Over the last century, two games that are enjoyed by a large number of Americans are baseball and poker. Many learn about both games at a young age and regularly play one or the other through their lifetime. As we look at how these two games have influenced American culture.
First, if you want to see how both games have evolved over the years, just look at American cinema. Over the decades we have watched both games evolved not only in how they are played but also how they are portrayed.
Poker was the thing of western lore and backroom gunfights and baseball was basically a way for guys to make a living that had nothing else going for them. Now poker is seen as the true contest that it has always been and many baseball films have shown how the game really is viewed by American, as a nostalgic pastime.
Both games have even influenced every day life down to our vernacular. For example, the term “strike out” does not just apply to baseball, but in other areas of life such as trying to pick up a mate, trying your hand at a new endeavor, etc. When someone says that they are all-in, that does not necessarily mean that all their money is in the middle. It could mean that they are totally committed to a task or they are interested in a particular idea.
Finally, both games are now huge business in America. The game of baseball has always been a lucrative endeavor, especially for teams like the New York Yankees. However, in the past decade the game of poker has experienced a boom and casinos throughout the United States have taken advantage of the growth in popularity. Include the numerous poker books, merchandise, and other business that have cropped up and poker has become big business.
The main reason that both baseball and poker have had such a huge impact on American culture is that both games are easy games to learn and both are games that can be enjoyed at any age. They are also games that have stars that are bigger than life and are games that represent achievement. Both games are as American as apple pie and will continue to influence American culture for a long time.