NEW INDIAN POKER LEAGUE FORMED
Launch scheduled for early-2017.
Following licensing and regulatory developments in the Indian provinces of Sikkim and Nagaland it appears that the game of poker is gathering momentum in India, and this week saw the announcement of a new poker league featuring 12 teams of nine players each.
Titled Poker Sports League, the venture is scheduled for launch early-2017 with an initial prize pool worth the equivalent of US$ 500,000.
The league’s founders include Adda52 founder Anuj Gupta, India Poker Legend founder Pranav Bagai and Dabur Vice Chairman Amit Burman, a press release revealed Monday..
“We are yet to finalize on the execution details, but as many as 7 franchise owners have already signed up,” Burman said. “The contracts are for 10 years, with the owners spending around Rs 70 crore during that time. Five more franchise owners are expected to come on board very soon.
“We noticed poker in India didn't have a proper structure as compared to countries such as the US. A lot of players were there, but mostly online. And we all know poker is a game where looking at the other person's expression can give you an inkling of what's going to happen. It is the world's most popular mind game. So it just made sense for us to get on board.”
Burman added that the league will offer an opportunity for poker players with varying degree of expertise to unite and hone their poker skills under the guidance of well-established professional poker players.
He said that each team will comprise two professional players and four recreational players selected through nationwide qualifiers to be held both offline and online; and two wild card players to make up the team of nine.
In its first season, the Poker Sports League will consist of 12 teams, seven of which have already been sold and the remaining five shall be made available for sale shortly.
These teams are associated with some of the well-known names from corporate India such as Kunal Shah (Co-Founder, FreeCharge), Mehul Shah (Original Promoter, Anchor Electrical), Rishi Kajaria (Joint MD, Kajaria Ceramics), Karan Bhagat (Co-Founder, IIFL Wealth), Purrshottam Bhaggeria (Joint MD, Filatex Group), Ankkit Bahadur (Co-Owner, Playboy North India) and Gaurav Mohan (Founder, Eventwala).
The 12 teams will be selected through 70+ qualifying rounds held across various cities over a period of nearly 3 months, as well as through online tournaments that will begin early in 2017.
The players who qualify for the 12 teams will then compete to play at the Mega Finals, where "the best and the finest of India’s poker talent will be invited to a display of skill and entertainment."
Steering the Poker Sports League will be a core team that includes well-known names associated with poker in India: Anuj Gupta, founder of Adda52.com; Pranav Bagai, the founder of India Poker Legends – India’s premier tournament series; and Nikita Luther, who is India’s top female poker professional.
The latter two have been appointed respectively chief executive officer and chief operating officer.
Teams and their promoters include:
• Kunal Shah of FreeCharge
• Rishi Kajaria of Kajaria Ceramics
• Ruchiransh Jaipuria of Jaipuria Group
• Gaurav Mohan of Eventwala
• Amit Shah, Karan Bhagat and Yatin Shah of IIFL Wealth Management
• Ankkit Bahadur of Playboy, North India
• Taarun V Jain of Legend Group
• Mehul Shah, Original Promoter of Anchor Electrical
• Purrshottam Bhaggeria of Filatex Group and also the Honorary Counsul, Republic of Moldova