The international tennis world has this week served up a bittersweet pair of match-fixing headline-makers, involving a score-rigging Bolivian umpire and a Russian doubles player arrested on the court.
On Thursday, the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) hit chair umpire Heriberto Morales Churata with a six-year ban for match-fixing, also fining him $10,000. The International Betting Integrity Agency took to Twitter to share the ban:
The ITIA confirmed that Churata’s little scheme involved a handheld device the green badge official used at 2021 and 2022 ITF World Tennis Tour events. He would manipulate scores for betting purposes by incorrectly entering them into the device.
police arrested Russian doubles player Yana Sizikova at the 2021 French Open
At around the same time that Churata was fiddling scores, police arrested Russian doubles player Yana Sizikova at the 2021 French Open. It was part of another match-fixing probe, this time by the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office. Parisian police released Sizikova the next day, and she’s been competing on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour since.
The bittersweet ending to this particular tennis tale is that on Thursday Sizikova’s lawyer confirmed that Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office had “definitively closed the case on 11 April 2023.” The ranked 50th doubles player was cleared of match-fixing – two-and-a-half years after her initial arrest.
The post Bolivian Tennis Umpire Banned for Six Years, Russian Player Cleared of Match-Fixing appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.
A whistleblower’s accusation earlier this month of soccer match fixing in Cyprus that had ex-President Nicos Anastasiades denying “malicious allegations” has come home to roost, with the country’s fears confirmed by a recent email from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) which flagged up 16 games for suspicious activity.
The whistleblower, former Chairman of the Cyprus Sports Ethics Committee Andreas Papacharalambous, applied the fuel in early May, accusing Anastasiades of unlawfully interfering in a match-fixing investigation. These allegations led Cypriot lawmakers to call on witnesses to testify before a House committee on Wednesday.
Enter the arena another former Sports Ethics Committee member, Charis Savvides.
Savvides told shocked MPs at the hearing that UEFA had recently sent an email flagging 16 matches that were “likely to have been manipulated.”
surge in betting traffic coming out of China for the games was particularly high
Savvides listed the bulk of the shady betting action taking place in games involving franchises Karmiotissa FC and Ermis Aradippou from 2019 through summer 2020. The surge in betting traffic coming out of China for the games was particularly high, he added.
Savvides also told the hearing of alleged failings and cover-ups by the Cyprus Football Association and an UEFA official, who made a personal plea to Savvides to ignore the red notices.
The post Cyprus Ex-President, Soccer Body Under Fire as UEFA Confirms Match Fixing appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.
From April 3-May 21, Venetian Las Vegas hosted the DeepStack Extravaganza II poker series, which offered more than $2.2 million in guaranteed prize pools across 70 events. At the end of it, the series catered to 7,226 entrants and awarded $2,821,878 in prize money.
Among those to claim titles were Jessica Vierling (Event #10: $400 PLO for $5,168), Karapet Galstyan (Event #46: $800 NLH Mystery Bounty for $43,649), Brendan Shiller (Event #49: MonsterStack Throwback for $5,042), and Tuan Mai (Event #61: $400 NLH UltimateStack for $20,295.
Additionally, Lucas Tae, Ivan Ruban, and Kao Saechao each claimed two titles during the series. Tae bested a 91-entry field to win Event #19: $400 EpicStack for $6,534 and later was victorious in the 100-entry Event #51: $400 NLH Epic Bounty for $3,842 plus bounties. Ruban topped Event #11: $400 NLH EpicStack for $8,700 and nine days later emerged victorious in Event #25: $400 NLH EpicStack for $7,789.
Saechao won three titles in a series earlier this year and picked up another couple of victories with a win in Event #56: $300 NLH Bounty and then another win in Event #59: $400 Big O just two days later.
Here are some other notable winners from the series.
Check out the Venetian Poker Room Review on PokerNews here!
Dan Sepiol Defeats Red-Hot Jeremy Becker
On May 17, Event #64: $500 NLH EpicStack saw 71 entrants battle it out on the felt for a $29,962 prize pool paid out to the top nine finishers.
