Poker is the Next Olympic Sport

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Poker is now a game that transfixes the globe and should become the next Olympic sport.

It was inevitable. The evolution of poker has made it a worldwide game. From a game that began, by most accounts, in France and moved to the fledgling United States in New Orleans and the "wild west" of yore, poker is now a game that transfixes the globe. In 2005, there are two interesting websites and presented the idea that poker should be an Olympic sport. Now most would scoff at that, but I would have to say...why not? These two poker websites and believe poker will be an Olympic event in the future.

A recent review of the list of recognized sports is a sobering look at what other activities are considered to be Olympic-worthy. Bowling, bridge, chess, dance, golf and even Tug of War are all officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee. When you take a look at some of the sports on this recognized list, as well as some of the sports that are actively in the Games, you realize that you are not looking at "physical" being part of the criteria.

The Professional Poker Tour is a step towards removing the amateur from the equation. From a stringent qualification guideline, you have the best professionals in the game, and from around the world, battling each other for the prize, with no buy-in for the players to risk to be in the tournament. As the Tour is only in its infancy, it remains to be seen what will be its eventual outcome.

Why not take this concept one step further? For lack of a better term, let's call it "The Olympiad of Poker." Each nation would send its best players, with a maximum of four for each nation's team. The competition would not be limited to just the No-Limit game, either; all disciplines, from Razz to SHOE, Five and Seven Card, and the rest (around ten events, by my count) would have representation and be tested. Medals could be awarded to the top three, just like the Olympics, as well as the cash prizes. If you don't medal, you don't earn any of the spoils of the gods. You could also recognize the nation that did the best, the individual who is the overall champion of the event, and I am sure a multitude of other things.

Maybe one day we will see it: Marcel Luske, carrying the flag of the Netherlands to the final table. Humberto Brenes waving the banner of Costa Rica as he takes a medal. Amir Vahedi, either carrying the flag of his birthplace, Iran, or his adopted home of America. David "The Devilfish" Ulliot proudly displaying the Union Jack and hearing "God Save The Queen" as he accepts his first place check and Olympic gold medal.

No Limit Freerolls is a poker website listing poker tournemant freerolls. No Limit Freerolls can be found at The Poker Book Club is an online discussion of poker books and poker articles. The Poker Book Club can be found at Both these sites are celebrating the future of poker in the olympics by sponsoring a private freeroll tournament in March 2005. Visit thier websites for details.


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C. Feather
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