Poker Recognized as a Skill Game by IMSA

Exactly one year to the day after it was founded, the International Federation of Poker (IFP) accomplished a major goal Thursday when poker was officially accepted as a “mind sport” by the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA). Poker will now join chess and bridge as part of IMSA’s World Mind Sports Games, expected to be held in the UK in 2012 alongside the London Olympics.

“I am delighted to welcome the International Federation of Poker into membership of IMSA, said IMSA President Jose Damiani. Poker’s participation alongside bridge, chess and other mind sports in the annual IMSA events will demonstrate to the world that poker is indeed a mind-sport of strategic skill.”

The final decision was made at the annual congress of the International Mind Sports Association held in Dubai this week. Upon hearing the news, poker writer and IFP president Anthony Holden called the decision a “major milestone in our campaign to have poker accepted throughout the world as a game of strategic skill. Over time, this should help to free poker from much governmental interference and other such unnecessary restrictions all over the globe.”

The IFP’s next step is securing membership of SportAccord, a global organization of 150 sports federations whose goal is to unite the world of sport. Holden and his colleagues plan to attend the SportAccord Congress in Dubai on Friday and present the IFP’s application at that time. The application will be considered at the 2011 SportAccord annual meeting if the IFP has organized a minimum of 40 countries in three continents by that time. The IFP has currently achieved more than 50 percent of that target, according to Holden. IMSA members include chess, bridge, draughts and Go, all of which are also members of SportAccord.

Said Holden, “Now that it has secured IMSA membership, poker is officially designated a mind sport and IFP is eligible to become a member of SportAccord. This will involve satisfying all the requirements to obtain formal membership at their 2011 Congress in London.  I know the whole poker world will now come behind our efforts, not least because it means that poker will be played in the World Mind Sports Games due to take place in the UK alongside the 2012 London Olympics.

The hope is for poker to join SportAccord to help gain further ground in becoming a part of the Olympic Games. The IOC has outlined that a game or sport must be practiced by men in at least 75 countries on four continents and by women in at least 40 countries on three continents in order to be recognized.

Legendary poker player Doyle Brunson, a member of IFP’s Advisory Board, was thrilled with Thursday’s news: “The IFP deserves our thanks and congratulations. I believe that history will show this was a key moment for poker. All over the world the game has been faced with governmental controls and other obstacles, yet it is obvious it calls for qualities and skills that go far beyond a capacity just to take a chance.”

Besides participating in next year’s regular IMSA events, the IFP will be launching poker’s first annual World Championships. IFP’s member-nations will be running sanctioned National Championships, both team and individual, with the winners advancing to the IFP’s World Championships.

Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for continuing updates on the International Federation of Poker.




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Thu, April 29th, 2010

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Poker glossary:

  • OPENER - The player who opens the betting, especially in draw poker. A hand may have no openers, in which case it is PASSED OUT, i.e., new hands are dealt.
  • DEAD MAN'S HAND - Generically: two pair, aces and eights. Specifically: the black aces, black eights and nine of diamonds. The hand Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot to death.
  • REPRESENT - Implying, by one's betting style, that one has a particular hand.
  • BET FOR VALUE - Betting a hand that, in the long run, is expected to win more than it loses. Antonym: BLUFF.
  • MAIN POT - The main pot, as related to one or more side pots, when there are one or more all-in player(s). The main pot is the one in which all active players participate.
  • FORCED BET - In some stud games a player may be required to make a bet to start the action on the first card. This is similar conceptually to blinds and antes, but in this case is dependent on the cards shown rather than player position. Usually the weakest hand is forced to bet.
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