Lobbying to Include Poker as Official Sport
By staff
July 8 2005 - Worldwide poker enthusiasts and champions, alike, often wonder why sports such as badminton, handball or curling are acceptable Olympic games, while poker is not. After all, poker is much more popular internationally than curling (often compared to a hockey game and housework wrapped into one) will ever be. As such, poker expert and London-based spokesperson for InterPoker, Peter Marcus, is out to turn that around, just in time for the London Olympic Games of 2012.

According to Peter Marcus, “There has been a massive surge in the popularity of Poker as it is one of the most highly skilled sports around. Also ESPN & Fox, as well as Sky Sports in Britain, have been showing Poker during their prime time sports shows for over two years with very high ratings. Given the very strong support for Poker and the UK Gaming Act coming into force by 2007, we believe that London would be the perfect venue for Poker to make its début as an Olympic Sport in 2012. For a sport to qualify as an Olympic event, it must be played in 75 countries across 4 continents. Poker goes well beyond that.”

Continues Marcus, “We have spoken to many of the top poker professionals worldwide and there is some real excitement that they could be competing for their countries -- this time for Olympic medals, rather than for money.” The lobbying will start this week at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. Plans are for the collection of a massive number of signatures gathered from the worldwide players, enthusiasts and professionals alike that frequent the popular InterPoker site, which is part of the InterCasino group of online games.

Two of InterPoker’s top players, Todd Wittles and Kathey Liebert, who have both won WSOP Bracelets, have already been identified as possible strong contenders for the 2012 US National team, should Poker succeed to garner Olympic status. “We also have a number of strong contenders for the Finnish, Danish, Canadian, Israeli, Australian & British teams,” says Marcus.

Apart from having selected the city for 2012 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will also discuss while in Singapore, whether any of its 28 sporting disciplines should be axed for the event in seven years time. IOC President, Jacques Rogge, is known to be in favor of a major overhaul with the IOC looking to ensure that the Olympic program 'reflects the constant evolution of public expectations' and to make the event more attractive to an ever changing global audience -- with any changes coming at the 2012 Games.

“The timing for consideration of Poker could not be more perfect. There is a strong lobby to replace sports which lack popularity and have little global appeal, with big crowd-pullers, which is exactly why we are going to make the case for Poker,” comments Marcus. “The popularity of Poker cannot be overlooked. Poker is without a doubt one of the most mentally demanding sports on the planet.”

Two variants of Poker games to be recommend to the IOC for inclusion in the 2012 London Olympics are the Cadillac of all Poker games, Texas Hold ’em no limit event (popular on TV programs) and also a potential for some fun gaming for the athletes to enjoy right from their Olympic Village room -- an online “6 pack” no limit event.

About InterPoker

InterPoker, is part of the Cryptologic Poker network, one of the largest poker networks on the Internet. Founded in 2002, InterPoker has quickly become one of the largest and most respected poker rooms worldwide. With thousands of players of differing skill levels logged on at any time, day or night, novice-to-poker champs are guaranteed great poker action. InterPoker has partnered with both, a publicly traded company on the London AIM exchange, to transfer funds securely and conveniently, and with ECash Direct system, one of the most trusted e-commerce applications worldwide, with more than $11 billion in secure and uncompromised electronic transactions for customers in more than 240 countries around the world.

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