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Will Poker Become An Olympic Sport?

Mansion Group's online subsidiary announced an initiative that would bring poker to the Olympic Games as a demonstration sport in 2012, and then as a new event in the 2016 games.

Propelled by an online effort Circus Casino hopes convince Olympic organizers to add poker in 2012. Their argument? Poker is well established and is a game that's played and watched by millions worldwide. It's even recognized as a sport in some nations.

Peter Nolan at Circus said, "Poker's appeal is global. It transcends gender and age and is the fastest-growing sport in the world; it's ripe for Olympic recognition. Millions play every week, and millions more watch it on TV...."

No one knows whether poker will make it as an Olympic sport? But if it succeeds as a demonstration sport and becomes a staple of the games, will online poker and face-to-face poker both become part of the Olympic equation? After all, it's easy to mount the argument that they are really two different games-as different as, say, indoor and beach volleyball.

If the Olympic Games eventually buys into that line of reasoning, some competitors might be able to play from the comfort of a café in the Olympic Village. In the case nations like Cuba, afraid of defecting players-their Olympic online poker teams might be asked to compete right from the comforts of home. Shuffle up and (cyber) deal!

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