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Bleacher Report Says Poker Is Not A Sport
Author Argues That Physical Activity Is Necessary
Over the weekend, The Bleacher Report, an online publication with an alternative reporting view of the sporting world, published an op-ed piece from author Todd Pheifer, titled Poker Is Not a Sport… Even If It Is Broadcast on a Sports Network.
The story focuses on the most recent broadcast of the 2012 World Series of Poker main event final table, which according to Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times, makes for better entertainment than baseball’s World Series.
The author points out that even though it is broadcast on ESPN, poker falls more into the entertainment aspect of the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. In the past, ESPN has broadcast chess, darts, Scrabble and even the National Spelling Bee.
Pheifer goes on to concede that poker requires a great deal of intelligence and emotional control, and recognizes that quality in other sports, stating that “there are clearly mental aspects to sports, and some of the biggest stars have been people who are cerebral thinkers as well as physically gifted.”
However, he also believes that “sport should at least require a minimum amount of physical talent or skill” and that “poker is not exactly a grueling physical activity.”
The topic of whether poker qualifies as a sport or not has been debated by those in the poker community for decades and even in the mainstream media in the years following the Moneymaker Boom of 2003.
Publications such as the USA Today, Page 2, Yahoo, and even ESPN have tackled the subject without a clear answer. There has even been a push for poker to be accepted as an medal event by the International Olympic Committee.
So far, the Bleacher Report’s online poll question has roughly 62 percent of voters agreeing with the author that poker is not a sport. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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