Poker Athletics

Tilly, JenniferUnless you’ve been sitting in a cave, facing the wall, with your eyes closed and your ears plugged, by now you’ve heard the rumbling for the push to legalize online poker. Proponents of this move have shelled out millions of dollars and gained quite a bit of support from other groups in hopes of pushing this bill through. While I myself, remain optimistic about the future of online poker, I do have a slight bone of contention with the whole thing, and by that I mean those that are trying to push online poker as a sport. It’s not a sport, it’s a game. Could someone please tell me the great physical and athletic traits that make a great poker player?

Now, there’s going to be someone out there that will argue that it is competitive and that it requires skill and ability to play poker and blah blah blah. Here’s the thing, to me, sport requires physical exertion, and it must be played in some sort of field, arena, some sort of playing surface which also contributes or governs the rules of the sport. I’m sorry, playing poker on your computer, where the only limitations or rules are how fast your Ethernet cable is, doesn’t quite cut it. Sport requires physical training and physical exertion. Lifting your mouse or that jug of koolaid every few minutes doesn’t count.

Yes, poker requires skill and ability, but that doesn’t make it a sport. It makes it a skilled game, like chess. If it sounds like I’m sipping from the hatorade jug, it’s because I just want things to remain clear. I love poker but sports are played by athletes, we shouldn’t blur the definitions of what sport is or we could open up a whole can of worms we didn’t ask for. For instance, if we start calling poker a sport, then we might as well call curling a sport, which it isn’t. Then after that, we might as well call bowling, kite flying, darts, pool, horseshoes, apple bobbing and playing fucking video games sporting events too.

Poker is the thinking man’s game, let’s just run with that. Let’s not try and jazz it up and take it to whole new level where it’s out of place. You start trying to talk about the sport of online poker and you lose credibility right away, at least in my book. You start talking about the skilled game of poker, where one must read his opponents and use savvy tactics and play percentages to win and now you’re talking.