It would have been no surprise to see Jeremy Becker at another final table as the red-hot player won eight tournaments during the month. However, Becker fell just short of another victory when he finished runner-up to the victor, Dan Sepiol.
Notably, Sepiol won the tournament with the same hand Becker is usually seen holding in his winner photos: five-three offsuit.
Event #64 Final Table Results
Michigan City, IN
Joel Hernandez Rubio
Las Vegas, NV
Boulder City, NV
Las Vegas, NV
Samy Dighlawi Wins Event #40 Amid Three Victories
Samy Dighlawi found himself in the winner’s circle three times during the DeepStack Extravaganza II series, beginning with a victory early in the series on April 4 when he topped a 70-entrant field in Event #3: $400 NLH EpicStack for $3,810.
He would again find himself with all the chips in a tournament at the end of the month when he bested a 77-entrant field in Event #40: $500 NLH EpicStack for $8,179 on April 30. He defeated David Howard (2nd – $5,495) in heads-up play and navigated through a final table which comprised of Andrew Rodgers (5th – $2,502) and Lucas Tae (9th – $1,079).
His Event #40 win wouldn’t be his last of the series though, as he claimed a third title just days later on May 3 when he took the $9,147 first-place prize over an 89-entrant field in Event #44: $600 NLH EpicStack.
Event #40 Final Table Results
Lake Elsinore, CA
Jacksonville Beach, FL
Wesley Chapel, FL
Jarvis, Becker & Poe Among 2023 Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza I Winners
Justin Young Takes Down Event #33
Justin Young is often seen playing in some of the highest stakes, but the poker pro decided to venture to the Venetian on April 24 to take part in Event #33: $500 NLH EpicStack, which saw 136 runners generate a $57,392 prize pool and paid the top 17 finishers.
Among those who cashed but fell short of the final table were Rommel Liscano (11th – $1,285), Steven Stowe (14th – $1,079), and Alexander Nachtwey (15th – $1,079).
Ultimately, Young defeated David Erisman in heads-up play to claim the title and $14,608 first-place prize, as he continues to collect victories in tournaments of all stakes.
Event #33 Final Table Results
Las Vegas, NV
Morgan Hill, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Foxen, Weissman, and Black Among Venetian March DeepStack Showdown Winners
Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza II Winners
Event #1: $400 NLH Seniors
Las Vegas, NV
Event #2: $300 NLH Bounty
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Event #3: $400 NLH Epic Stack
Lake Elsinore, CA
Event #4: $300 NLH Bounty
Event #5: $400 NLH Ultimate Stack
Vu Nguyen To
La Habra, CA
Event #6: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #7: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #8: $500 NLH Epic Stack
Las Vegas, NV
Event #9: $500 NLH Epic Stack
Sherman Oaks, CA
Event #10: $400 PLO
Las Vegas, NV
Event #11: $400 NLH Epic Stack
Event #12: $400 Big O
Event #13: $400 Monster Stack Throwback
J. Michael Edelstein
Event #14: $300 NLH Bounty
Event #15: $400 NLH Epic Stack
Event #16: $300 NLH Bounty
Event #17: $400 NLH Epic Stack
Event #18: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #19: $400 NLH Epic Stack
Wesley Chapel, FL
Event #20: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #21: $400 NLH Ultimate Stack
Las Vegas, NV
Event #22: $400 PLO 8/B
Event #23: $400 PLO Bounty
Event #24: $400 NLH Epic Stack
Rhett Van Leeuwen
Event #25: $400 NLH Epic Stack
Event #26: $300 NLH Bounty
Coral Springs, FL
Event #27: $400 NLH Epic Bounty
Event #28: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #29: $500 NLH Epic Stack
Event #30: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #31: $400 NLH Ultimate Stack
Las Vegas, NV
Event #32: $400 Limit Omaha 8/B
Event #33: $500 NLH Epic Stack
Las Vegas, NV
Event #34: $400 NLH Ultimate Bounty
Event #35: $300 NLH Bounty
