Cycling for a Royal Flush

Poker and cycling’s remarkable hybrid

Chess boxing, footvolley, and polocrosse are just a few sports that have been created out of a combination of two different activities. Across the world of sports, there seems to be a long-standing interest with combining distinct types of sports to come up with a hybrid that has the best of both worlds. Of course, purists will always prefer playing one sport at a time – and that has its points, considering that there are some things in a game that will be lost once it’s combined with another. But for those looking to have an entirely new experience, hybrid sports are it.

For instance, take cycling. Some cyclists would argue that nothing could be more exhilarating than pure, unadulterated cycling, what with the feeling of freedom it brings and certain sensations that only a cyclist would know – bumping that water bottle on your hip, the flow of power in your legs as the pedals keep turning, and an underlying sense of personal achievement. Apparently, though, others have taken this thrilling sport to new heights by combining it with poker, another stimulating sport but in a totally different way.

Meet the bicycle poker run. The run consists of cyclists riding between checkpoints and being dealt a playing card at each stop. Unlike regular cycling events, speed does not figure in determining the winner, as only the cyclist with the best poker hand at the end wins. Because so many are attracted to the idea of playing poker while cycling, bicycle poker runs are usually held as fundraising events to draw a lot of people for a common cause.

Poker is also combined with other sports like horse riding, motorcycling, and kayaking, due to its versatility. Though it has been around for over two centuries, poker has become widely recognized and very popular nowadays because of a combination of factors that all came together over the last few years. One is when its status was raised from being a game to a sport because of the skills and mental capacity needed to win, rather than just plain reliance on luck. Another factor is the wide media coverage given to high-stakes poker tournaments like the World Poker Tour (WPT) televised by Partypoker after internet gaming company PartyGaming plc’s acquisition of the WPT.

With the number of games being merged to create interesting hybrids, we just might get to see the birth of sports like trampoline fencing and hopscotch soccer. As ridiculous as those may sound, everything’s possible in sports. They play Quidditch now, don’t they?

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