Poker, a skill-based cards game, which is often confused with gambling, is finally going big in India. Adda52, which is a gaming portal focussing on games such as poker, rummy and chess has joined forces with Dabur’s Vice Chairman Amit Burman to launch India’s 1st Poker League.
Rs 3.36 crore prize money has been declared for the winners of this unique league, which would involve lots of brain power, calculations and luck.
Named as Poker Sports League (PSL), this venture will involve three seasoned games enthusiast: Dabur’s Amit Burman, Adda52’s Anuj Gupta and Pranav Bagai, who is the founder of India Poker Legend.
Rules of the Poker League
Total 12 teams would participate in the league, with each team allowed to have 9 players. Rs 3.36 crore prize money would be distributed among the winners of this league.
These 108 players for 12 teams would be selected via 70+ rounds which would happen over a period of 3 months starting February next year. THe megal-final would be broadcasted live on Facebook and Youtube as well.
The Teams of Poker League
7 teams have been finalized as of now:
- Team Delhi: Led by Rishi Kajaria from Kajaria Ceramics and Ruchiransh Jaipuria from Jaipuiria Group
- Team Bengaluru: Led by Kunal Shah, founder of Freecharge
- Team Goa: Led by Gaurav Mohan from Eventwala
- Team Mumbai: Led by Mehul Shah from Anchor Electrical
- Team Rajasthan: Led by Purrshottam Bhaggeria from Filatex Group
- Team Hyderabad: Led by Amit Shah, Karan Bhagat, Yatin Shah by IIFL Wealth Management
- Team Kolkata: Led by Ankkit Bahadur of Playboy, Taarun V Jain of Legend Group
The remaining 5 teams are Gujarat, Pune, Shimla, Chennai and Punjab, the ownership of which would be finalized by January end, next year.
As per preliminary talks, these franchise owners would be spending Rs 70-80 crore in the next 10 years.
Poker Industry Maturing In India?
Online poker is a $100-120 million industry in India, which has the potential to become $500 million industry if the associated gaming companies collaborate and receive some help from the Govt. Adda52, for instance, generated revenues of Rs 47 crore last year, with core operational margin of 30-35%.
Due to ambiguity in laws, only West Bengal, Nagaland and Karnataka has classified Poker as a valid, skill-based game, while in Goa, the game can be played only in casinos.
In rest of India, players are still harassed by police, and bribes are demanded for playing the game in a club or during events.
Then, there are issues pertaining to tax as well, which are still unclear, as lawmakers are still decided on the logic of the game: Is it a game of chance or skills?
The results of this new Poker League will be surely keenly watched and observed, as it can set precedence for other cards based games as well.