Pune: The India Poker Championship (IPC) ended on Sunday, as over 2,000 participants tried their luck at Big Daddy Casino in Panjim for over Rs 6 crore prize money. However, the main attraction of the finale was the presence of Dan Bilzerian, a renowned poker player himself and Instagram King, who has over 28 million followers.
IPC was organised by Spartan Poker, which was India’s leading digital gaming platform for Poker aficionados. It was a five-day event, which included freeze-out, high roller, headhunter and the finale. Players from Goa, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Chandigarh and Hyderabad participated in the championship. The well-known faces, who attended the event, were actor, television personality and VJ Rannvijay Singha, who was also the brand ambassador of Spartan Poker, Bollywood actors Minissha Lamba, Kunal Khemu among others.
While speaking with Sakal Times, Amin Rozani, CEO of Spartan Poker, said that IPC was organised this year after a gap of three years. It was last held in February 2016. However, this did not affect the response he got from the players.
“We were excited and nervous at the same time for the event. However, we received a tremendous response from the players across the country and we are very happy about it. In a country like India, where people consider a game like poker a taboo, we are trying to bring this game to the mainstream so people would look at it as any other normal sport, as it requires equal skills and concentration,” said Amin, who worked for a BPO before getting this idea of staring the online and offline poker game and IPC.
He further said that in other countries, people consider poker as a career option. In India, people’s acceptance is less but the youth today are very much interested in the game and we hope one day poker would also be respected as other sports. We have a lot of players who are also doctors, lawyers, IT professionals and play just for enjoyment.
To add to the thrill of the India Poker Championship, 38-year-old Dan Bilzerian, who is multi-millionaire and known for his flashy lifestyle, made his visit to India. Dan has earned most of his fortune through poker and feels that poker is all about skill and not luck. When asked about the maximum amount he has won and lost while playing poker, Dan said that maximum he won was 12.8 million dollars, while the most he lost was 2.6 million dollars.
Well-known poker players like Aditya Sushant, Raghav Bansal, Nikita Luther, Pranay Chawla, Abhinav Iyer, Siddharth Mundada had participated in the tournament making it a success.