Is Poker a Sport or Just Entertainment?


If you want to stir up debate with your friends ask them for their opinion over whether poker is a sport or a game. Sport is defined as "an activity that usually involves endurance, competition within a set of rules". The key word amongst this quote is "usually" which means that this does not always need to be the case and therefore some sports do not involve endurance. Could we not then class Poker as a table sport?

Most people agree that Golf is a sport but do you class the walking between shots as part of the sport or do you only "play golf" when you swing your club? If you use a golf buggy it could be argued you are not then playing a sport, but a game. Table sports like Snooker or Pool are not sports if you consider that they do not involve a high level of endurance but they are classed as such. As you can see it is not easy to definitively judge whether poker is a game or a sport.

Both sides of the argument over whether poker is a sport can be effectively debated. Poker involves a high level of mental endurance and focus that many endurance athletes would struggle to maintain over a long period. Training your mind for poker is required just like endurance training is required for an athletic event. Over time you will improve your ability to concentrate for long periods when playing poker just as an athlete runs faster if they train for speed.

Poker is certainly not a conventional sport that involves high levels of physical fitness but it certainly requires talent, skill and a certain focus that needs to be nurtured just like any athletic ability would need to be developed. It is a challenging game to learn with sporting elements associated with it. Poker certainly offers financial rewards that eclipse many sports and one big win can secure your life in a way many other sports could not.

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