The India Poker Championship (IPC) is set to get underway this week and provide another example of the game’s growing popularity in the region.
First announced back in July, the Spartan Poker-run event will take place onboard Goa’s Big Daddy Casino between September 11 and 15.
The series will kick off with a 25 lakh (approx. $28,000) guaranteed No Limit Hold’em freezeout. From there, three additional tournaments, including the 35,000 rupee (approx. $488) main event, will combine to create an overall guarantee worth 3 crore (approx. $420,000).
India Poker Championship to Help Spartan Poker
To help boost interest in the sea-based championship, satellites have been running on Spartan Poker since August.
Ahead of the India Poker Championship, executives at Spartan Poker said the event will boast the profile of its digital platform. During an interview with The Times of India, co-founder Amin Rozani said the site has grown 266 percent over the last two years.
Looking ahead, Rozani believes 500 percent growth is possible between now and 2022.
“Through deep-insight analytics we have driven innovation in our offerings thereby providing ample opportunities to everyone; from amateurs to professionals,” Rozani told Times of India.
For Spartan Poker, the India Poker Championship is just another in a long list of innovations. As well as online MTTs, promos and updates, Rozani has pushed the boundaries in terms of creativity.
In April 2019, he appeared in a Punjabi R&B video (see video above). Bobbing to the beat alongside singer Yusuf Shaikh, Rozani is doing his best to promote poker to the masses.
Indian Poker Operators Still Fighting for Acceptance
However, despite positive momentum in some sectors, poker in India is far from a mainstream endeavor. As well as some seeing it as a social taboo, the game is still illegal in certain regions.
Although regulation in states such as Nagaland have allowed online poker grow, other regions aren’t as progressive. In Kerala, local clubs have been fighting to create legal exceptions for rummy and poker.
Arguing that both games contain an element of skill that separates them from the likes of blackjack, advocates want the law changed.
Due to continued delays, the fight for regulation is ongoing. However, a successful India Poker Championship could spark some positive movement.
Even if it doesn’t help tip the balance, the festival is another chance for local players to enjoy the game and play for more six-figure payouts.