Why Poker is a Sport
For many people, poker is gambling.
In the Philippines, the Roman Catholic Church has instructed the Filipino Entertainment and Gaming Company (PAGCOR) that poker venues need to be atleast 200 meters away from any church. Catholic institutions such as schools alsocannot collect any poker-related donations. Poker is considered a form of gambling.
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Online Poker Games is Gambling or a Sport?
There are many people out there who are confused with this concept. Is poker gambling or is it a sport?
The answer is simple: It depends on the form of poker.
The two most common forms of poker are cash games and tournaments. Most people cannot distinguish between the two. In cash games, the game chips represent real currency. Whereas in tournament poker, a “buy-in” is required, which also requires money. It is on this premise that the two can be differentiated. Cash game poker is gambling because the chips are real money with actual value. But tournament poker isn’t considered gambling because the “buy in” represents an “entry fee” to participate in the tournament. This is how tournaments work around the world, whether they are golf tournaments, tennis tournaments or even minor basketball leagues. A team pays an entry or tournament fee, which they may or may not even get back after winning the championship, depending on the organizers. In cash game poker, the goal is to win as much money as you can. In tournament poker, the objective is to win all the chips.
You might be thinking, “How can a poker player be an athlete?”
One of the reasons is that they do many things similar to professional athletes.
Traditional poker rooms gave the impression of a smoke-filled room, full of whiskey and fried burgers. But now, the new generation of poker players, such as Patrick Antonius, Tom Dwan and Liv Boeree, are all fitness enthusiasts.
They lead healthy lifestyles by exercising every day and following a strict diet to help in their mental game. They do not smoke or take drugs. They play a lot of tournament poker and have been quite successful, especially in online casinos. They do a lot of research by reading related books, watching videos and analyzing their competitors. This is what professional athletes also do!
Most professionals need to average a certain number of tournaments in a month and play a certain number of hands a day so they can chart their progress. The more training and exposure they get, the better they are.
The golf legend Gary Player once said, “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” This can also be equated to Michael Jordan’s jump shot and CC Sabathia’s slider.
Poker as a sport has grown so much over the years that poker coaches are now a commonplace. Many coaches either accompany their players to actual tournaments or coach them online.
For poker players who are immersed in the game as a sport, it is not just about winning money. It is about how to win.
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