Poker Sports League Launches in India
Amit Burman, Dabur India’s vice chairman, Anuj Gupta, founder of poker portal Adda52. com and Pranav Bagai, founder of India Poker Legend, have got together to set up Poker Sports League (PSL), a tournament series based on the card game of poker made recently famous by James Bond in Quantum of Solace.
Poker, a game of skill which has skilled players earning money in the same range as other major sports, is gaining popularity in India, with sites like pokermagnet.com coming up to offer unmatched quality to players. Like with every sport, there is an element of luck, but good poker play depends more on the player’s skill, mastery of probability and fast decision making based on a sound strategy.
The new PSL will consist of 12 teams of 9 players each, and the total prize money is Rs 3.36 crore. Amit Burman, a poker aficionado and partnering in PSL in his individual capacity feels that PSL has generated interest among both amateur and professional poker players as well as corporates. “We have already got 7 franchise owners signed within one month of sharing the plan. Talks for five more are on an advanced level. These franchise owners will be spending between Rs 70-80 crore over the next 10 years,” Burman told a major newspaper in Dec 2016. Burman pointed out the attractions of PSL: “With no entry fee and sizeable prize money to aim for, the Poker Sports League is a unique opportunity for players of the game to hone their skills as well as popularise the game that is set to be recognised by the International Mind Sports association along with Chess, Bridge and Draughts.”
The team owners finalised so far include: Bengaluru – Kunal Shah, cofounder of FreeCharge; Delhi – Rishi Kajaria, joint MD, Kajaria Ceramics and Ruchiransh Jaipuria of Jaipuria Group; Goa – Gaurav Mohan of Eventwala; Hyderabad – Amit Shah, Karan Bhagat and Yatin Shah of IIFL Wealth Management; Kolkata – Ankkit Bahadur of Playboy, North India and Taarun V Jain of Legend Group; Mumbai – Mehul Shah, promoter of Anchor Electrical; and Rajasthan – Purrshottam Bhaggeria of Filatex Group. Owners for the teams of Chennai, Gujarat, Pune, Punjab and Shimla were expected to be finalised early in 2017.
The teams will be selected through more than 70 qualifying rounds in the beginning of 2017. The selections will be done in several cities and by online tournaments. Qualifying players will then play in the Mega Finals. You are unlikely to watch this on TV as the plan is to broadcast these only on Facebook and Youtube.