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.

The real football fun doesn’t start until next weekend, we’ll get to that later, but Labor Day Weekend opened the fall football calendar with some exciting collegiate action. While the top-three matchup between Alabama and Florida State headlined the weekend, Sunday’s Texas A&M versus UCLA tie was likely the most entertaining of Week 1. UCLA erased a 34-point deficit with Josh Rosen going runner-runner, and then some, to score five touchdowns in the last 19 minutes, including this fake-spike pass to take a one-point lead with under a minute to play.

UCLA’s comeback, which was almost the biggest in NCAA history, was the biggest storyline from Sunday’s action but Saturday’s slate college games featured some seriously historic upsets. Howard entered their match up with UNLV as 45-point road underdogs and the Bison, an FCS team, won the game outright, 43-40. According to odds makers, Howard had a 1.2% chance to win, just better than Liberty’s 2.2% chance to beat Baylor, who did, after opening as 33-point underdogs. Professional sports can’t get to Las Vegas soon enough and here’s to hoping the Vegas Golden Knights and Las Vegas Raiders never get upset like that.

UNLV Rebel fans may have to wait a few years to get a professional football team of their own but football fans around the country only have to wait two more days until the NFL returns. The 2017 season kicks off on Thursday, when the New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs, and then the fun really begins on Sunday, when most of the league will be in action. My quick-hitting 2017 NFL prediction, the New England Patriots win another Super Bowl. Yawn.

Las Vegas football fans have to wait a few years for the Oakland Raiders to officially move to Sin City but they could have a professional football team before the next World Cup qualification cycle begins if the United States Men’s National Team doesn’t take care of business in Honduras tonight. After losing to Costa Rica 2-0 last week, the USMNT enters Tuesday night’s must-win contest on the World Cup bubble and if they aren’t able to “grind” out a victory, or at least a tie, the United States could miss the World Cup for the first time in over two decades.

From the World Cup to the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, where Justin Thomas has continued his white-hot streak through 2017. Thomas won his first major earlier this summer and while his Dell Technologies Championship win didn’t come with a jacket, like poker’s most prestigious major or next month’s Poker Masters series, Thomas is making a run up the FedEx Cup standings and has gotten the satisfaction of beating the world’s best every week multiple times this year.