IMSA recognizes poker as a skill game

The International Mind Sport Association (IMSA) has officially acknowledged poker as a mind-sport of strategic skill. With this recognition poker joins bridge and chess. IMSA president José Damiani commented: “I’m excited that the International Federation of Poker (IFP) joins the IMSA. Chess and bridge are other mind sports that feature the yearly IMSA events. The participation of poker in these events proves that it’s a skill game and mind sport.”

International Mind Sport Association

The decision was taken at the IMSA yearly symposium in Dubai. IFP president Anthony Holden stated that the acknowledgment was a key landmark in the IFP campaign. This campaign aimed on recognizing poker as a skill game and mind sport.

World Mind Sports Games

Holden noted: “During the next period of time, poker should be liberated from governmental intervention and other redundant limitations all over the world. Poker joins IMSA’s World Mind Sports Games. The UK hosts this event in 2012 alongside the Summer Olympic Games in London.


The IFP is now part of the IMSA. The IFP joins federations of bridge, Go, chess and draughts, that are also part of SportAccord. This organization was formed to promote communication and collaboration among various global sports federations.


The IFP now targets on becoming a member of SportAccord, Holden stated. For that reason, he will file an official application for membership at the SportAccord symposium. Holden hopes for approval at the next annual general meeting that will take place in London next year.


Approval of the SportAccord membership depends on several requisites. SportAccord demands a minimum of 40 member federations from at least three continents.

Summer Olympic Games

“We have already met over 50% of those requirements, partly due to the recent IMSA decision. We don’t expect many obstacles in achieving the other targets in the next year. The entire poker business will now become conscious of our attempts. This will be proved by the fact that the World Mind Sports Games are held in London at the same time as the Summer Olympic Games.”

Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson is an American professional poker player and member of IFP’s Advisory Board. He is pleased with the news. “We are the International Federation of Poker grateful and we congratulate them. Without a doubt this is a milestone for the poker business. Poker has been restricted by governmental controls and other barriers. It’s clear that poker requires expertise and certain qualities. Obviously, it not only depends on luck.”
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