Event #36: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #37: $600 NLH Ultimate Stack
Event #38: $300 NLH Survivor
Event #39: $300 NLH Survivor
Event #40: $500 NLH Epic Stack
Event #41: $400 Ultimate Stack Freezeout
Event #42: $300 NLH Bounty
Event #43: $300 NLH Survivor
Event #44: $600 NLH Epic Stack
Event #45: $300 NLH Survivor
Event #46: $800 NLH Mystery Bounty
Event #47: $300 NLH Survivor
Event #48: $500 NLH Epic Stack Freezeout
Lake Balboa, CA
Event #49: Monster Stack Throwback
Las Vegas, NV
Event #50: $300 NLH Bounty
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Event #51: $400 NLH Epic Bounty
Wesley Chapel, FL
Event #52: $300 NLH Survivor
Event #53: $600 NLH Ultimate Stack Freezeout
Las Vegas, NV
Event #54: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #55: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #56: $300 NLH Bounty
Event #57: $500 NLH Epic Stack
Las Vegas, NV
Event #58: $400 NLH Seniors
Las Vegas, NV
Event #59: $400 Big O
Event #60: $300 NLH Bounty
Event #61: $400 NLH Ultimate Stack
San Jose, CA
Event #62: $300 NLH Bounty
Event #63: $300 NLH Bounty
Las Vegas, NV
Event #64: $500 NLH Epic Stack
Michigan City, IN
Event #65: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #66: $600 NLH Ultimate Bounty
Las Vegas, NV
Event #67: $300 NLH Bounty Survivor
Event #68: $400 PLO
Las Vegas, NV
Event #69: $500 NLH Epic Stack Freezeout
Event #70: $300 NLH Bounty
What’s Coming Up Next?
The Venetian is already hosting their 2023 DeepStack Championship Poker Series, which kicked off on May 22 and will run through July 31. That summer series will offer nearly $14 million in guaranteed prize pools across 75 events.
The @VenetianPoker DeepStack Extravaganza II catered to 7,226 entries & awarded $2,821,878 in prizes.
Neymar ditched his soccer team’s league title celebrations to go play poker and party at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) won Ligue 1 on Saturday after drawing with RC Strasbourg. While Neymar is injured and was unable to play in the game, his teammates who are in similar positions all took part in the title celebrations.
keen poker player and PokerStars ambassador
Neymar instead partied in Monaco with the Red Bull Formula 1 team. He played poker into the early hours of Sunday morning and was pictured with actor Tom Holland, best known for playing Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A keen poker player and PokerStars ambassador, Neymar takes part in tournaments across the world and regularly streams online gambling content.
Despite Neymar being under contract with PSG until 2025, rumors are growing that the team is looking to offload the forward. The Brazilian star has come into criticism in the past for his attitude, leading fans to turn up outside his residence as a form of protest.
The post Neymar Ditches PSG Teammates to Play Poker at Monaco GP appeared first on VegasSlotsOnline News.
The opening day of the PokerStars SCOOP 108-H: Main Event is now in the books, and with entries still open until the start of Day 2, there are 518 entries in the game.
Canada’s Rayan “beriuzy” Chamas is the chip leader going into the second day of play with 2,372,359 but there are five other players with more than 2 million chips to start Day 2. Quite a few of the PokerStars Team Pro members got into this event, but at the end of the day, only Lex “L.Veldhuis” Veldhuis had chips remaining, a bit less than double the start stack.
Ben “Spraggy” Spragg had a particularly rough, and quick, go of it in the $10k today. He tweeted that he played exactly one hand before busting.
just setting up my twttr
— jack (@jack)
PokerStrs SCOOP $10,300 Main Event Top 10 Chip Counts
Rayan “beriuzy” Chamas
David “MissOracle” Yan
Dumitru “pora adrian” Pora
Alex “FutureofMe” Kulev
Christopher “lissi stinkt” Frank
Follow all the $10,300 SCOOP Main Event updates!
