play for love

play for love

To play purely for one's pleasure or for a love of the game, sport, etc., rather than for money or for other stakes. A truly great player plays for love, not because a win might benefit his bank account the next day. A: "You're pretty great with those cards. Interested in making this next game a little bit interesting with a wager?" B: "Sorry, pal, I only play for love."
See also: love, play
References in classic literature ?
Then who knows but the gentleman, anticipating our objection to play for love, civilly desired to play for money?
The score love or zero has been adapted from the phrase "to play for love (of the game)" - in other words to play for nothing.