Thursday, Jul 23, 2009 Poker NOT Sport in Russia
A stronghold in the foundation for poker freedom has fallen. Suddenly poker is NOT a sport in Russia anymore.
Poker enthusiasts end "legalizers" have found a great pleasure in pointing to Russia and saying "at least in Russia, home of great chess champions and mathematicians, poker is classified as a sport".
Practice your "sport" here
Now this easy pleasure has been taken away for us. The details are foggy, but it would appear that the classification of poker as a sport never really took place.
It wasn't done by the right authority following the right procedure, and so it never happened.
This is what Vitaly Mutko, Russian minister for Youth, Sport and Toursim, said in a press release.
"We have stricken poker off the list."
This would mean that poker is not exempt from the ban on casino gambling and so would be illegal in Russia, except for a number of designated gambling zones (Kaliningrad, Primorsky, Altai, Krasnodar and Rostov).
None of these is even close to the capital of Moscow, so the upcoming 2009 EPT Moscow on August 17-23 could very well be in danger.
Let's hope Vitaly Mutko gets slapped in the face* by a namesake of his who had a wonderful WSOP 2009 - Vitaly Lunkin.
* Of course, we mean this figuratively. How about a friendly but firm telephone conversation. Would that be okay?