POKER IS A SPORT

By: Kent Anderson

 

I was meandering around the Internet the other day trying to shake off a sick tournament beat. I was down to the money and moderately stacked. The chip leader raises, all fold save for me. I have Ace Queen off suit so I call. The board comes queen rubbish, rubbish. I’ve had enough of this so move in expecting a call and he obliges. I have queens with an ace and the other miscreant has queens with a jack. I momentarily feel that there is some justice in the world. He then hits the jack on the river and I am reminded of an Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, “This is a court of law sir, not a court of justice.” Crestfallen I bee line for the beach across the street and take a head clearing walk, instead of throwing the computer through the window.

 

So the article I came across was purporting the institution of drug testing in poker. It was written right after the Marion Jones confession but the media has been saturated with all manner of performance enhancing drug tripe. The author claimed that Poker, pro wrestling and men’s golf were the only three sports that didn’t drug test. I know, what about the LPGA, well they have been testing for testosterone for years. (Just kidding ladies) I have heard this brought up now and then for a while. The overeager poker commentator will haphazardly refer to our game as a sport. My thinking until recently has been that two out of three are definitely not sports. Pro wrestling is a choreographed melodrama and poker is a game. I’ve heard the whining that there is a definitive physical component to poker, elevated heart rates, etc. By that reasoning taking tests and coitus should be classified as sports and come to think of it, I’ve broken a sweat and endured elevated heart rates drinking.

 

But I had some pain behind my right knee when I arose from bed the other afternoon. I have been doing some low to moderate exercise, but have not been lifting cars off small children so there was no good reason to be injured. I hobbled over to my desk and took my place for a poker tournament. My desk is directly adjacent to the couch that has a long chaise bit that I use as a makeshift ottoman. As I stretched my right leg out everything clicked. The pain intensified. After consultation with my orthopedist I’ve realized that I mildly hyper extended my right knee as a result of my hours of stretched out poker playing with just my foot supported. That combined with the intermittent episodes of involuntary bodily convulsions from treacherous events on the felt put reverse stress on my right knee.

 

So the bottom line is that I have sustained my first poker injury. Moreover, I just completed a 14-hour multiple tournament session and feel like I was ridden hard and put away wet. So maybe poker is a sport, because I know I am more physically and mentally exhausted on New Year’s Day following my poker marathon than the Fighting Illini who just laid down like dogs to USC in the Rose Bowl. Until next time…

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