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Poker Set to Become an Olympic Sport

Written By: Maya Michaels | October 25, 2017 | Posted In Poker News

Poker could become an Olympic sport in the future since it has been recognized by an international sporting body for the first time.

Global Association of International Federations announced earlier this month that poker, pole dancing, arm wrestling, foosball and dodgeball had received what is called “observer status”. This basically means that they are now provisionally regarded as sports and that is the first step in the process towards the potential debut at the Olympics at Tokyo 2020 and the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics.

This decision to grant them “observer status” was unanimously voted earlier this year in Denmark at the Global Association of International Sports Federations General Assembly, which works closely with the International Olympics Committee (IOC).

“This is an exciting time for them and for us and we will do everything within our remit to help them realize their full potential as International Federations within the global sport’s family and, one day, maybe become part of the Olympic program.” said Patric Baumann, the President of GAISF, welcoming the first observers.

The poker community is thrilled that poker is on the radar but IOC has a lot of requirements that poker would have to meet before being considered as an Olympic sport. Firstly, it must be played by at least 75 countries and on 4 continents. Then it has to be played by women in 40 countries and on 3 continents, and finally the element of chance has to be removed completely from the “core” of the game.

If we live to see poker at the Olympics, it would be a Match Poker, a kind of Texas hold’em where the element of chance has been removed in the random draw of cards. Teams are split at different tables and each member of the team has different seat positions. For example, all players in seat 1 in each group receive identical cards on a digital device and start each hand with equal number of chips. The same is true in every other seat. The same cards are dealt at all tables. Each teams’ combined chips are compared after every hand and points are allocated accordingly. After resetting their stacks, the next hand starts. The team with most points wins.

Just imagine the world’s most famous players fighting for a gold medal. It would definitely be one of the most interesting poker events ever.

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