With the World Series of Poker (WSOP) showing that tournaments are more popular than ever, India’s top sites have got in on the act.
Although the local industry is in a complex spot legally, live events aren’t impossible. With the game legalized in certain regions, operators have been able to offer real money tournaments in the past.
However, with legal battles ongoing, live festivals have taken a backseat over the last three years.
Interest Remains High Despite Uncertainty
Despite a quiet patch, activity has resumed with gusto in 2019. Adda52 was the first to make some noise with its Deltin Poker Tournament.
Held aboard the Deltin Royale, an offshore casino in Goa, the festival attracted 448 players between July 31 and August 5.
Although not as popular as the recent Goliath over in the UK, the $495 main event still generated a prizepool in excess of $180,000. For an emerging market, that level of interest is worthy of note.
Building on this, Indian poker operators PokerBaazi and Spartan Poker have followed suit. The former recently partnered with the Pride Group to offer a new live venue.
Also based on Goa, the Casino Pride 2 cruise ship will host a selection of live cash games and tournaments.
Staying within the waterways surrounding Goa, Spartan Poker is preparing to host the India Poker Championship (IPC). Taking place between September 11 and 15 on the Big Daddy Casino ship, the festival will feature four tournaments.
Topping the bill is a main event that will help take the IPC’s overall guarantee to $424,000.
Indian Poker Benefitting from Industry Upswing
By international standards, the IPC and other events can’t compete in terms of participation or prizepools. Indeed, the recent $1.27 million buy-in Triton London is an example of what’s possible right now.
However, from where it was five years ago, Indian poker has come a long way. While a lot of this recent growth has to do with internal innovations, it’s also a sign of the times.
With poker, specifically live poker, enjoying an upswing at the moment, everyone is benefitting. Even though much of the current interest is focused on countries such as the US and the UK, the impact is far-reaching.
Indian poker operators have picked up on this and that’s led to a surge of live action this summer.
Although the country may still have regulatory issues in certain regions, things on the whole are positive. Indeed, if operators can continue to ride the rush, Indian poker should be thriving by the close of 2019.