Don’t miss any of the SCOOP Main Event action
Action of the Day
The game got underway at 12:30 ET with 173 entries, but the field grew steadily throughout the day, ending with 515 entries when the final hand was dealt. That was enough to put $5.15 million into the prize pool, but that will grow before entries close at the start of Day 2.
Players weren’t really afraid to get their chips in early on, depsite the $10k buy-in. PokerStars Team Pro Lex “L.Veldhuis” Veldhuisfive-bet shoved 179k in Level 2 to take down a big pot and he was able to run that through to a Day 2 stack.
He wasn’t the only Team PokerStars player to enter the game today, but he was the last one standing. Sam “SamSquid” Grafton made the second deepest run, but he couldn’t quite make it to a bag. He was in the top five during Level 2 after he rivered a flush, but he busted near the end of the night.
Among the other Team members in play today were Alejandro “[Papo]AR” Lococo, Ramon “RamonColillas” Colillas, Rafael “GM_VALTER” Moraes, Parker “tonkaaaa” Talbot, Sebastian “peace&loove” Huber, and Fintan “EasyWithAces” Hand.
The chip leader going into the second day was a late-comer to the big stacks. Rayan “beriuzy” Chamas first found a big stack early in Level 14 and was among the first players stacking up 2 million chips. Day 2 action kicks off at 12:35 ET on Monday, May 29, and you can follow the action right here on PokerNews.
$1,050 SCOOP Main Event
Day 1 of the PokerStars SCOOP $1,050 Main Event saw 3,845 entrants reduced to 1,278, although those numbers should rise with late registration open until the start of Day 2.
A whole host of stars progressed to Day 2, including Christoph “26071985” Vogelsang (1,067,360) and Roman “RomeOpro” Romanovsky (1,047,595). However, it is Canada’s “Zabiggesmaj” who leads the way going into the second day’s action with a 245 big blind stack, or 1,469,772 in old money.
Matheus “bolonhax” Freitas
Christoph “26071985” Vogelsang
Roman “RomeOpro” Romanovsky
Alfred “Kzzon” Karlsson
$109 SCOOP Main Event
Some 20,373 players bought into the PokerStars $109 Main Event, but only 5,203 of those starters punched their Day 2 tickets at the first time of asking. Team PokerStars’ Lex “L. Veldhuis” Veldhuis (78,748), Benjamin “Spraggy” Spragg (70,252), and Sebastian “peace&loove” Huber (142,476) are among those players to look out for on Day 2.
Another member of Team PokerStars, Alejandro “[Papo]AR” Lococo found himself in the top ten chip counts for large parts of Day 1, but lost a little ground late on. He still managed to bag up 345,425 chips, enough for 36th place at the restart.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has always been the pinnacle poker attraction of the world, attracting the most skilled and dedicated players from around the globe.
And over the next two months, this shiver of sharks will battle it out for one of the most prestigious WSOP accolades available, the Player of the Year title.
So PokerNews thought it would be wise to assemble this complete guide to the WSOP Player of the Year race so you have everything you need to know about this fierce competition.
2023 World Series of Poker Hub
Bookmark this page! All you need to know about the 2023 WSOP is here.
What Does the WSOP PoY Win?
Other than etching their names into poker’s history books for eternity, the winner of the WSOP PoY race receives:
2024 WSOP Main Event seat
A unique trophy
Player of the Year banner at Horseshoe/Paris
The latest player to have their PoY banner erected was Dan Zack, who edged out Daniel Weinman to the title. The New Jersey native, who first became known in the poker world for crushing Live at the Bike games, held the lead in the POY race for the final three weeks.
Zack picked up two gold bracelets and had 14 other WSOP cashes, which included an additional two final table appearances. For his wins, Zack first took down Event #15: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $440,757, and then shipped Event #40: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $324,174.
However, it already appears that Zack has conceded his title, as he told PokerNews last summer that he was getting married this year and wanted to have kids in the near future which would limit his time at the table.
2022 WSOP Player of the Year Final Leaderboard
What Events Count Towards the PoY Race?
