International Federation of Poker established in Lausanne, Switzerland

by Lou on June 11, 2009

Founded on April 29, 2009 as a global governing body—a federation based on the same legal criteria and principles as those of other mainstream sports—the International Federation of Poker (IFP) was established in Lausanne, Switzerland, a venue symbolizing international sports cooperation. Lausanne is the home of the International Olympic Committee and many other international sports federations.

The founding members are

Danish Poker Federation (Denmark)
Fédération Française des Joueurs de Poker (France)
Stichting Nederlandse PokerBond (Holland)
UK Poker Federation (UK)
Russian Sport Poker Federation (Russia)
Ukrainian Poker Federation (Ukraine)
Associacao Brazileira de Poker (Brazil)

Negotiations with 20 other countries are in the works, and many are expected to join the Federation over the coming weeks.

Its first President, acclaimed poker writer Anthony Holden (pictured right), says this is “the only way to free poker from the cruel and unfair restraints of gambling legislation across the globe.”

Holden, who was elected IFP President at the Lausanne meeting, said that poker developed beyond all predictable measure over the past decade, and is now a major international mind-sport. But the international coordination and representation of the game had not matched the speed of its expansion, resulting in conflicting levels of acceptability around the world.

“The Federation will help to make an international case for poker as a mind-sport,” said Holden. “We have already had encouraging conversations with the International Mind Sports Association, based in Paris, who organize the Mind Sports Games alongside the Olympics every four years. If we can achieve membership, it will help the game become legal everywhere and start eliminating the restraints some countries are imposing on it.”

IFP will also draw together all the arguments, evidence and testimony gathered around the world by national federations or their equivalents which have been called upon to contest restrictive laws or punitive taxation.

IFP will work to standardize tournament rules internationally, as well as compile international rankings. These will be used to determine the teams sent to IFP-approved events. IFP also plans to stage international team poker events along the lines of golf’s Ryder Cup and tennis’s Davis Cup.

A state-of-the-art website is in the works to provide a forum for members as well as the latest poker news from all over the world. Its custom-built TV channel will offer footage of numerous TV poker events past and present.

IFP’s president, Anthony Holden, is an award-winning author and journalist, whose 30-plus books include bestselling biographies of the Prince of Wales and Laurence Olivier, Shakespeare and Tchaikovsky. He has also been a war correspondent, diarist, critic and editor, writing for all major publications on both sides of the Atlantic in his 40-year career.
Holden is equally well-known for his books about poker. Big Deal: A Year as a Professional Poker Player is frequently described as a cult classic, enjoying no fewer than six editions since its first publication in 1990. Holden’s long-awaited sequel, Bigger Deal: A Year on the New Poker Circuit, appeared in 2007, followed in 2008 by an expert strategy manual, Holden on Hold’em.

{ 1 comment }

games developer December 10, 2009 at 3:20 am

The chance to lead poker’s first governing body, and to work towards poker’s international recognition as a skilled ‘mind-sport’ rather than just another form of gambling. The consequences for the game we all love, and so for its players and administrators, are potentially monumental.”

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