When one thinks of Poker, casinos come to mind. The Mandovi river has around 5 of these already with rumors of more to come in. At least two of the casinos anchored in the river are owned by the Deltin Group. And starting today, the Poker Sports League (PSL) is holding its Season 2 finale at Deltin Royale, Goa. The last date is the 13th of May.
Poker is played all over the world
Poker is a family of card games that combines gambling, strategy, and skill. All variants involve betting as an intrinsic part of the play. The winner of each hand is determined according to the combinations of players’ cards, at least some of which remain hidden until the end of the hand. Poker games vary in the number of cards dealt, the number of shared or “community” cards, the number of cards that remain hidden, and the betting procedures. (Source – Wikipedia)
The game is played by millions of people all over the world. It’s a popular game and appealing because it is easy to learn, extremely social, provides the opportunity for profit and takes a lifetime of commitment to master.
Given its popularity in the world, in the last two years, the PSL wants to also make it a mind sport in India. With this, it has formed a distinct identity with renowned names both from within & outside the industry associating themselves with the league which includes legends like Viswanathan Anand himself.
Chess Grandmaster and Padma Vibhushan award winner Viswanathan Anand was roped in as the brand ambassador of Poker Sports League (PSL) last November. The five-time world champion is well-known for his “poker face” on the chess table. He is also one of the most revered names in the world of chess. His involvement has facilitated in bringing credibility to poker, which is widely misunderstood as gambling in the country. This is undoubtedly the “biggest move ever” made by any brand in the history of the game.
Poker in India
Poker has been broadcast on sports channels across the globe since 1978. However, in India this will be the very first attempt by PSL, who has signed an agreement with Discovery Networks India, to give the latter, exclusive rights to air the second edition of the league on their flagship sports channel DSport in June 2018. The channel telecasts wide range of leagues and events from across the world of sports including Football, Cricket, Golf, Horse Racing, Cycling, Motor Sports, Rugby, Action Sports and now Poker.
Season 2, is scheduled for May 9th to May 13th in Goa at Deltin Royale. It will see 11 city-based teams from across the country competing for a whopping prize money of Rs 4.5 crore. The teams this year will consist of a total of 10 players each, comprising of one mentor/ playing captain, two pro-players, two from free live qualifiers, three from free online qualifiers and two wild-card entries.
All 11 teams & owners collectively chose their players through a snake drafting process and announced their wild cards. Mentors were selected by the teams, from amongst the biggest names in the poker industry. All PSL tourneys were free of cost and began with the selection of 2 Professional Players, after an intricate examination of applications submitted with their highest achievements for the past 3 years. Post that 2 players were chosen from Live Qualifiers basis their performance in the live poker tournaments hosted by PSL across India. This was followed by 3 players being chosen from online qualifiers hosted on adda52.com. Both live and online qualifiers were held over a span of 3 months.
About the PSL
The PSL is the brainchild of Mr. Amit Burman, Mr. Anuj Gupta and Mr. Pranav Bagai which was established last year, with a mission to establish poker as a sport in the country. It is India’s first professional league, which gives an opportunity to state-level teams & all poker lovers to become a part of the league & learn from the best players in India. The league will see a commitment of 8 years from 11 teams & 20,000 player participation across India. This season’s wild cards represent 11 countries.
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Information credit – ThinkGeek Media