According to US Congressman Robert Wexler (Democrat-Florida), “Poker is as much our pastime as baseball.” Wow, talk about foul play.
Yeah, I’ve got a problem with people comparing poker to baseball and other “sports.” While I’m all for legalizing online gambling games like poker, casino games and bingo etc., I cannot bring myself to accept this ridiculous notion that poker is a sort of sport. It’s not a sort of sport. The only things poker and baseball have in common are diamonds and clubs (and spades for landscaping the infield).
Poker’s a great game; a truly great game. One of the best and I love it with all my heart! But it’s NOT a sport; it’s a card game, people. And those playing it can consider themselves athletes as much as they wish, but they are not athletes. David Beckham is an athlete. Michael Jordan is an athlete. Venus Williams is an athlete. Doyle Brunson is not an athlete. (No offense Mr. B.)
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m a big fan of poker and totally support permitting it legally over the Internet. But to suggest that poker is as much an American pastime as baseball is, well, stepping way over the baseline… a sacred line. We’re talking ‘Holy’ here, folks.
After all, baseball is not merely a ‘skill’ game, as online poker proponents are trying to make vividly clear to those opposed to lifting the US ban. Baseball demands super athletic ability including the stamina to stand – without sitting – for nine (9) innings. Don’t even get me started on overtime. And then there’s lifting and swinging the bat, which, in case you don’t know, is like lifting and swinging a tree. (My dad always insisted that I practice with professional Major League Baseball equipment so that I would be ready for the big leagues. I couldn’t even lift a baseball bat until I was 12.)
What I will enthusiastically endorse, mind you, is full contact poker – which, if introduced – will raise the Great American pastime of poker to a whole new level… perhaps even a sport, but different from baseball, a game where touching other players could be misinterpreted as a gay act. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that baseball would no longer be able to compete with “real” sports, like full contact poker.