Poker set for SportAccord recognition as early as 2016 - Nally

Poker set for SportAccord recognition as early as 2016 - Nally

Friday, July 3, 2015
Patrick Nally is confident Match Poker has a bright future as a sport

Patrick Nally, the head of the International Federation of Poker (IFP), has told TotallyGaming.com that poker could be recognised by sport’s global authorities as soon as next year.

The sports marketing guru, who has been president of the IFP for the last six years, believes that Match Poker could receive SportAccord recognition by the end of 2016.

The move would establish poker as a sport across the world, would give the IFP access to extra support and also allow Match Poker to be played within SportAccord events such as the World Mind Games. While Match Poker is not the same as the versions of the game played within the gaming industry, SportAccord recognition could only help its reputation and popularity around the world. 

Nally – the man who helped establish the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games as commercial entities in the 1970s - says that while the IFP has passed several of SportAcccord’s criteria, he needs to get 40 recognitions from national sporting bodies.

“I’ve got about 15,” said Nally. “We will continue to work hard towards the 40 because things are improving every day. It will take probably a year – maybe longer – but we are getting there.”

As reported yesterday by TotallyGaming.com, Match Poker is a team sport with the same virtual cards dealt via mobile phones on several tables at the same time – thus players cannot rely on being dealt a lucky hand.

Match Poker passes the SportAccord test of being based on skill rather than chance, with the body recognising that while all sports contain an element of chance - most notably the unpredictable bounce of a ball - that chance should not be integrated into the very core of the sport.

The IFP also now has 54 national federations, with Nally expecting as many as 60 or 70 “pretty soon” and hoping that expanded major tournaments will follow.

“Now that we have Match Poker technology, we can launch in countries where they can create clubs, leagues and regular competitions so that it becomes like any other sport,” he said.

“We go live this year in three key markets in Europe - Italy, Spain and probably Poland - but then it will roll out when we have more experience and have road-tested that it all works as well as we want it to.

“It will then, over the next few years, go to Russia, India, China and eventually the US and become the world’s major mind sport.”

Read part one of the interview with Patrick Nally here

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