While poker isn't considered a sport, it's a game that requires high levels of skill and mental agility. Online poker has extended the game's reach further than ever before and there are millions of people all over the world who now play poker online.
Olympic puritans might scoff at the idea of poker becoming an Olympic sport, but this may very well become a reality soon. The IFMP (International Match Poker Federation) is pushing for a version of poker called Match Poker to be trialed at the 2024 Paris Olympics and to be included in the Los Angeles 2028 games.
Softball, baseball, and karate have been cut from the Paris Games, with skateboarding, surfing, and breakdance taking their place. So, what's to say that online poker tournaments are not going to be the next big Olympic event?
Take a look at what needs to be done for poker to be considered by the Olympics and the format that it would follow if it were to be incorporated into the Games.
Olympic Rules for Adding a New Sport or Event
A sport or event can't just be added to the Olympic Games. A number of rules and regulations have to be followed just to be considered.
First, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) must recognize it as a sport. The IOC requires that the chosen activity or event “must have administration by an international nongovernmental organization that oversees at least one sport.”
Once it's recognized as a sport, it will gain IF (International Sports Federation) status. The organization that administers it then has to enforce the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code, including tests of participants according to the Olympic Charter.
But even when all this has been done there's no guarantee that poker will be added to the Olympics. The IF will have to file a petition for admittance to the IOC. The IOC can then decide whether to add it as a sport, discipline, or event, depending on which they believe is the most appropriate. They could also decide that it's not suitable for the Olympics and decline its application.
What Is Match Poker?
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