Hot on the heels of London's winning bid to host the 2012 Olympics, InterPoker announced its intention to lobby the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include poker as an official sport, starting in the 2012 Olympics.
InterPoker's London-based spokesperson, Peter Marcus, believes that poker is more popular today than various other Olympic Sports, such as badminton, handball and curling. In order for a sport to qualify as an Olympic event, it must be played in a minimum of 75 countries on 4 continents, and Marcus is convinced that 'poker goes well beyond that.'
Marcus believes that the widespread support poker enjoys, along with the impending UK Gaming Act, which is set to come into play by 2007, makes London 'the perfect venue for poker to make its debut as an Olympic Sport in 2012.' Indeed, it could not be a better time for poker to present its case to the IOC, as the committee is scheduled to discuss a potential overhaul of the sporting events included in the Olympics, with changes to the program implemented in the 2012 games.
Lobbying efforts are slated to begin this week in Las Vegas, where plans are in the works to collect signatures from the huge field of poker players and enthusiasts that has gathered at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino for the World Series of Poker. One game selected for recommendation to the IOC for inclusion in the Olympics is No-Limit Texas Hold'em.