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Last Updated: Friday, 23 July, 2004, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Play your cards right
Man playing poker
As tough as the decathlon?

Never mind the men's 100m, how about a nice game of cards to really test the prowess of your average Olympic athlete?

The idea may not be as daft as it sounds, with a group putting pressure on organisers to incorporate poker into the Athens Games.

"Poker in Athens" has launched an online petition aimed at forcing the Olympic Committee's hand - and members insist it is not a bluff.

The group claims it is "passionately dedicated to bringing poker to the 2004 Games," and is adamant it should be afforded the same respect as chess and bridge (neither of which are Olympic sports).

And there's more. The campaigners say poker demands "the focus of the archer, the endurance of the decathlete and the skill of the gymnast". Hmm.

They continue: "After all, the ribbon-waving rhythmic gymnasts are in. The shuttlecock-chasing badminton players are in. Even the ice-sweeping curlers are in. And poker's out?

"That's like throwing a party for mankind's greatest inventions and forgetting to invite indoor plumbing".

If the Poker In Athens group is successful, it could open the floodgates for a whole new spectrum of events - tiddlywinks, snakes and ladders, bar billiards....the possibilities are endless.

Britons should lend their support to the daft events campaign - they represent the best chance we have of winning a medal.

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