Poker might be considered a sport by SportAccord and International Olympic Committee

02 November 2013

This week , the poker community in Italy is looking with a thousand eyes FIGP movements ( Federazione Italiana Gioco Poker) , which has filed with the CONI ( Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano ) an ambitious project called "Poker Sportivo 2.0 " , which aims at the recognition of poker as a sport.

Thusday morning , the Italian Olympic Committee president , Roberto Fabbricini , slowed the momentum of the FIGP claiming that sports can only be considered as such disciplines recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC ) or SportAccord ( an organization of sports federations ) , and sent the applicants to this international organizations.

Despite the handwashing of the Italian sports leader , Isidoro Alampi , FIGP president , has welcomed this reply greatly, since at least has not been rejected at first instance. And thus, demonstrating an unexpected optimism, said that " in the early months of 2014 , poker will be recognized as a sport by the IOC " .

The information Alampi has, comes allegedly from a letter from Patrick Nally , president of the International Federation of Poker (IFP ), the entity to which the Italian FIGP joined in May this year.

In that letter, Nally says the IFP is working hard to get poker recognized as a sport. In fact, IFP has 51 national federations associates and many of them are taking steps oriented poker legal recognition as a mental sport in their respective countries (ie. poker in India, where a Bangalore court has accepted to a game of skill).

Moreover, Nally has recognized that the IFP has been working for three years with SportAccord for the recognition of poker as sport internationally.

Unless unforeseen circumstances, IPF expects poker to be fully accepted as a sport in the upcoming SportAccord conference in May 2014.

Nally has stated that acceptance of SportAccord will entitle the IFP to join the IMSA (International Mind Sport Association) and is valid for the International Olympic Committee .

The "sport of poker " will allow organizing tournaments of Texas Hold'em Poker without buybacks and pre-set maximum buy- ins.

We have not seen the letter, but in the Italian specialized media gives credit to Alampi . Hopefully this is not a marketing stunt.

Acceptance of poker as a sport by the IOC would have highly favorable consequeces to the future of our game, specially in unregulated markets like India.

And since dreaming is free , I'm " viewing " in my mind poker in the official program of the Olympic Games in Tokyo . Wouldn´t that be cool?.



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