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Poker Accepted Into Global Association of International Sports Feds
The International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) has been accepted into the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) as an observer. GAISF is touting the move as a first step towards the IFMP potentially being added to the program of the Olympic Games.
In a statement welcoming the IFMP, GAISF President Patrick Baumann stressed the possibility of a future Olympic birth:
“We warmly welcome our first Observers. This is an exciting time for them and for us and we will do everything withour our remit to help them realize their full potential as International Federations within the global sports family and, one day, maybe become part of the Olympic program,” he said.
The granting of Observer Status will allow the IFMP to be active within the federation, but does not come with any voting rights.
IFMP Offers Skill Based Poker
IFMP is a group of poker players promoting a very specific version of the game. Unlike traditional poker where players are dealt from randomly shuffled decks creating unique situations for every hand, “Match Poker” as it is known, places the focus on poker’s skill-based aspects.
The game is a team format, where players from different teams sit at different positions at different tables which are all dealt hands from identical, predetermined decks.
The competition then unfolds by allowing each table to play though a predetermined number of hands. By presenting each table with identical situations and aggregating the results, the effects of randomness are greatly reduced as a factor in the results.
This allows for an objective assessment of relative skill between teams, just like any other sporting competition.
Mind Sports & The Olympics
In theory, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has shown interest in the concept of adding mind sports. However, the idea runs into a lot of problems in practice.
Just recently the IOC considered both Chess and Bridge for inclusion in the 2020 Summer Olympic program in Tokyo. However, both games/sports failed to win the necessary votes for inclusion. Until one of these more “traditional” games is added, its widely believed that poker is more or less drawing dead.