The 2023 PoY race will be exclusively based on the open bracelet events of the upcoming WSOP, which takes place at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and Horseshoe Las Vegas from May 30 to July 18. Additionally, the online bracelet events held in Nevada and New Jersey will also be included.
It’s important to note that certain events will be excluded from the leaderboards, which are:
Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em
Event #48: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold’em
Event #51: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em
Event #61: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em
Event #67: $1,000/$10,000 Ladies Event
Other key information:
Heads-Up and Shootout events: Players eliminated in the same round (e.g. fifth through eighth place in a heads-up event, or all players eliminated on Day 2 of a shootout) will all receive the same points. The points awarded for those places will be the average of the points those places would have earned in a standard event.
Multi-flight events featuring Day 1 payouts: Some events (e.g. The Closer) offer the opportunity to cash more than once. However, a player will only earn POY points once for each event, and the points earned will be based on the position in the final results.
How are PoY Points Calculated?
The formula for calculating points for the PoY race is inspired by the proven point system utilized in the WSOP Circuit over the years. This system will be applied to each bracelet event but with some adjustments to account for the buy-in amount and the number of entries.
Players can use the WSOP PoY calculator to estimate points for any event and the leaderboard will be updated daily for people to follow.
Who Are The Favorites?
It’s difficult to have any serious PoY predictions before the WSOP kicks off however, usual names at the forefront include previous winners such as Daniel Negreanu and Shaun Deeb. This is due to the fact that competing for WSOP PoY is quite a grind, as it requires players to enter dozens of events to have any shot at winning. Deeb, Negreanu, and a few others traditionally enter 40 or more bracelet tournaments in each series.
However, with Deeb in the middle of a body fat-related $1 million prop bet, his time at the table could be hampered. But, even with that caveat, Deeb should still be considered as a possible frontrunner due to how well he performs under the WSOP umbrella.
Negreanu will be looking to have a very different summer from the one he experienced last year, which saw him end the series down $1.1 million. The tides, though, have seemed to have turned recently for ‘Kid Poker’ as momentum is on his side following his Super High Roller Bowl VII and High Stakes Duel victories.
Another player who could be in contention is Espen Jorstad, who won the 2022 WSOP Main Event and plans to play a full schedule this time around.
“I’m planning to go for the whole World Series this summer. I’m going at the very beginning and leaving at the very end. I was recently looking over the WSOP schedule, trying to map out how much money I’m going to need in Vegas this summer. You know, deciding if I want to play the $250,000 or the $100,000.” Jorstad told PokerNews
“I figured if I want to play all the big stuff, I’m going to need like $700,000-$800,000 just for my buy-ins. So it will be a crazy summer if I want to play that full schedule — which would be cool!”
And, of course, it would be impossible to rule out 16-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who has finished as the runner-up on four occasions, with the last being in 2021.
WSOP Player of the Year Winners
Editor & Live Reporter
Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.
I know that many novice craps players or players initially looking over the craps game, perhaps thinking they might try it, can be intimidated by the layout which seems as complicated as cuneiform writing or Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Yes, that layout does seem complicated but in truth the game is easy to play and if played properly gives the player a decent chance of beating the house on any given session. Of course, the key words here are “if played properly.”
Craps is a game that is often played incorrectly by players who make some of the worst bets in the game, which translates into some of the worst bets in the casino as well. Bad bets make it much, much tougher to have a victory over the casinos’ mathematical edges at craps and other games.
To continue reading this article, please visit: https://www.888casino.com/blog/crash-course-craps
Ethan “Rampage” Yau was playing low-stakes poker games two years ago. On Sunday, during the $1 million game on Hustler Casino Live, the popular vlogger was busy attempting a $600,000 bluff with ace-high, but he was up against top set. Did the aggressive play work out? Let’s find out!
Rampage was in the game for $1 million and about four hours into play, he was up to a bit over $1.1 million. That all changed when he entered a pot against “Handz,” who is a regular in the HCL highest stakes games.
Greatest Poker Bluff Attempt of the Year?
Here’s how the hand played out: It all started with Yau raising to $9,000 from the small blind with A♣7♣ and then Handz surprisingly just making the call in the big blind with Q♠Q♥, as did “Pav” in the straddle with K♥8♦.
