play, card game, poker

Is Poker a sport?

The other day, I read an article on The Bleacher Report entitled “Poker Is Not a Sport…Even If It is Broadcast on a Sports Network”. The author suggested that by definition a sport should at least required a minimum amount of physical talent or skill. Poker is not exactly a gruelling physical activity. There are lots of online casinos where poker is played as a major game today.


Merriam-Webster gives a few definitions to the sport, the noun. While one definition corresponds to the opinion piece I read, stating that sport is a physical activity engaged in for pleasure or a particular activity. There was also another stating that Sport is a source of diversion/recreation. Perhaps, we should qualify exactly what type of sport the game of poker is. 


Sport Accord recognizes that a sport can be primarily a mental competition, such as chess or go. Poker is also played as a mental competition with lots of strategies. But why is poker not recognized as mind games? 


The International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) recognizes that, its members the international games of bridge, chess and go. IMSA organized the 2012 World Mind Games, this summer. But once again, poker was not included in the competitions.

This is a bit strange because, in April 2010, the International Federation of Poker (IFP) succeeded in having the game of poker officially accepted as a mind sport, on a par with chess and bridge.

Following that, a decision was taken at the annual congress of IMSA that year. IFP President Anthony Holden welcomed a major milestone in our campaign to have poker accepted throughout the world as a game of strategic skill.

So far, the IFP has only earned Mind Sport observer status at the World Mind Games. But the federation is hopeful that it will take part in future Games also.  

There are lots of online poker games in the market, see our blog to find the best poker game.

5 thoughts on “Is Poker a sport?”

  1. Arthur Kirkwall

    poker is a gambling game. Its played for money alone nowadays. Don’t make or progress with the view of considering it as a sport. Please do not ever compare poker with chess. Rather Poker can be played for fun with competitive strategies.

  2. Viktor Nikifarov

    Sporting activities were done by passionate people who live for that alone. It isn’t like gamblers who spend their money and time just for entertainment. Just don’t compare a gambling game with any other sports. Its a disgrace for a sportsperson.

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