Football Field SmallIn what is a significant step for poker across Germany, football club SV Arminia Hannover has added poker as an official sport to its portfolio, becoming the first club to do so alongside more established sports such as football.The news, reported on the club’s website and by the German Poker Federation (DPSB) yesterday, will add a further layer of respectability to the game in Germany which has often struggled against unfair stereotype.

As detailed on the SV Arminian Hannover website, the club took the measure to acknowledge the increasing interest in the game, working with the DPSB to connect the game of poker with wider sports.

The aim of the new club is to provide members with a regulated gaming operation. It will also entitle players to attend the German championship and play a leading role in promoting poker as a sport in Germany.

In addition, the division of the club, headed by Claas Kähler, will offer training facilities, club championships and open tournaments which are hoped will generate new interest, bringing new players to the game.

Stephan Kalhamer, the President of the DPSB Stephan Kalhammer expressed his delight with the news.

“I welcome the words of Claas Kähler, in cooperation with Arminia Hannover, to write a piece of poker’s sporting history,” he said. “That this is being done, especially in the complex legal circumstances surrounding the state of Lower Saxony, is particularly pleasing. If you make it there, you make it anywhere.”

Poker becomes one of a number of sports under the SV Arminia umbrella, including football, table tennis, handball, gymnastics, children’s gymnastics, hockey and inline skating.