Can poker be considered a sport? Help for next article

    • Chus82
      Joined: 14.12.2006 Posts: 461
      Dear all,

      I’m Jesús Ramírez, member of the Spanish version of I’d like to write an article on poker for, a multilingual European online magazine which gets 300, 000 ‘unique’ monthly visits.

      The article discusses whether poker can be considered as a sport or not, and will be published in mid-October.

      I would like to ask some simple questions: if you are able to reply, please do let me know your age, job, country and full name, so that I can cite you correctly in the piece.

      1. Can poker be considered a sport? Why (not)?
      2. Is it just gambling, pure and simple?
      3. Is chess a sport? What’s the difference between chess and poker ? What do you think of backgammon, bridge or gin rummy ?

      Thanks all
  • 5 replies
    • Drakhor
      Joined: 13.01.2008 Posts: 554
      1) Well, if you look at guys like e.g. Jimmy Fricke (runner-up of the Aussie Millions 2007), you can't really say that poker is a sport. He (and most American players it seems :tongue: ) could of course be a Sumo wrestler, which is indeed a sport, but apart from this, you could hardly call him an athlete. For me, sports involve a physical side, which is not really the case in poker, apart from maybe stacking the chips in weird ways like they do at the WSOP in a mini-event.

      2) Poker is neither "only skill", nor is it "only luck". It's a combination of both. No amount of skill alone will get you to a final table, as you always need that bit of luck to win your coin flips. The more you know about the game, the better your chances of course, but ultimately, at times you just have to suck out on the river to make it.

      3) As chess doesn't really involve a physical side, I can't really call it a sport either. Some argue that anything that involves a lot of practice is considered a sport, but I guess that's up to everyone's own opinion. For me, it isn't, and neither is backgammon, bridge or gin rummy.

      Now about your other questions: I'm 32, I work for as the main translator for English news, as well as some strategy articles every now and then, I'm from Luxembourg and my name is Claude. :tongue:

      PS: Edith told me to fix some mistake. :tongue:
    • z4tz
      Joined: 24.05.2008 Posts: 2,043
      1, Poker is and will probably always be in the gray-area between sport and a "not-sport". Compared to so called E-sports (computergames) its quite alike physically and also mentally in many ways i discoverd. The big difference is the luck-part in single events which is so much bigger in poker than other sports.

      2. Must agree with Drakhor here but it depends where the poker is played. At a homegame with your grandparents the luck is almost everything but if you move to a highstakes game in las vegas skill is so much more important.

      3. Chess is more of a sport than poker i would say. Its almost only skillbased and is almost on the same level as air rifle shooting or other pure skill-sports. I think that the luck-factor is a very big part in how sports-like something can be. Imagine if running a marathon was luck-based and some random guy walks in and wins the marathon over runners that have been training their whole lives. That would be absurd, and that is kind of possible in poker.

      My info: 21 years old, studying physics in Lund, Sweden. I go by the name of Jimmy Malmqvist. ^^
    • Chus82
      Joined: 14.12.2006 Posts: 461
      Thank you all for your participation. You will be able to look the article in two weeks more or less at
    • TheBrood
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 4,383
      Poker is very physical but in a different way than american football for example.
      In order to play many hours a day you need to be in good condition, moreso if its live poker. I heard the pros work out.

      Personally I get tired after 2 hours on 1 online table lol. Prob because I multitask and write notes on the players constantly.
    • tehChipDonk
      Joined: 15.04.2008 Posts: 173
      definitely not a physical sport but poker and chess can be mental sports