Poker is a Sport, Negreanu even Draws up an Olympic Plan

Is Poker is a sport?”  This has been a debatable topic for long and the answer lies in how we define a sport? In general terms we define sports as “an activity that involves physical activity, competition within certain pre-defined rules” but poker does not entail any physical activity. So does it mean that poker is not a sport? The answer is may be no. Poker has never been treated as a sport because of its aura or nature.

Poker players too never have been considered sports persons. Why, because it involves sitting for long periods, night life, casino environment, smoking and alcohol. And yes these might be few of the reasons. But recently in a series of interviews of successful poker players it has been revealed that fitness helps poker players in increasing their concentration levels on poker tables. A lot of poker players were earlier overweight but the trend seems to be changing now as most successful players like Jason Mercier, Jeremy Ausmus, Chris Moorman and Daniel Negreanu have started taking their fitness and diet seriously.

With healthy body players can manage high concentration levels over the poker tables for long hours because mental stability and physical fitness go hand in hand. The simple mantra of success in any game or sport is eat better, rest better and exercise more, with recent experiences of poker players this games seems to be no exception. So if you are already equipped with all poker tips & tricks but were missing this, Add in your check list and enjoy the game with long lasting returns.

pokersportAnd if you don’t believe us, then take Daniel Negreanu’s word for it. The poker player who regularly tweets about his strict exercise regime recently updated an Olympic Plan for Poker on his blog. In this he has presented his idea of making Poker an Olympic event. Read on in Negreanu’s own words on what he plans:

6 countries represented by 6 players. Buy in for the team is $300k. Example 6 teams could look like:

USA, Smith, Mercier, Selbst, Seidel, Raghavan, Volpe, Kenney
Canada, Negreanu, McDonald, Mizzi, Duhamel, Watson
Germany, Shemion, Rettenmaier, Gruissem,
UK Chidwick, Vamplew, Lewis, Silver, Ziyard, Kamel
Russia Bilokur, Puchkov, Gulyy, Lahkov, Kurganov, Vitkind
France Hairabedian, Grospellier, Pecheux, Ktorza, Lacey, Pollack

The competition would start with a “preliminary stage” in which each player would play in a six-handed single-table tournament. Two of these tournaments, which Negreanu calls “heats,” would be held in each of three days, one starting at noon and one starting at 8:00pm. In the preliminary stage each player will play in a heat starting with 100k in chips and a pre-defined structure which ensures that skill becomes a mandatory part. Two heats would be played per day over three days.  Each heat would have the following payouts:

1st $60,000 (60 big blinds for the final)
2nd $50,000 50bbs
3rd $40,000 40 bbs
4th $30,000 30 bbs
5th $20,000 20 bbs
6th $10,000 10 bbs

After all 6 heats are completed all the big blinds accumulated by the team will be their bank for the final. The average stack will start with 210 big blinds, or 210k at the final table. The max possible stack is 360k, the shortest possible stack is 60k. For the first six levels, each member of the team must play at least one level. After level 6, a new player must play every level, but you can repeat as you wish. For example you can switch back and forth from Phil Ivey to Erik Seidel over and over. The structure will look like this:

In the final, each member of a team must play at least one level during the first six levels. After level six, the only rule is that no player can participate in back-to-back levels. So, while players must switch every level, two players on one team could alternate if the team so chooses.

Payouts for the final table would look like this:

1st $250,000
2nd $165,000
3rd $125,000

This is what Daniel Negreanu blogs about poker getting its due as a sport. When the games most loved pro says, you better believe it.