Is poker a sport?Walking through any poker room across America, you will hear an eclectic range of emotions.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
Walking through any poker room across America, you will hear an eclectic range of emotions.
Whether it’s a yelp of joy or sorrow about a hand, players can get pretty intense.
Even on the Internet, verbal jabs are traded about all the time.
Sometimes it sounds like the way athletes talk during a game. It’s even aired on ESPN and almost all its networks.
It begs the question, is poker a sport?
Doing some research online, I discovered that there was a Web site called PokerInAthens.com.
According to the site, which was sponsored by Full Tilt Poker, there was an attempt to get poker at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, sports are “a source of diversion; a physical activity engaged in for pleasure; a particular activity so engaged in.” If I were to use this definition to see if poker was a sport, then it probably would be.
It’s definitely a source of diversion and it’s an activity that people can engage in. Also it does require some physical activity, such as placing chips in a pot, and thought.
OK, maybe I’m being a little overzealous with the word physical activity.
All we really do is sit in a chair and look at cards.
Luck is also a factor which does not help poker’s cause. I’m not saying there isn’t any luck in athletics, but in poker it plays just too big a role. My conclusion: Poker is definitely not a sport and has no place at the Olympic Games.
Using Merriam’s definition of sport, other activities can also be eliminated from the realm of sport. Chess is another good example. In 2000, chess was a trial sport for display at the Olympic Games? Why? There’s nothing physical about it, unless you consider brain activity physical activity.
If that were the case then many other things could be considered sports. How about a spelling bee, or the TV show Iron Chef. If they want to consider chess an Olympic sport, than they might as well try cooking.
There’s more physical activity in cooking, plus a lot of thought goes into it.
Back to chess. I guess chess players have been trying to get chess into the Olympics since 1924. Apparently it failed then because they were having trouble distinguishing amateur and professional players.
Voice your opinion online at www.twoharborsmn.com and leave a comment on whether or not you think poker is a sport.
Matt Suoja is a reporter with the Lake County News Chronicle. E-mails can be sent to email@example.com or call him at 834-2141.