Is Poker a Sport?

Maybe they should call it Pokeman and satisfy everyone.

That, however, may cause phony fur to fly among the ladies.

But Pokewoman doesn’t sound right and Pokemanandwoman is too long.

Oh well, you can satisfy some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

Or something like that.

Right now I’m back at Square One, still trying to figure out the right answer — if there is one — to a gripping queston that has mystified me for some time:

Is poker a sport?

We already know it’s a game, or think it is.

Following years of listening to both sides of the case as well as getting a taste of the endurance these players are required to possess, I was inclined to vote pro.

Now I’m hearing a new one:

Is poker even gambling, or a fun little kids’ game?

People can find a lawyer to argue anything these days and the folks at Fox Sports Net have snagged Lionel, Sawyer and Collins, one of Las Vegas’ most prestigious lawfirms, to do their bidding on this goodie.

At issue is the very existence of the “Pokerdome,” a renovated facilty in Downtown Neonopolis — once anchored by fleets of movie theaters, restaurants and shopping venues — that is being constructed for the purpose of hosting weekly tournaments (or “contests”) on FSN that will pay winners, who qualify for the Sin City competitions online, $20,000.

Another $1 million has been targeted for a seasonal winner.

Cost of building a new set — without the lavish trappings of the Costa Rican one built by BoDog Nation playboy Calvin Ayre, but with other luxury features of its own — in an abandoned theater will be in the neighborhood of another $1 million.

Plans call for, for example, participants to be ensconced behind one-way glass in a soundproof room, enabling the audience to view hands without impacting the games.

Rick Kulis, president of Holly Brook Regency Inc, which is promoting and, he hopes, running the series, says the facility won’t be finished in time for the first scheduled taping on May 27 and temporary accommodations have been secured at the Tropicana until its end-of-May completion.

While the “Pokerdome” would inject a dose of much-needed new blood into Downtown, particularly Neonopolis, the real issue continues to rear its ugly head:

Does the “Pokerdome” need sanctioning/licensing from Nevada’s Gaming Contol Board?

That’s up to Mike Wilson, the Silver State’s incoming deputy attorney general, to decide.

He’s working on an opinion, but giving no indication of when it will be finished.

State gaming regulations require licensees to offer such amenities as 200 hotel rooms, a bar, a restaurant and a casino with 24-hour gambling.

The “Pokerdome” can’t possibly meet such requirements and lawyers are haggling with gamers to at least reach a compromise.

Lionel, Sawyer and Collins would have you believe the “concept” in their game of poker — the game that built this desert oasis — does not involve gambling.

“It’s simply a contest,” attorney Paul Larsen, a partner, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“It’s very similar to Yu-Gi-Oh! contests,” he continued, referring to a children’s competitive card game.

If you buy that logic, I’ll sell you a South Seas island where you can create your own poker paradise for just $24.