Opinions: Is Poker A Sport?

This has been on my mind lately and I wanted to get some opinions on the subject. Do you consider Poker to be a sport?

I consider Poker to be a mind sport. The reason I say this is because the differentiation of a sport is “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”

A lot of people play Poker for entertainment plus when playing Poker for long hours at a time you’ll eventually start to get tired and exhausted mentally which a lot of the time effects the way you play. Some examples: slower reaction time , poor decision making and overall judgement of what your doing.

Also a lot of what happens in Poker involves strategy.

What is your opinion?



Mind sport. NO QUESTION.
I’m sure that settles it.


fully agreed.
i always considered it a mind sport too.
if chess is then poker is too.


Good question and this has been debated before for years and years.

This is my take.

Poker is very well a mind game. Notice I used the word “game” and not sport.

In order for something to be considered a sport there has to be a fair amount of physical activity involved.

When there are players or even one player that is involved in a fair amount of physical activity with a goal orientated ending that person is considered to be engaged in a sport thus having the name of or title of " Athlete "

Only sports players are designated as " athletes "

I have never heard of a poker player described as an athlete so my answer would be no, poker is not considered a sport.

Whew !!! Really early in the morning for my mind to work that hard lol.

Note **** for those of us that have sat for 10-12 hours during a live tournament I do consider that as a marathon event so marathon = sport = athlete ???

Hahahaha, Hahahaha :rofl:

I need coffee :coffee:


Does rolling my eyes about 50 times a game count as physical ?:laughing:


Hahahahaha, Hi Sharon . I think it might :rofl:


I have been in games where I believe there was more physical effort expended than by an auto race car driver. :roll_eyes:

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you must have very good eyes by now :slight_smile:


Greetings Marc & the Family,
I’ve been in some large tournaments, at least for me large that lasted all day and into the evening… Mentally and physically it’s exhausting. Then to think about the pressures in the WSOP that goes for several days… As most know, there are tons of top rated poker players that work out religiously, pay very close attention to their diets and what they put into their bodies. Believe me, there are literally TONS of NFL players who would snicker at the thought of going THAT extreme with their bodies… So yes, I take the personal view that it’s a sport.
You can make the same argument for the game of Chess now. If you’ve ever played in a chess tournament, it’s really not much different in day 2 or 3… Luckily, I was always able to wrap up all my chess wins early so I could watch the rest of the tournament… :thinking:
Here again, it’s a personal view, like everyone else’s… There really isn’t a right or wrong answer here.
So in conclusion Marc, that was a heck of a good question… Please try to look up the Daniel Negreanu bit about you know he knows you know he knows…Something like that… There’s not a right or wrong answer if the query is posted correctly… Thanks for the great “To be or not to be…That is the question” question…:sunglasses:


I’m thinking it all depends on your definition of sport. If you think only of the physical, than it isn’t a sport unless lifting chips and cards is an exertion. If you consider something that requires a certain discipline to master, than it is indeed a sport. With the qualifier of “mental” sport, than there is not a doubt in the world that poker qualifies.


Well, playing on the computer is not a sport but on Tuesday nite I wrenched my shoulder mucking cards so I hafta say live poker is a real sport fraught with danger…


This is like asking if figure skating is the most beautiful of the sports or the most athletic of the arts. It depends on both the “who” and the “how.” Some players are very physical while others literally sit like the rocks they’re called. No one could doubt Michelle Kwan was an athlete or that her artistry on the ice was unmatched. I suggest that Mike Sexton, at least in his playing days, was well up there in both skill and being physical–and who else ever showed up for a WSOP main event in a tuxedo? The answer will forever lie in the mind of the viewer. Ron P. (Alan25main)

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Poker is a game, not a sport.


Of course, Not The One is correct, but it is more than that it is the AMERICAN DREAM which so happens to be the MTT that I just played. 151 entrants and paid top 30. Now if you were lucky enough, if you were good enough, and if you cheated like I did then you could win 96 chips should you have placed 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, or 30th. 96 chips – that my friends is what has happened to the American dream.


Greetings Eddie72,
Try some different tournaments in which to chase those American Dreams around in my friend…You’re just picking the wrong tournament for your specific needs. Most of these “middle of the road tournaments” . Even lower buy-ins, need to be looked at with a different view. It’s no different here or any of the other poker sites, in the casinos as well, those mid-sized tournaments are also the training grounds for tomorrow’s super stars. Just like the AAA, and AA farm leagues for all the professional baseball teams. They may not necessarily be able to support you or your family on a regular bases, But they’re great training & warm up arenas for anyone’s game.

