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India’s first ever Poker Sports League is ready for Season 1

Utkarsh Bhatla

New Delhi, February 14, 2017: India’s first ever professional poker tournament league ‘Poker Sports League’ announced the final teams and owners for the inaugural edition today. Brainchild of Amit Burman, Anuj Gupta and Pranav Bagai, the Poker Sports League will focus on intellectual and mind challenges to popularize Poker. In the first edition, Poker Sports League (PSL) will consist of 12 teams out of which 7 teams were announced in December.

Joining the owners who had bought teams last year are Aditya Munjal, Hero Cycles Group; Jitendra Gupta, Co-founder, Citrus payment; Manish Vij, Founder & CEO at Smile Group; Mithun Sacheti, Co-Founder at CaratLane; Rishabh Jhunjhunwala, Director at Bhilwara Group.

Speaking about the potential of the League, Mr. Pranav Bagai, CEO and Co-Founder, Poker Sports League said, “We are super excited with the response that we have received for the first season of Poker Sports League. Our main mission is to sportify poker as a powerful platform to hone and showcase mind, grit and decision making skills. Although its a card game and there is an element of luck – the majority of the game depends on probability and discipline. We look forward to a good season and hope to encourage more people to take up poker as a progressive mind sport. I would like to thank Amit Burman, for his vision and foresight & Anuj Gupta, for spending endless hours guiding and mentoring me – to make this poker dream a reality.”

All the selected teams and players will compete against each other in a grand finale in Goa from May 24 – May 28. The 12 teams will consist of a total of 108 players who will play for the prize money of INR 3.36 crore. Each team will consist of 9 players (1 mentor/captain, 2 pro players, 2 from free live qualifiers, 2 from free online qualifiers, 2 wild card entries).

Poker enthusiasts from across India can qualify to be a part of one of the 12 teams – by showcasing their skill in free offline (live) and/or online qualifiers. The live qualifier schedule for February has already been announced for Ahmedabad, Bangalore & Calcutta. The schedule for live qualifiers in Goa, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai will be announced shortly.

Poker players have a chance to qualify for PSL from the comforts of their home by playing the online qualifiers on – India’s largest poker website. Players can claim 24 free qualifier tickets on to play different online events on until end of April for a chance to be a part of one of these 12 teams.

Poker Sports League finale will be the first event in India that will have an RFID table that makes the player’s hole cards visible to the audience. During the finals, this will be the “feature table” that will be live streamed from May 24th – 28th, 2017 through digital channels.

Kunal Shah, Co-founder, Freecharge on his association with Poker Sports League said, “Excited to be owning the Bangalore Poker team as Bangalore probably has the best Poker talent in India. Poker is closest when it comes to the joy of starting something up. It’s a combination of intellect and risk taking – that’s what makes both (start-up and poker) of them tick.”

The final names of the 12 teams are – Bengaluru Jokers, Chennai Bulls, Delhi Panthers, Goan Nuts, Gujarat Acers, Haryana Hunters, Hyderabad Kings, Kolkata Royals, Mumbai Anchors, Pune Sharks, Punjab Bluffers, and Rajasthan Tilters. Each team will comprise of 9 players and a mentor that will captain them to help develop team strategies and hone their skills during the game.

Final list of teams and their owners (In alphabetical order):

  1. BENGALURU JOKERS: Kunal Shah (Co – Founder, FreeCharge)
  2. CHENNAI BULLS: Girish Mathrubootham (Co-Founder, FreshDesk); Mithun Sacheti (Co-Founder, CaratLane)
  3. DELHI PANTHERS: Rishi Kajaria of Kajaria Ceramics; Ruchirans Jaipuria of Jaipuria Group; Abhishek Jain of Leela Jewels ; Gaurav Goel of Dhampur Sugar
  4. GOAN NUTS: Gaurav Mohan of Eventwala
  5. GUJRAT ACERS: Harish Bahl of Smile Group; Manish Vij of Smile Group; Mukesh Agarwal of VITWO LLP
  6. HARYANA HUNTERS: Amrish Rau (Co-Founder, Citrus Payment) ; Jitendra Gupta (Co-Founder, Citrus Payment)
  7. HYDERABAD KINGS: Amit Shah of IIFL-Wealth; Karan Bhagat of IIFL-Wealth; Yatin Shah of IIFL-Wealth
  8. KOLKATA ROYALS: Ankkit Bhadur of Playboy North; Taarun V Jain of Legend Group
  9. MUMBAI ANCHORS: Mehul Shah – Original Promoter of Anchor Electrical
  10. PUNE SHARKS: Rishabh Jhunjhunwala from Bhilwara Group; Shamit Khemka from Synapse India; Chetan Kajaria from Kajaria Ceramics; Sachin Goel
  11. PUNJAB BLUFFERS: Aditya Munjal from Hero Cycles Group; Arjun Jain from White Fox, Shiva Vig from Anika International
  12. RAJASTHAN TILTERS: Purrshottam Bhaggeria from Filatex Group

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