The International Federation of Poker changes its name to the International Federation of Match Poker and joins federations from the world of pole vaulting and arm wrestling as a Global Association of International Sports Federations Observer.
Poker could become an Olympic sport, but not as you know it.
This week, Patrick Nally, the President of the International Federation of Poker (IFP), announced on Twitter, that the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) had granted the IFP GAISF Observer Status.
I know what you’re thinking.
You didn’t know poker had an international federation, and what the hell is GAISF Observer Status?
Technically, poker as you know it – PokerStars, World Series of Poker, Full Tilt scandal – doesn’t have an international federation, and never will, because poker is a game consisting of elements of both skill and chance.
The IFP created a new form of poker called Match Poker. It’s a team game, where players split into different tables occupied by one player from each team. Each player plays on a mobile device, and the same cards are produced seat by seat at each table, thus eliminating the element of chance.
The IFP is the federation for Match Poker, not Poker-Poker.
To help you out, the IFP has changed their name to the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP).
Now, that’s more like it.
Until April, the GAISF was known as the SportAccord, an organisation that provides transparency and credence to sporting federations. It changed its name after the President of SportAccord, Marius Vizer, launched a scathing attack on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) leading to several federations leaving the group.
Vizer is no more.
Patrick Bauman is the new GAISF President.
If you want to be recognised as a sport, and reach the lofty goal of appearing in the Olympic games, then the GAISF have to accept you into their bosom.
The GAISF recently earmarked eight places for the new role of GAISF Observer; an intermediary step to becoming a fully fledged GAISF member. The IFMP made the cut as did the following sports federations.
• World Armwrestling Federation (WAF)
• World Dodgeball Federation (WDA)
• Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG)
• International Union of Kettlebell Lifting (IUKL)
• International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF)
• International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF)
The next stage in the development of the IFMP is the Match Indian Poker League taking place 17-18th November. Eight teams, consisting of eight players, will play Match Poker to determine who wins the $225,000 first prize.
The IFMP are working closely with the Indian celebrity couple Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty on the project.
The winner of the Match Indian Poker League will represent India in the Match Poker World Cup, details of which remain a secret for now.
I tried to dig out some Match Poker footage but struggled. I will leave you with some action from the International Pole Sports Federation instead.