It has become a hotter topic than anticipated, everyone now is debating on whether or not Poker can be called a sport. Some say it is just a game while others have their fair share of reasons to say otherwise.
Poker would benefit a lot if it was to be declared a sport as it would get much more exposure, which will intrigue newer sections of the crowd to give it a go. For existing players and market that would be a boon in revenue generated from several channels. But how do we define poker as a sport?
What is a sport?
The definition of a sport is traditionally a “physical exercise” which involves several practical aspects like reflex, speed, strength, endurance, etc. Most of the sports easily count inside this definition, sports such as basketball, football, tennis, badminton and others. There is an image built around such sports which never demands a question of whether they are a sport or not.
However, the mindsets differ when we ask the question regarding poker as a sport. Let take an example of Pool, there is no speed or strength required for anyone to play the sport. They need several other qualities instead, like good hand-eye coordination, long standing routines, etc.
And in a similar manner, poker players also require certain qualities which are the basis of arguments from people that poker should be considered a sport.
In the modern world, some of the traditional definitions often change, they are stretched to fit in a lot of different and valid opinions of the ongoing era. This is why we are in argument about poker as a sport because there are more pros to it than cons if the transition goes through on official terms.
Poker Demands Skill, Not Luck!
There is a majority of people who think that poker is a game of luck and not skill, hence they may see it more like a gamble. People may have won some tournaments on bluffs and luck but the number of that has happened in a large range of years is very low. It only proves that even if someone got lucky, it doesn’t happen all the time. If we look at various all-time money and winners list, the number of WSOP bracelets won by individuals or similar calibre achievements in a wider sample space - a few names keep repeating themselves. For example, famous Canadian poker player, Daniel, has over $42,000,000 in winnings along with countless trophies to his name.
Now, this is a solid proof that it is not about luck, you need skill to win and keep winning year after year. One can not simply out-luck their opponent for 20-30 years. This alone makes poker a bigger challenge than many sports where you may be good but short term success due to stamina or form may not always be guaranteed. You need to analyse and learn the situations to play the right hands.
The Physical Aspect of Poker
When we are comparing step by step with other popular sports such as basketball, it may seem unfair to compare someone who is sitting on a chair at home or tournament with someone who is running constantly and strategically on a court. People think that poker players spend many their time sitting comfortably on a chair and the peak effort is to put chips forwards or maybe just click buttons on their mouse.
However, this is unfair to the professional poker players. For an amateur player it can be true that they play just for fun, come and go as they like, and may not even play for days. But same is the case for amateur player of any other sport, they may play once a week with their friends and call it a wrap.
The professionals of poker have to spend around 10 hours a day sitting down and playing cards, where there is constant stress in the brain and they can’t afford to fall asleep mid-game. If there is a back pain then it makes matters worse as it causes one to lose focus, leading to loss of rounds. The physicality is similar to office work but with an added stress of your livelihood depending upon your skills and severe competition. In fact the huge amount of competition in poker is one of the defining traits of all sports. Professional players have to do daily training in gym, control their diet and take rest with unlimited strategies to work upon and choose from.
IndiaPlays, just like all of you, finds it a tough cookie to pass an outright decision on the matter. The points mentioned above make it very clear that poker is not just an ordinary game and it requires a great deal of physical and mental exercise from the player. However, when compared in equivalent time scale - other sports require much more effort and physical training than poker. But one thing is certain, it is a very rewarding and skill based activity which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home on mobile with real money gaming platforms like IndiaPlays. There are two great offerings currently available for all players -
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