Sport or Not: Poker

Photo Courtesy of Unslaph Images

Last week’s Sport or Not was child’s play compared to this week. I, Emily O’Neil, of sound mind and body will be tackling one of the most debated activities of all time: poker.

If you were to Google “Is poker a sport?” you’d get half of the articles saying yes, poker is a sport and professional poker players are athletes. You’ll also get about half the articles saying why poker is just a game. So dear readers, it’s up to me to do the research for you and let you know what I think.

Last week, my problem with dodgeball was that there’s no real coverage of it and not high enough stakes in a game of ‘professional’ dodgeball. This is not the case with poker, in fact, did you know that every year there’s a World Series of Poker? Yes! This year’s event is running from Sept. 30 through Nov. 22. and believe me people do watch it all the way through. And guess what else? In 2019, the winning champion, Hossein Ensan, won a whopping $10,000,000! Now that is some serious stakes. 

The problem with poker is the physical aspect of it. Yes, it’s extremely mentally taxing and yes it takes serious skill, but it’s really not physically exerting at all. I know I might get push back on this because you might be able to stretch it somehow. If you think about it, though, sitting at a table for eight hours is certainly tiring, but only because you’re thinking so hard. Not because you’re running or lifting or swimming or anything else.

Like it or not readers, the physicality of sports is a huge part about what makes a sport a sport. Final verdict: poker is a game!

Avatar photo
About Emily O'Neil 114 Articles
Emily O’Neil is a third-year public relations major with a minor in creative writing, originating from Clifton Park, NY. This is her sixth semester on the Oracle and second as Sports Editor. Her favorite team is the New York Yankees even though they keep disappointing her. You can reach her by emailing