If he ever set his mind to learning the game, I believe Peyton Manning would make a formidable poker player. Witness his dismantling of last year's Superbowl champions in Thursday's NFL season opener. Let me explain.
Great poker players observe, analyze, and adapt. They pay attention to how the opp is playing, they make tactical adjustments, and then they exploit the mistakes and weaknesses of the other side. They also choose their battles and their opponents. Villain 1 is playing weak-tight, so I'm going after his blinds. Okay, he's pushing back now, so I need to start tightening up myself. Villain 2 is super solid, so I'm not going to try to outplay him. Villain 3 is isolating Villain 1 with weak hands, so I'm going to start re-iso'ing him light. And so on.
This is exactly what Peyton did last night. The Broncos were actually behind in the first half, but you could literally watch Peyton remain unfazed, working on the field and on the sidelines observing and analyzing during this period. He was masterfully figuring out how the opp was playing, choosing which defenders to go after and which to avoid, deciding on specific tactics against each, and so on.... and then he just plain took apart the Ravens, piece by piece, in the second half. Holy cow was that an amazing poker game played on the field. Read, Estimate, Decide, Implement... over and over.
I'm not a Bronco's fan by any stretch of the imagination, but damn is their quarterback good. I bet he would be equally good on the felt.
All-in for now...