans will search for the best knockouts and most dramatic fights, and are drawn to these as match-ups arise that promise such knockouts (other than the perplexingly successful Floyd Mayweather!). Generally-speaking, if boxers don’t go for knock-outs, they can lose their audience, or get a reputation as a boring fighter. What could be worse? Well, maybe being known as a poker player who always folds in silence. TV-time tends to be limited to those players who entertain while they play the greatest card on Earth.

Everyone Chases Titles

From winning the $10m on offer for the World Series of Poker Main Event and gold bracelet to the WBA Heavyweight Championship belt, everyone loves a bit of a trophy-themed prize to go along with their glory. There’s a shot at virtual titles throughout the year in boxing, but battles for belts are actually quite few and far between. But in poker, and especially at partypoker, we have title fights every night. From our boxing-titled bouts entitled The Uppercut, The Jab or The Contender to our Power Series every Sunday and regular Powerfest festivals of poker, there is a battle out there for everyone. And the best thing about our title fights is that unlike boxing, where you might find challengers beating down your manager’s door to get you into the ring, on partypoker, you can cash out a winner, and brag about your title to your mates in the safe knowledge that no-one can take it away from you!

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