So, first off, as tempting as it might be to do so, this is not an invitation to wax poetic on poker. I actually don't play it, but I know how it works.
The question really is one of etymology. Poker is often referred to as a sport nowadays. A quick google search will reveal over 87 million hits to the query "poker as a sport". It is covered on ESPN, and in the last few days I have heard both NPR and seen USA Today refer to it as such. Full disclosure, I work for Gannett, the parent company of USA Today.
What I would like to know is, "Why?"
To be clear, I find the claim dubious, but if it is being referred to as a sport, there should be some rationality behind it. If not, then is it merely an idiom in the making?
I understand what a game is - it is a test of skill in some fashion. I understand what a sport is, at least in the abstract. Football is a sport and has games. Monopoly is a game, but rarely a sport. Hiking is a sport, though, one rarely hears of "hiking games." So, while clearly there is an overlap between the two, there is also a set of attributes that differentiates the two.
So, ultimately, what are those factors that adhere to the words "Sport" and "Game," that are common to both and those that differentiate the two. Ideally, I'd love a Venn Diagram of sorts that defines the relationship of these words.
But most importantly, I'd like to understand the reasons for putting poker in the "Sports" circle.