There’s an ongoing debate on whether or not card games should be considered as sport. If the common connotation of sport – that is physical exertion in an outdoor setting – is to be factored in, then the debate is won by antagonists.
Definition of “sport”
As per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, sport is defined as “a source of diversion” and “physical activity engaged in for pleasure”. Both descriptions fit poker perfectly. We play poker to distract ourselves and escape temporarily from the real world, while sitting at the table and focusing on the dealt cards is a form of physical activity, at least for the brain. If chess is classified as a sedentary sport, then maybe poker should be as well.
SportAccord, the association representing the world’s largest international sports federations, has come up with criteria necessary to identify a sport: it must have an element of competition, not harmful to any living creature, not relying on equipment provided by a single supplier, and not relying on any “luck” element specifically designed into the sport.
Although there is some degree of luck involved, poker is still a game of strategy and quick thinking. There is also a great deal of courage involved, especially when the stakes are high. All told, poker is no different from any other sport. There are winners and losers. There are tactics and execution. Many poker players – professionals and amateurs serious about getting into the sport – even have their own poker tables at home.