4 Reasons why Poker Should Be Considered a Sport
Sometimes we easily use the word sport to describe something or to label it as such. There are many activities today that are called sports and some of them are rightfully so while others not so much.
Today we have a bit controversial topic and it regards gambling activity, poker playing to be very precise. So often we hear somebody from that world or very close to it trying to justify or deny the classification of poker as a sports activity. In those bickering two sides are somewhat emotionally or personally attached or detached from the sport, which can be either subjective or objective, but that doesn’t make any of them right, nor wrong!
With this article, we will try to define what sport is and show you exactly why poker is a sports activity. The definition of sport is straightforward. Sport is defined as a competitive physical activity or game that utilizes physical ability and/or skill in a group or individual effort while providing entertainment to spectators. Now from this simple yet straightforward definition, I see almost all of the reasons why poker should and is considered a sports activity, but we will dissect it further so you can see exactly what we see. If you want more info on the star of the article – poker, then poker-place.com is the best place to start!
1. Physical activity
Now, this is something that might have you all split into two parts – those who will accept poker as physical activity and those that won’t. but before you, all jump to any conclusions hear us out and read carefully. We all know that physical exertion is present in sports like dancing, football, hockey, basketball and many, many others like them. But is it present in poker and to what extent? Well, poker is a bit specific and there, unlike baseball or hockey, it is less about what you do and more about what you don’t do. In poker, especially pro poker, every action you make gives away an abundance of information to your opponents. Physical exertion simply means effort and in sports definition, it is not specified what type of effort is needed for something to be considered a sport. Sometimes not doing something is more challenging and takes a greater toll on your body than doing that. In poker, it is not always mental because acting is a huge part of poker, and acting is quite physical as well.
Sports activities do require a lot of skill, and despite what your common belief is, poker takes a lot of skill if you want to be the best. There is a popular opinion that poker is a game of luck and that luck rules it in the short run. What about the long run? If you recall some of the poker tournaments and some of the games played there, with the best of the world, are played for several hours on end and in several days. If this can’t be considered a long run then we don’t know what is. Take a soccer game for instance – it also takes a lot of physical exertion, skill but it also involves a lot of luck. It’s played for 90 minutes and the best team wins right?! Yes. Well, poker games can be viewed the same way. If you have a lot of luck, in short term, meaning the first few games you will win and you will be ahead but the game is not won. If the games progress for several hours on end, your initial luck will run out if you don’t have the skill to back it up. Skill is a huge part of poker and no one can deny that. Skill can man a sum of luck, acting, smarts and withs all used together to beat your opponents. Poker has all of that and plenty of for that matter.
3. Rules and competition
For anything to be called a sport it needs to have two things – a competitor base and rules that competitors abide by. Poker also has all of that. Since gambling is so popular and since we all like to test our luck, prove our skills and generally compete, poker blew up significantly. It was always popular but these past 10 or so years have been really good for the poker world. Now all of you that play this game know about the rules of the game. Depending on the type of poker game there are different rules, but some general ones apply across the board. Besides the rules you have to know your hand, have to predict cards, plays and know what to stack and when. All of those things show that this is something that might even be tougher and more competitive than any other “more physical” sport out there.
Now if this was just something that is only followed by several hundred or thousand people then we would say, OK it lacks in one department of the definition. The reality on the other hand is completely different and we all know how popular are these poker tournaments and games. Just like in any sport you have bigger and smaller tournaments. You have games played between friends and you have amateur leagues. What interest us more is the fact that pro tournaments and poker leagues are so famous that the viewership of these events surpasses millions of views. Even last year WSOP or World Series of Poker was a huge success despite it being held in the time of the pandemic and a lot of limitations from all around.
So, as you could read, there is not a single thing that poker lacks for it to not be classified as a real sport. All of the factors that include a real sport are here, and some of them are even more pronounced in poker than any other sport. These are the things that should set your mind straight and make you be a believer of this type of sport if you weren’t so far. Although it is technically gambling, poker is a gentleman’s sport and a sport that requires a lot of relinquishment which is a feat for itself.