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It`s a great time to be an MTT poker player in the country as back-to-back announcements of live stops promise to revive the dormant state of live tournaments in Goa! The latest news was one that the poker community was already expecting with PokerBaazi announcing the return of its flagship Baazi Poker Tour (BPT) live poker series.
The live tour that was conceptualized by PokerBaazi CEO Navkiran Singh and former PokerBaazi Team Pro Jasven Saigal in 2016 has been on a sabbatical since its inaugural edition three years ago. BPT will be returning for its second run from October 9-14 at the PokerBaazi LIVE poker room onboard Casino Pride 2 in Goa. While the schedule for the series is yet to be unveiled, the brand has already finalized a player-friendly TDS policy of deductions only on net winnings – presently the only brand offering such an incentive. That’s not all, as PokerBaazi has also indicated that players will be able to buy-in and cashout for the series through the online site – another significant incentive given the fact that PokerBaazi does not deduct TDS on withdrawals up to ₹10,000 per day.
The build-up to this announcement has come alongside significant changes in the industry, something that could have a lasting impact on the future of the mind sport in the country. PokerBaazi had only a month ago formalized its collaboration with Casino Pride 2 and the casino’s poker room operator Madhav “Maddy” Gupta. This announcement was followed by the brand bringing in well-known names like Vikram Kumar, Rohan Dhawan, and Nikhil Jain as partners in the joint venture.
The coastal state at present boasts of three major poker venues all backed by leading online operators, and each looking to outdo the other both online and live. While the season-ending DPT series kicks off later this week (July 31 – August 5), IPC only days ago announced the return of its IPC live series (September 11-15). In what was most likely a scheduling conflict, the only viable slot to fit in the BPT before the year-end busy season in Goa was just before the WPT India series (October 15-21). With these dates, PokerBaazi has incentivized circuit regulars to fly in for an extended trip clubbing the two stops BPT and WPT India.
The cutthroat competition that is now imminent augers well for poker audiences and the first of hopefully many positives in the future is the new player-friendly TDS policy for BPT that could very soon become an industry standard.
Talking about the upcoming series, longtime Casino Pride poker operator Madhav Gupta said, “We want to continue to push for tourneys in India. Casino Pride had always been at the forefront in terms of favorable TDS terms of players. Pride Poker Room pioneered the idea for net tax and hope to push that through with BPT as well. Happy to see the revival of a player-friendly brand and look forward to great things. Incomes from games of skill like poker should be taxed on net overall winnings, and that’s what we have always tried to do in order that the players benefit.”
Hinting at an attractive schedule, PokerBaazi LIVE partner Vikram Kumar added, “The full schedule will be announced over the next few days, and the headline event will, as usual, be the crazy guarantee Main Event. I don’t want to break the suspense on it as yet..there will be a High Roller and pretty much something for everyone to participate. Online satellites will be on PokerBaazi.”
The news of BPT`s return was much celebrated in the poker circles with old-timers hailing this as the return of the “Golden Era” of poker tournament in Goa. Social media, as expected, was flooded with player reactions.
Seasoned pro Romit Advani shared his excitement for the series and wrote, “Great news Navkiran Singh, Jasven Saigal, Madhav Gupta, Vikram Kumar and team! Eagerly looking forward and expecting only the best! Gl!”
The first-ever Game Changer winner Prashanth Sekar applauded the TDS policy saying, “Nice work Navkiran Singh and team… Especially with the TDS thingy… Much needed rn in live scene…. See you all there.”
Old-timer Rajeev Raut echoed the same sentiments when he said, “Goa is gonna have the old Glory Days again…. Awesome.”
Another circuit regular Vinay BK was all praises for the PokerBaazi team and wrote, “Baazi has been a trendsetter in more ways than one in the online poker space in India like the rewards programme, sick rakebacks, excellent tds policy , best customer care and many other platforms tried following suit , and i believe baazi LIvE with its new tds policy that is being planned and its unparralled hospitality will given a huge boost to the LIvE poker scene! Super excited and looking forward! Cheers!”
Goa regular Zubin Panthaki also chimed in, “Great News. Looking forward to the Live Games in Goa reviving, thanks to you guys.”
Keep following PokerGuru for the latest updates on Baazi Poker Tour!