Reddit Says that Poker Not A Sport

August 24th, 2014 | by Jason Reynolds
Poker not a sport

Is poker a sport? Reddit users have their say in a recent poll.

Is poker a sport? It’s a question that poker players have wrestled with for a number of years, but one that doesn’t appear to have a clear answer.

However, thanks to Reddit, we may now have more of an idea of where the game stands; at least in the eyes of the general public that is.

It’s All About Public Perception

Despite companies such as the Global Poker Index trying to make poker akin to major sports with comprehensive ranking systems, an impromptu poll on Reddit last night showed that most people don’t consider it as an equal to pursuits such as football or boxing.

In a survey of 53 “fringe” sports, voters were asked to indicate whether an activity was “yes” a sport or “no” not a sport.

Almost immediately the question prompted the following response from ‘SPACE_LAWYER’:

“If you say poker is a sport I don’t understand the definition you are working with.”

How Do You Define a Sport?

To clarify the situation the following criteria was used to help readers define the term “sport”.

  • The activity should be institutionalized.
  • The activity should be physically demanding –
    • Sufficient physical power/speed (even if superhuman) guarantee victory.
    • There is only a threshold level of physicality required, the rest is skill.
  • The activity should be played using a concrete set of rules.

After 460 responses were collected and the results collate, the poll showed that poker ranked last out of the 53 activities listed with only 11% of participants calling it a sport.

A closer look at the graph shows that poker ranked below games such as bowling, bocce ball (a game similar to boules) and fishing in terms of people’s opinion of it as a sport.

Of course, such a small survey is in no way an indication of poker’s status; however, the poll certainly gives an indication that our humble game probably isn’t as much of a sporting endeavor as some would like to think.

The GPI’s Mission

The Global Poker Index (GPI) is a tournament ranking system that has grown immensely over the last two years.

During that time the company has forged a myriad of relationships with a range of poker platforms and cemented itself as the most visible ranking system in the industry.

Aside from ranking the best tournament players in the world, the GPI’s aim is to legitimize poker as a skill game and get it the same media recognition as top sports such as golf and tennis.

In addition to giving players more opportunities, GPI CEO Alex Dreyfus believes that a credible ranking system will help achieve this goal and take the industry to new heights.


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