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  • Federation Pushes for Poker to be Recognized as Mind Sport

    Sunday, September 25th, 2011 by Nadia

Representatives of the poker industry recently pushed to have the game included in the World Mind Sports Games. If this is approved, the game could gain the same status as others like bridge and chess. US Poker Federation, a newly formed body, plans on sending a team of six players to London. There they will participate in two international tournaments. The foremost world championship in poker will feature in the events that will be held in the tournaments. The championship has been approved by International Sports Federation.

Events will also include a new poker variant which will be played for the first time. The game has been designed to eliminate the aspect of luck in poker, and make it exclusively a game of skill. US Poker Federation, established this year, will function out of New York. The federation has been formed with the objective of sanctioning events. It will also approve teams that can enter international competitions. The federation will also have to develop and enforce a ranking system that will apply at a national level. In addition, it will have to promote poker in such a way that people perceive it as an intense intellectual pursuit.

Poker a Sport, Not a Form of Gambling?

According to the US Poker Federation’s executive director, poker is a sport not a form of gambling. This goes against the general perception – which is a misunderstanding and a deep fear about the nature of the game. Some of the misconceptions that surround the game are that it involves cheating and deception. This is one of the traits of poker that the federation is attempting to eliminate through its recent efforts. According to those supporting the game, poker has been around since prior to the Civil War, yet it has been reduced to a banned status in the US.

New Variant – Duplicate Poker

Officials of the federation state that the game is extremely challenging and complex. They intend to showcase these aspects of the game to everyone across the globe. The officials stated that the game involves nuances and strategies which have to be learned, applied and mastered. These aspects will be highlighted in the new variation of the game, ‘duplicate poker’. The game has been developed along the lines of duplicate bridge.

In this variant of poker, there will be multiple tables. One player from each will represent a team. All representative players will play simultaneously. The same deck of cards will be used for each table. This is to specifically reduce the relative weakness or strength of a dealt hand. Players will not be subjected to the use of randomized decks. They will get the opportunity to evaluate themselves against others with the same hand, when playing at other tables. According to duplicate poker’s official ambassador, this is a key feature of the game.

This crucial aspect was integrated into poker in keeping with the strict requirements that mind sport’s governing bodies have set. Previously, several other games that were considered to involve the use of the intellect and skill were discarded by these bodies. One of this is Scrabble, which did not gain recognition as a mind sport because of its language limitations.

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