Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Poker = Sport?


Jay ponders the great question...Is Poker A Sport?

This column strays from his usual gripes of actually playing poker and focuses on the phenomenon that is poker. I don't think poker is a sport, rather entertainment. At least poker on television.

People watch sports for one reason: to see who won, to see who can exhibit the most grace under the most intense pressure, and then to celebrate the winners, often by cashing a bet. (Yes, football fans, I'm talking 'bout you. Be honest now -- would you rather see a week's worth of incredible physical feats, or collect on one meaningful wager from your local bookie?) And the reality is that big-time poker provides just about the most intense pressure the fertile mind of man can create -- not to mention an endless stream of meaningful wagers.

I don't disagree with this statement at all, but I still don't think this qualifies poker as sport. Put it this way, I watched Survivor All-Stars (and all the other Survivors too...I know, I'm a dork) to see who won. There were elements of sport involved in the show through challenges, etc., but I would not consider Survivor All-Stars a sport either. It was entertainment. That is what the WPT, WSOP, and the Celebrity Poker Letdown (as Pauly calls it) simply is.

Please let me know if you disagree.


Diane said...

I don't really know how I feel about Celebrity Poker players, because some of them are good but usually you get really awful players who end up making it out of pure luck. It brings more people to the sport but it's a laughing stock.I'm also a spoken word artist. I had the same reaction when Def Poetry Jam was created. On one hand it exposes more people to the sport but I dunno, Celeb Poker didn't get ME into playing, I was already into
the game and the more into it I got the less I wanted to watch celebs squander their money. I don't play for the thrill I play to get paid

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