The India Poker Championship (IPC) will get underway on September 11 and offer something more than a $420,000 prizepool.
With poker regulation in India far from universal, the forthcoming IPC will act as another showcase for the industry.
Set to take place onboard Big Daddy Casino, Goa, the five-day festival will feature four tournaments, including a $488 main event. As part of the sea-bound series, organizer Spartan Poker is guaranteeing $418,000 in prize money.
India Poker Championship Could Benefit Everyone
In putting together the India Poker Championship, Spartan founder Amin Rozani said it could give his brand a boost.
Talking to The Times of India, he said activity has improved by 266 percent over the last two years. Based on that and the potential of events such as the IPC, he believes growth will top 500 percent by 2022.
The omens are certainly positive. Already this year, Spartan Poker has hosted two successful online championships.
Giving away more than $1.5 million, the two virtual MTT series solidified Spartan’s position as the third largest poker site in India.
Beyond the benefits for its host, the India Poker Championship could help the game’s status within the country as a whole. Much like the Indian Institute of Management’s poker-based business course, the tournament festival should cast the game in a positive light.
Indeed, with states such as Kerala still taking a dim view of poker, any level of popular interest may tip the balance.
Only Skill Can Prevail in India
According to state lawmakers, poker and rummy occupy the same space as blackjack and roulette. Those in the industry will disagree and the India Poker Championship is another chance to show that.
As well as a generous guarantee, strong performances from any of India’s recognized pros will help the argument that poker is a skill game.
In practice, it’s unlikely the India Poker Championship alone will change the views of those who consider poker a social taboo. Regardless, it’s set to be another popular event with players in India.
Even if it is taking place onboard a cruise liner, there’s almost $500,000 in prize money on the line. For an emerging market, that’s a healthy sum of money and a sign the local poker economy is moving in the right direction.