Intl Federation of Poker set to join SportAccord

Posted On 26 Mar, 2016 0

Soon Poker will be a member of the SportAccord, an umbrella organisation for Olympic and non-Olympic games, according to an online magazine. Thanks to the International Federation of Poker(IFP) poker is heading towards the legitimacy that it deserves. The London-based IPF are hoping to popularise match poker, a team-based, non-gambling, e-sport version of poker in which players play for points rather than cash.

Arm wrestling and rugby have also been recommended along with poker for full membership. Nine other sports, however, including esports, parkour and pole sports, are set to have their applications for membership deferred. Applications from 10 other governing bodies, including rival bodies from parkour, have not been put forward. It would take the number of full SportAccord members to 91.

According to, the IFP look like they are going to be successful in their bid to join the SportAccord. Poker won’t be the only new kids on the block if they are accepted by the SportAccord General Assembly in Lausanne on April 22. The World Armwrestling Federation (WAF) and the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) are also expected to be formally accepted as members according to the source.

Ten other governing bodies were not so lucky. The sport of Parkour has seen applications refused from three governing bodies; the South Korean based International eSports Federation has also been snubbed, as well as the International Pole Sports Federation. 

An invitation to join the 90+ federations that belong to the SportAccord is seen as a vital step towards acceptance into the Olympic games. That’s not to say that every sport does get to the Olympics. The World Darts Federation (WDF) is part of the SportAccord but in a January interview with the Express, Chairman of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), Barry Hearn, said darts had zero chance of becoming an Olympic sport.

“I can’t see the IOC ever joining forces with a crowd of people having a great night and a few beers. It just doesn’t seem to fit with what they want,” Said Hearn at the time. I don’t even believe that they will be welcomed into the bosom of the SportAccord. To become a member an organisation must pass as an official sport. The SportAccord has created a five-pronged definition of what sport is, and there is one slight problem. The sport should not rely on any element of “luck” specifically integrated into the sport.

The recognition of poker is another boost for the IFP, whose President is well-known marketing executive Patrick Nally. Nally said, “We’re finding more governments are trying to understand us, understanding match poker, beginning to understand that poker as a mind sport has a role to play, and is now beginning to be more and more accepted at a national level,” he says.“In the future, I think we will see more and more competitions, more and more ranking as it relates to skill and poker will find its place as a very major mind sport within that mind sport community.”


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