Is Poker a Sport?

Assuming NASCAR is a sport (and I assume you think that since you have its trivia questions on this site) -- is Poker also a sport?

Playing long hours of Poker, be it at the tables or in front of your computer, requires mental toughness, stamina, and strength, and it's on ESPN. So can the game of Poker be considered a sport? Let's try to find out.

The word "sport” according to the American Heritage® Dictionary is defined as:

1.) An active pastime; diversion; recreation.

2.) A specific diversion, usually involving physical exercise and having a set form and body of rules; a game.

Number one definitely checks out but number two can be debateable, although the ability to play through hours and hours of poker involves physical strain and would require physical excersice, it is not at the same level as other more popular sports such as Basketball or Football. But we have be fair, there are other sports out there such as that of Golf, Bowling and Pool, and these sports probably require the same amount of physical exercise as to those who play poker for a living And it has already been well established that bowling or golf or pool are considered as sports. Even Fishing is considered as a sport.

One argument that comes up is the fact that those people who watch poker games on television does not really expect to see any memorable physical feats and so will just become bored and start watching something else, but isn't that the same with Bowling or Golf or Pool? It just depends on the preference of the person who's watching. Another reason is that people watch sports for the following reasons: to see who will win, to see who will be able to exhibit the most grace under the most intense pressure during crucial moments, and then to celebrate the winners, (which is often the case when winning a bet) And the thing is, big-time poker games such as what we usually see on the WSOP circuit provides just about the same intense pressure to the minds and hearts of men and women, especially if we consider the endless stream of meaningful and huge wagers that are laid out on the table.

So is Poker a sport? There will always be debates as to what constitute something as a sport, but in the heart of many sports enthusiasts, it will definitely be one of them. It one of the greatest games mind man has ever invented. So yes, I say Poker should be considered a "sport."

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