Poker is NOT a sport!

Last week on the local sports talk radio they were discussing whether poker is a sport or not.  And they arrived at the conclusion that it is indeed a sport because after all, it's shown on ESPN.  What?  Are you out of your mind?  Although ESPN is nearly all sports, this clearly illustrates a return to their roots as the "Entertainment and Sports Network".  Welcome to the entertainment folks…although personally I don't see it.

A long time ago I railed against golf and bowling not being sports.  Basically, for most people they are recreational activities.  But theycan be consider to be a sport at the appropriate competition level.  The litmus test of course is "if you can drink beer while you're doing it, it's not a sport".

So, now let's look at poker…you can drink while playing poker, so it's not a sport, right?  Alright, you can also play poker, not drink, take it very seriously and make some outrageous money at it!  No doubt about that, but sitting around a table making staring at a handful of cards and chucking chips is not a sport.  There's almost no physical exertion.  It might be an intense mental battle and prove challenging, but that makes it no more that a friendly(?) competition.  But it's not a physical activity that is required for it to be a sport.  With the serious money that can be made playing poker these days you might stand a better chance of arguing that it's a legitimate livelihood!

So I guess my litmus test now needs to be modified too: "If there's no physical activity and you can drink beer while you're doing it, it's not a sport."
July 23, 2005 @ 08:44 am | Category:
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