IFP officially announces the IFP Asian Nations Cup 2013

RZ_Asian-NationsCup-LogoIFP is proud to officially announce the first ever IFP Asian Nations Cup. The event will be held in the picturesque city of Sanya, China from 18-20 October 2013. 12 Asian nations will compete for 4 qualification spots to the IFP Nations Cup Final. The 12 participating nations are China, Australia, India, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines and Singapore.

To be hosted in the beautiful surroundings of ‘The Grand Fortune Bay Hotel’ in Sanya, the Asian Nations Cup will be the second official IFP tournament to be conducted without physical playing cards and dealers. The event will showcase a whole host of brand new IFP Match Poker technology. Not only will players receive their hole cards on individual smartphone devices, but every single action on all 12 tables will be logged and openly available for replay and analysis via the “IFP Player”.

Stay tuned on www.pokerfed.org for updates and live coverage.



The PokerListings website features a fascinating interview this week with IFP president Anthony Holden.

The article, written by Martin Harris, delves into various topics, including the background of IFP, it’s future aims and of course, which is the best poker film.

Holden, as the author of the seminal Big Deal: A year as a professional poker player, also touches on his own favourite poker books, those of esteemed authors such as Jim McManus, Michael Craig and Peter Alson.

The entire interview is well worth a look but perhaps the most important comment related to repositioning poker in modern culture.

“That is perhaps our central mission,” said Holden. “We all know that poker’s history – from its prominence in old western movies to the fact that it is still played primarily in casinos ¬– has given it a somewhat shady reputation, directly associated with gambling.

“But by promoting poker purely for the love of the game, and Match Poker as a new variant for national teams, IFP aspires to make poker as respectable as chess and bridge – which themselves were once regarded as gambling games.

“There is no reason why poker should not reach the same level of acceptance as a game of mental skill and agility, so that governments around the world can separate it from gaming legislation.”

Read the interview in full on the PokerListings website.


Harvard Law School today hosts an innovative discussion on the role Mind Sports can play in education.

Led by Professor Charles Nesson, the event entitled “Bringing Mindsports into the Classroom and Beyond: A Workshop on Curriculum Design and Civic Education”, brings together competitors, leading game masters, scholars, researchers, students, and others to discuss the potential of ‘strategic games’ and ‘games of skill’, such as chess and poker, on educational practices and venues, including schools and libraries.Also participating, in what is the first event of its kind, are members of the Harvard Law School Library, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and the MIT Media Lab, as well as representatives of the United States Mindsport Association.

At the heart of the workshop will be a focus on developing a curriculum for use in a variety of school settings, as well as the associated online tools and resources employed to achieve that. These include customizable syllabi, tutorials with masters, innovative teaching as well as guidance to teachers and librarians on exactly how to implement mind sports in the classroom.

Participants will be asked to consider where the notion of being a strategic thinker, and a ‘player in the game’ can inform and transform understandings of citizen engagement. The effects this could have on a curriculum are sizable, geared towards learners in both traditional and non-traditional settings.

To that end, the resulting curriculum will be geared towards learners in traditional and non-traditional venues, including classrooms, libraries, and other centers of civic engagement and learning, with the goal of teaching and enhancing the principles and practice of active citizenry.


In an interview with insidethegames, President of the International Federation of Poker Anthony Holden outlined IFP’s plans to formally seek membership of SportAccord. Holden was speaking at the SportAccord Convention in Québec City earlier this month, where the chiefs of world sport were gathered.

Describing membership of SportAccord as “our first goal”, Holden went on to say that a formal application will be made in the coming months.”We are hoping and planning to apply for St Petersburg next year,” he said. “We came this year to make our case to people.”

As the article details there was some cause for optimism. Holden found those he was speaking to in Quebec were themselves poker players, part of the 300 million players worldwide that make poker the world’s second most popular sport behind football.

Thanks to the efforts of the IFP, poker is already a provisional member of the International Mind Sport Association (IMSA), a ground breaking step for poker which has for years struggled with the outdated image of smoke-filled back rooms and gambling.

“We adhere to our view that it is a mind sport of strategic skill,” said Holden. “No IFP event will have anything to do with money; it is just for the love of the game. Tens of millions of people out there love playing poker just for poker. There are plenty of people who love playing it for money as well but our demographic is people in it for the love of the game.”

While discussion with SportAccord will come in 2013, the next highlight on the IFP calendar will be the second IFP World Championships in London, with details of the event to take place to be released soon.

Read the full article on the insidethegames website.


The Poker Players Alliance staged a Town Hall meeting at the Rio hotel last weekend, updating members and players of the current status of online poker across the United States.

Among those addressing the audience was Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), a sponsor of H.R.2366, the Bill considered to be the best hope for a change to the law on a federal level.Known as the Online Poker Act, the Bill could, in Barton’s words, pass very quickly or not at all, such is the unpredictability of the political system.
“It’s all about timing in Washington,” said Barton. “We have the bill in place. It’s just a matter of getting it on the agenda by July. It’s imperative we do that.”

The July deadline is crucial, otherwise various obstacles will appear, not least a Presidential election in November.

Despite obvious impediments the PPA remains the most effective lobby group for players in the US, gradually turning the political tide in favour of their aims. Executive Director of the PPA John Pappas was optimistic about the organisation’s progress.

“Back in 2006 when Black Friday occurred, the vote was a 3-to-1 margin against,” said Pappas. “In the five to six years we’ve pushed for this bill, we have come close to reversing that opinion. It may not be a 3-to-1 ratio, but we have more than enough votes to get it passed.”

Despite glimmers of hope, including the steps taken in Nevada and Delaware, many attendees were still angered by the status quo.

“This is prohibition all over again,” said one member of the audience. “It’s just so stupid not to be allowed to play poker online in the privacy of your home. I’m just plain sick of the way our government is run.”