Pokerstars, the globally leading online poker operator, organized a tournament in the Bahamas known as Bahama Poker Tournament, with a stake of Rs. 36 crore. Unfortunately, all the Indian players, as well as players of Indian origin, busted out of the tournament.
Ajay Chabra was the last Indian competing in the tournament for the top position but he didn’t make it beyond the third day with 38 players remaining in the tournament at the time from the initial 1,039 who had entered the tournament with Rs. 25,000 buy-in.
With a total prize pool of over $26 million six players apart from the winner get over $1 million each.
American Scott Baumstein won $4.24 million chips by the third day. Aditya Agarwal who is a brand ambassador for PokerStars shared that it takes a cool mental mindset in order to reach the top levels of such tournaments. Agarwal also shared that in India the game faces skepticism as many consider it as a game of chance.
On the other hand, large parts of the globe have recognized Poker as a game of skill and not chance. He mentioned that the Supreme court has already acknowledged Rummy as a game of skill and it should be just a matter of time before the same judgement is ruled on poker. Karnataka and West Bengal High Courts have already deemed poker to be a game of skill and therefore legal to play with money.
There are many poker rooms in both the states and the popularity of the game will only increasingly grow. Additionally, Goa and Sikkim have legalized casinos and gambling.
Agarwal started with poker at the age of 15 learning the game from other students while in college. Initially, he took coaching classes and was mentored by pro players allowing him to make a good income by playing in several tournaments. A year ago Agarwal shifted to Goa in order to play more consistently though he still plays online almost every single day.
He said it is actually very easy for Indians to play online and deposits can be made for real money poker games through a variety of means including credit card, net banking as well as e-wallets.