All three players caught a little something on the J♦Q♦10♣ flop, but only Handz had a made hand. After the blinds checked, Pav bet $15,000 on his open-ended straight draw. Rampage then went for a check-raise to $50,000, and only Handz made the call in position.
The turn was the 2♣, which gave Rampage a flush draw. He led out for $175,000 and again was unable to convince his opponent to fold. When the 5♠ appeared on the river, the flush and straight draws missed. That meant the only way for Rampage to win the hand would be to bluff Handz off the pot, which wasn’t going to be easy considering he was up against top set.
But Rampage could have conceivably had a hand like AxKx, good for a straight, which of course beats a set. The poker vlogger decided to continue representing such a hand and put Handz all in for $618,000, over-betting the $494,000 pot. At that point, it was clear to Handz that he was either up against the nuts or a bluff.
Would a poker player who was playing low-stakes games less than two years ago really have it in him to bet more than $600,000 with nothing? That was the question Handz had to consider as he pondered his move. Would he really fold top set with no potential flush on board? Let’s take a look:
BEST BLUFF OF ALL TIME?!?
— Hustler Casino Live (@HCLPokerShow)
The answer was yes. It was arguably the greatest bluff in Hustler Casino Live history, and one of the top bluffs you’ll see all year, or even for the next few years. Had Rampage lost the pot, his $1 million starting stack would have been down to under $300,000. For his investor’s sake, it’s a good thing it got through.
This wasn’t the first huge bluff Rampage has pulled off on Hustler Casino Live. In January, he took down a $285,000 pot with a $120,000 wager with king-high on the river, forcing “J.R.” off top pair.
Rampage Ready for the Biggest Poker Game of His Life
As poker has grown in popularity over the decades, questions have risen about classifying the unique and complex game.
Like other games involving betting like blackjack and roulette, poker is a game of luck. But like strategy games like chess and Magic: The Gathering, poker is also a game of skill that awards good decisions.
And like traditional sports like football, baseball and basketball, poker can require serious physical and mental endurance.
This PokerNews article will look at whether poker should be classified as a sport, a game or both.
Is Poker a Sport or a Game?
The quickest way to figure out whether poker is a sport or a game is to look at the dictionary definitions of both and break it down from there.
Sport Definition – What is a Sport?
Merriam-Webster defines a sport as a “physical activity engaged in for pleasure” or “a particular activity (such as an athletic game) so engaged in.”
Oxford Dictionary provides a more detailed definition of a game as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill, especially (particularly in modern use) one regulated by set rules or customs in which an individual or team competes against another or others.”
Is Poker a Sport?
Based on these two mainstream definitions, we can break down whether poker can be categorized as a sport, either in the cash game or tournament format.
Let’s break down the Oxford definition. Poker not only requires physical exertion but also skill, a crucial factor that distinguishes poker from most gambling games. While luck is a large element of poker, it is indisputably a game of skill as demonstrated by the thousands of professional players who have generated long-term results.
Additionally, poker is always “regulated by set rules or customs,” whether it’s a home game, a casino cash game, a bar league or a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event. These include rules against string betting, betting out of turn, collusion or speaking a different language at the poker table.
Some universal poker customs include etiquette for tipping, avoiding slow rolling and angle shooting against angle shooting and not berating your opponents.
Finally, poker is always an activity “where an individual or team competes against another or others.” Whether it’s a heads-up match between two players, a one-table sit & go or a multi-table tournament with thousands of entries, poker players are constantly competing against one another.
Check Out This PokerNews Guide to Etiquette At the Poker Table!
Why Poker is a Sport
Poker, and live poker in particular, is a physical and social activity that millions of people play around the world. Tournament flights and cash game sessions can stretch into the early morning hours and it requires both physical and mental stamina to stay alert at the table, meeting the Merriam-Webster definition of a sport.
And poker can also be a team activity as demonstrated by Tag Team events at the WSOP and the Los Angeles Poker Classic.
