|Full-tilt Poker, the online gambling site, is launching a campaign to have poker passed as an Olympic event. The internet poker room is sponsoring a new site called “Poker in Athens” as a means of campaigning for the admission of the game into future Olympics. To qualify for the Olympics, a sport must be played in 75 countries across four continents. The operators at Full Tilt believe poker complies with this ruling, and their campaign to get the game entered, does contain some elements of seriousness-at least about the game itself.|
The site hosts a petition for people to sign up in support of the movement, and features an amusing open letter drafted to the sanctioning committee, to plea for Olympic status. There is also a forum for members to chat with each other on the issue, as well as many hoax stories aimed at mocking less conventional current Olympic events.
An opening tag line on the site reads “More people compete at Poker than any other sport.” This is followed up with another truism: “So what if the players sport beer bellies and smoke cigars? Poker is mentally tough. And the game deserves a place at the 2004 games”.
Anyone who signs the petition gets 100 free chips to play at Full Tilt, and a further 25 for every friend they sign up. With phrases in the petition including: “I believe that poker transcends race, age, geography, climate and cramps. I believe that poker is best played while double fisting a piece of pizza and a cold beer” and “Deal poker into the 2004 games, or I'll come to your house. I know where you live. “; the particular style of this marketing campaign may not swing the Olympics sanctioning committee. The site however is a great advert for poker as a game, and of course the sponsoring site Full Tilt, and is worth visiting just for the pictures of unusual sportsmen in even more unusual positions.