There are many players who would strongly disagree with your statement and the pursuit of the The American Dream. I’ll start that list with a few names. They have some inspiring life stories, which I tend to latch onto rather quickly…:sunglasses:

Vivian Saliba (Brazil)
Kelly Winterhalter (USA)
Espen Uhlen Jørstad (Norway)
Chris Moneymaker (USA)

– Yes – ( my opinion )

I offer this analogy, most ppl usually think that a driver, professionally, delivery" just sits there and drives around all day , talk about getting paid to do nothing" …then that means, most ppl would be wrong… I will more than agree, its less physically demanding, … but far more mentally demanding. The person chopping wood all day might be exhausted, but so could the person who play’d a high-level chess match all day… just a different kind of exhausted…

Now I will disect :

So Mark, using your deffinition, then the answer is – No --, even tho I offered my answer @ beginning of the reply.

If all squares are rectangles, are all rectangles squares ??? well duhh, no …
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so we are always told…

The problem becomes when ppl look at all the attributes of a sport other than the actuall physical part. One reason ppl do that is because, after a certain point the physical part levels out, and whats left is the mental part. So ppl look @ and discuss that part… but in the context of a sport, and that blurs the line, “that it has to be physical” to be a sport…

Now, I seem to be a detailed oriented person, so… I can find a few conveluded ways to say, there is some physical aspects to Poker, but the “spirit of the defenition” is saying there has to be some physical aspect that is directly involved in the activity… such as putting a golf ball, is a “action”… you can’t say that how I turn my cards over is comparable to that…

Last and not least, “it is a mind sport” assumes “mind” is a subclass of “sport”… I’m not 100% sure it can even be a subclass. That prolly is the whole debate…

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Poker Is Not a Sport…Even If It Is Broadcast on a Sports Network !!!

Todd Pheifer

November 2, 2012

Sorry, but poker is not a sport.

ESPN might broadcast it for the entire world to see, but I have a hard time putting it alongside baseball, football, basketball and hockey.

Do not get me wrong. I enjoy playing poker. I do not know if I would call it good television, but every so often I like to get together with some of my friends and play a little cards. We enjoy some snacks, exchange walking-around money and have some laughs.

Not a sport.

Now, this will inevitably bring up the issue of definitions. What is a “sport?” At the risk of avoiding the question, I will suggest that this is a very long philosophical discussion that is best resolved with a larger group at a barbecue or late at night at a coffee shop.

However, for the sake of argument I will suggest that sport should at least require a minimum amount of physical talent or skill. Poker is not exactly a grueling physical activity.

Granted, this can quickly delve into the definition of an “athlete.”

Once we go there, people will quickly start bringing up golfers that are either chain-smokers or not exactly svelte. Golfers who, if they had to run laps, might struggle to keep up. Let’s not go there.

I have no problem with ESPN broadcasting the World Series of Poker. After all, they are the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. Their job is to broadcast anything that will be watched.

If they want to jam a camera under someone’s thumb so that we can see their Fishhooks up close and personal, so be it.

Still, slapping the phrase “World Series” on the front of something does not equate it to baseball. Granted, baseball does not exactly have a “world” series either, but that is a different story.

Television is all about personal preference.

Some people watch grown men put on helmets and smash into each other. Others prefer to watch a dude in a hoodie and sunglasses act all cool and play cards for big money.

And then there are those who apparently like to watch someone named Honey Boo Boo, whoever that is.

Now I know that some will argue that sport is as much about mental ability as it is about physical gifts. A quarterback has to make quick mental reads on the field. The pitcher and batter play an endless mental game of, “Can you guess which pitch I am going to throw?”

There are clearly mental aspects to sports, and some of the biggest stars have been people who are cerebral thinkers as well as physically gifting.

The physical structure still needs to be there. There might be some chubby golfers out there, but they still have the athletic ability to hit a ball straight. I have the physical gifts to hit the ball into the fairway, but it isn’t always my fairway.

If you want to embrace a more open definition for the word sport, be my guest.

I am still going to stick with the premise that poker, while entertaining, is not a sport.

Just because you might need some big guns to shove a stack of chips into the middle does not make you a world-class athlete.

If poker is sport, then ESPN needs to add the World Series of Chess, Risk and Monopoly. That might make for some good television.

Todd Pheifer

November 2, 2012

Sorry, but poker is not a sport.

After carefully considering all the nuances of poker,It seems the only form of our beloved game which would qualify as a sport would be Strip Poker. End of discussion.


Hahahaha, yes there is a bit of skill involved, entertainment and some physical activity lol.

Thanks for the laugh :joy:

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Hope I brightened your day.

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