Online poker also meets all of these criteria and can require immense physical and mental stamina for long multi-tabling sessions. Live multi-tabling can also be a physical effort, as Shaun Deeb showed at the 2022 WSOP when he sprinted back and forth between two events.
Given that poker is an activity involving physical and mental exertion with a set of rules and customs where players compete against others, poker clearly meets mainstream definitions of a sport.
Read about PokerNews’ top 5 casino movies!
Game Definition – What is a Game?
Let’s now look at the definition of a game to see if poker qualifies. Meriam-Webster defines a game as a “physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other.”
The Cambridge Dictionary defines a game as “an entertaining activity or sport” and “a particular competition, match or occasion.”
Is Poker a Game?
Let’s use these definitions to determine if poker is a game. As established earlier in this article, poker requires physical and mental stamina and is a game where participants play against each other. This is especially true of zero-sum games (including poker) where there are winners and losers, whether in a tournament or a cash game session.
Poker is certainly an “entertaining activity” as demonstrated by the popularity of live streams and the epic WSOP and World Poker Tour (WPT) coverage that contributed to the Poker Boom of the early 2000s.
The personalities and televized antics of poker legends like Phil Hellmuth, Phil Laak and Daniel Negreanu, as well as more recent characters like Alejandro Lococo and , Ren Lin and Steven “Cuz” Buckner, are colorful reminders of how entertaining poker can be.
Furter evidence of poker’s entertainment factor is the success of poker movies like Rounders, Molly’s GameMississippi Grind, as well as poker’s presence in mainstream films like Casino Royale and video games like Red Dead Redemption.
All forms of poker can be thought of as a “particular competition, match or occasion.” A poker tournament clearly meets this definition, but the same is true for cash game sessions.
Based on the above definitions, it is clear that poker is a game in addition to being a sport.
Read about PokerNews’ top 5 poker movies of all time!
Are Poker Players Athletes?
Should poker players be considered athletes? Let’s turn to Merriam-Webster, which defines an athlete “as a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.”
While poker may not require the physical strength of sports like football or basketball, it certainly requires agility and stamina. And while poker players vary in skill, every player is “trained or skilled” to some degree, even if they are just learning the game for the first time.
It is also worth noting that several former professional or collegiate athletes have enjoyed careers as poker pros, including former college runner Chris Brewer, former college football player Alex Foxen and former basketball pro Joao Vieira.
Much like traditional athletes, the best poker players are the ones who study the most, practice the most and put in the most work off the tables. Being a top-tier poker player requires physical endurance and the ability to concentrate for hours at a time with thousands or millions on the line.
Is Poker Luck or Skill?
Poker, like many other games, is much more luck-based than traditional sports, where players typically need a lot more skill to determine who the winner will be. That said, poker is very much a skill-based game and has been thought of as such since Doyle Brunson’sSuper System was first published in 1979.
While luck may determine the outcome of any hand, session or tournament, players making decisions with positive expected values will find themselves profitable in the long term, although it may take a lot of volume to get there.
There have also been legal rulings affirming that poker is indeed a game of skill, including a 2012 New York opinion stating that “increased proficiency boosts a player’s chance of winning and affects the outcome of individual hands as well as a series of hands.”
However, it should be noted that there are other legal rulings categorizing poker as a non-skill game and legal precedents aren’t the best benchmark to look at since they vary so widely by jurisdiction.
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Will Poker Ever be at the Olympics?
While it may not have seemed possible a few decades or even a few years ago, there’s a real chance poker could make its way into the Olympics by 2028. However, it may not be the traditional poker tournaments we’ve seen on TV for years.
According to The Sporting News, there are efforts to get the Olympics to recognize Match Poker, a format where all players are given the same cards, flops, turns and rivers and will be judged by how they play their cards.
In order to make it to the Olympics, any form of poker would have to be approved by the International Olympic Committee and meet game requirements, including how popular the sport is and how it would add the the Olympic legacy.
Poker may join skateboarding, snowboarding and karate as the latest non-traditional activity to make its way to the Olympics.