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, with the “Monday Merge”. Using loose comparisons and even looser transitions, we are fusing the only two things we really care about.

The dog days of summer are a relatively slow period on the yearly sports calendar. The NBA and NHL are enjoying their offseason, the only soccer being played doesn’t matter and the MLB season doesn’t start to truly heat up until September. The Hall of Fame Game means that that slow period is coming to an end, there is close to one month until the start of the NFL season, but it also means that the newest group of legends have been immortalized in Canton, Ohio. This year’s inductees included LaDainian Tomlinson, who was a no-brainer first-ballot Hall of Famer, just like Phil Ivey was earlier this summer.

Over the last few years, CrossFit has undergone a transition from cult-esque following to main stream television and this past weekend, the 2017 CrossFit Games crowned the Fittest Man on Earth on CBS Sports. Olympic lifting specialist Mat Fraser defended his title, going wire-to-wire in dominating fashion to defeat some of the world’s best athletes. There won’t be any dead lifts or handstand walks when the world’s best poker players return to ARIA next month but there will be tons of action as the poker world crowns its very first Poker Master.

Speaking of Masters, we told you there would be loose transitions, golf happened this weekend and even though Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama stole the victory and headlines, Charley Hoffman stole our hearts. Down three strokes with three holes to go, Hoffman basically told his caddy to “STFU” when he was instructed to lay up. Hoffman said he was, “Tired of finishing second.” and even though he did, you have to credit the UNLV alumni for playing for the win.

Poker legend Phil Hellmuth has made his fair share of cameo appearances over the years, including Showtime’s Billions and PokerGO’s Poker Nights, and is a constant figure on the sideline of Golden State Warriors games. New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard used a Game of Thrones appearance to show off his arm, before (SPOILER ALERT!) dying a fiery death at the hands of Danaerys Targaryen and her dragon.