Sports and poker. Poker and sports. While the “Is poker a sport?” debate is an endless endeavor with no true answer in sight, Poker Central is blending the two together. At the start of each week, the “Monday Merge” fuses sports and poker, drawing loose comparisons, and even looser transitions, between the only two things we really care about.

FC Barcelona is likely to play over 50 games this season but their La Liga opener may have been the most important of the year. Not because of who they were playing, a Real Batis team that Barcelona easily defeated 2-0, but because of this week’s terror attacks in Barcelona. Before the match, there was a moment of silence and the entire poker world has been sending their thoughts to Barcelona over the last week, as many are there for the PokerStars Championship series.

Henrik Stenson closed the PGA Tour’s regular season out with a victory at this weekend’s Wyndham Championship but the top of the leader board wasn’t the only group feeling the pressure. Dozens of players entered this weekend with a chance to make the FedEx Cup Playoffs and for players on the bubble, the Wyndham Championship might have been their Masters. Martin Flores made a hole-in-on on 16 and gave us one of the best golf celebrations of the year, because that ace helped him make the 125-man FedEx Cup roster after entering the weekend on the outside looking in.

After a few months of anticipation, and media tours, Mayweather vs. McGregor is less than a week away. The build up to this point has been entertaining and my guess is that the best is yet to come, with both fighters looking to get a few more punches in before they actually enter the ring on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Most say Conor McGregor doesn’t have a chance but the Irish MMA champion has heard that before and prior to his last few title fights, has called his shots on Twitter. Will he do the same this weekend?  

We’re really, really stretching to get some NFL updates in here, so much so that retirement news makes the cut! Anquan Boldin, who signed with the Buffalo Bills two weeks ago, announced his retirement this weekend. Boldin won the Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2012 and while he was never a flashy receiver, he was one of the most consistent over the last decade. It’s because of that consistency that I always made a point to try to draft Boldin in my fantasy football leagues, something I won’t be able to do this weekend.

 Jose Mourinho, we see your cigar smoking GIF and we raise you Jean-Robert Bellande drinking wine