A sport is ‘an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment’ – Oxford Dictionary definition.
One of the reasons that poker is not classified as a sport is the use of the word "physical" in most of the dictionary definitions.
Yet, if you were fortunate to win a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event, it is arguable that you would be more physically exhausted than a person competing in a darts competition, for example.
Poker is a tough game. It is so exhausting because it is mentally challenging, requiring a great deal of poker strategy. Some of the world’s most lucrative poker tournaments take place over a period of five days straight.
Each day can consist of 10-12 hour sessions with a dinner break at the whim of each Tournament Director. It is physical in every sense of the word – except the fact that it is not physical.
But things are slowly changing for poker. The payouts are far exceeding anything that exists in an individual sports besides boxing, and the pugilists do not even have to win to pick up their sizeable pay packets.
These vast sums of money are attracting a lot of eyeballs and the debate over poker being a game or a sport is hotter than ever.
According to the poker news, the game has recently been accepted into the International Mind Sports Association. Not quite an Olympic event, but maybe the famous game is on the right track.
For the time being, poker is classed as a mind sport to some and just a game to the vast majority.
Who knows, maybe one day we will see poker players parading their talents in a professional league, as it finally gets recognised as a sport.