How a Poker Pro’s Skills Suit a Badminton Pro’s Playing Style
When Europe’s favorite card gamers meet Asia’s badminton aces
The badminton sporting scene is very much dominated by Asian athletes like China’s Lin Dan, Li Xuerui, or Chen Long. On the contrary, the poker industry has become a fixture of European tactical experts like English prodigy Tony G and German card pro Pius Heinz. When it comes to sports, it may seem that badminton and poker are at polar ends. But when put under scrutiny, the two sports employ the same strategic thinking and approach. So, what exactly do the poker pros offer in the highly skilful game of badminton? Here’s a quick nitpicking of both sports’ similarities. Pattern Recognition and Decision making skills Throughout the history of sport, the strategic card games were mostly used as a recreational activity after an exhausting session at the gym. After lifting weights or practicing their game styles, these athletes use the simple board and card games like chess and poker as a way to de-stress and relax. But over the years, plenty of coaches have utilized the mind sport as a way to carve in a good decision making skills for the athletes. You see, the sports poker and badminton utilize the same pattern recognition and decision making skills during a game. It takes a great deal of mental endurance in being able to adapt a different strategy during a match while reading your opponent’s next move. Europe’s Marc Zwiebler, who is highly publicized as Germany’s badminton ace, is a decent example of how Europe’s expertise in tactical thinking has translated well in the racket sport. With keen skills in pattern recognition, badminton players can champion the BWF Series in the same way Antonio Esfandiari can dominate partypoker’s World Poker Tour or World Series of Poker. In the end, a good strategy combined with execution is your pair of aces in a badminton game. Observation and Tactical Awareness How does one dominate the badminton sport? The most usual answers would be through speed, strength, or hand-eye coordination. However, one likely skill used by expert badminton players is often left out—the skill of observation. Exploiting your opponents’ weaknesses is one important aspect of the game. Like poker players who employ a psychological reading of their opponents’ tendencies, badminton players must make it a habit to observe how their opponents move on the court. Do they usually go left or right? Are they always looking for a smash? Additionally, observation and awareness is not only applicable to your opponents but also to yourself. Introspection helps players develop their A-game by appropriating the right drills to improve lacking skills come game time. Whether you are from Germany, China, or from anywhere in the world, observation remains a universal skill that every player must employ in their set of skills.