He’s got his poker face on | NevadaAppeal.com

He’s got his poker face on

Joe Ellison
Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist

With the professional hockey and basketball playoffs still a week away, none of the match-ups are set as of yet. Previews and predictions will come next week.

Moving on to other subjects, there are many people out there who believe that there is too much poker on television, and that networks should not be paying tribute to gamblers. They say that poker should never be shown on sports networks like ESPN, and that poker isn’t even a sport to begin with.

First of all, no, poker is not a sport. But it is competition. The “E” in ESPN stands for entertainment, and good ratings prove that poker provides it. It makes sense that cheerleading, chess, and spelling bees would also be on the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network because they are competitions.

As far as the morality of poker is concerned, that’s for other people to decide. However, just like betting on ball games, it’s legal, and when it’s done in moderation it can be fun. By not risking more than they can afford to lose, and making sure it doesn’t interfere with more important things in their lives, people can find poker and sports to be good, harmless entertainment.


Switching gears, every time I hear someone say that the most difficult thing to do in all of sports is to hit a Major League baseball, it makes me ill. Surely the most difficult things to do in all of sports are those that involve endurance.

There are plenty of people out there who can hit a baseball if given enough opportunities. But not many can say that they could complete an Ironman Triathlon, Tour de France or 100-mile run.

In the Ironman Triathlon, athletes must swim more than two miles in the ocean, pedal a bicycle 112 miles in the Hawaiian winds, and then to top it off, run a 26-mile marathon. The amount of pain and suffering these athletes put themselves through during training and races must make them totally insane. A professional baseball player can put a wad of chewing tobacco into his mouth before walking onto the field to hit a ball.

Although hitting a home run in Major League baseball is difficult, hundreds of players manage to do it every year. Just by sheer numbers, there are only a handful of figure skaters in the entire world that can complete a quadruple jump, so even that must be a more difficult task to accomplish.


When played on all levels, golf, softball, billiards and bowling can become very serious sports. But at local levels people too often are smoking, chewing tobacco or drinking beer while playing them. If adults waited until after the game to party, instead of before and during, those sports’ reputations would be much better off.