Entrepreneur Raj Kundra redefining poker in India

  • Indian Poker League strives to represent poker in a different light, as a skill game
  • The event, taking place in October, will have support of the mainstream media and corporate entities

The name of Raj Kundra is well known in India. This entrepreneur and sports fanatic have proven time and time again that he’s not afraid to take risks and get involved with new, daring enterprises, and that he’s capable of seeing things to the end.

Now, Kundra has set his eyes on redefining poker in India, in cooperation with the International Federation of Poker (IFP).

Removing the stigma

In India, like in many other countries where poker hasn’t been popularized in the mainstream media, there is a strong stigma about the casino game.

Poker is seen as pure gambling that, many believe, can ruin lives and destroy families. Together with IFP, Kundra hopes to present Match Poker, the game that is based primarily on skill, and help people understand that poker is inherently different from other card games.

This idea should be realized through Match Indian Poker League, the concept that came from IFP and was wholeheartedly accepted by Kundra. Eight different cities will participate in the League, each of them represented by eight players.

The event will take place in October in Mumbai, with 150 hands dealt in the span of two days.

For those not familiar with the concept, Match Poker is similar to bridge tournaments, in a sense that players at all the different tables are dealt exactly the same hands. That way, the influence of luck is minimized, and players skills come to the forefront as those who can win the most or lose the least in the same situations as their counterparts at other tables can prove their poker knowledge.

Putting India on the poker map

Aside from helping remove the stigma and painting poker in a different light, Indian Poker League should also help put the country on the world’s poker map. In an interview for InsideSport, Kundra explained they already have a three-year contract in place with MTV, ensuring television coverage for the event.

A number of Indian celebrities will participate in the IPL event as well, including the likes of Harman Baweja, who is an avid poker player himself, and Rohan Gavaskar.

Thanks to their presence, the TV coverage, and the fact poker is quite popular among the youth in India, Kundra explains the event will receive strong corporate support.

All in all, Match Indian Poker League should really help the advancement of poker in the country. The game has already become quite popular in India, with a number of Indian poker sites opening up, and with the October event, if everything goes as planned, the game will finally reach wide audiences and help explain finer points of poker, hopefully breaking certain misconceptions for good.

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