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Businessman and ex-Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra is now focusing to help change the perception of poker in India. Kundra and Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s promoted Viaan Industries Limited, has signed an agreement with Switzerland-based International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) to launch Match Indian Poker League (MIPL). The inaugural league was originally planned for October’17 but the same was recently postponed to November.
IFMP is the international governing body of poker, promoting poker and its Match Poker variation as a skill game and a mind sport.
The inaugural MIPL will feature eight city-based teams owned by various leading businessmen and entertainment figures who would be competing against each other in Match Poker which is a specially devised format of poker by IFMP.
The teams represent eight cities namely Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Pune, Delhi, Goa, Kolkata and Mumbai. While the players will be selected based on their skill based ranking, performances will be assessed while playing against a Poker Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot, Albi using the Match Poker app.
The finale will take place in Mumbai on November 17 – 18 which will see players playing 100 hands per day. The winning team to emerge on November 18 will represent Team India in the Match Poker World Cup along with taking home massive cash prizes.
It’s certainly exciting times for Indian poker and the chairman Raj Kundra himself is extremely confident about the product and league concept. He said, “This is an ideal opportunity to put India on the global poker map. The winning team here will play as Team India at the Match Poker World Cup by International Federation of Poker. Through Match IPL we want to change the perception that Poker is just gaming and gambling.”
How Does It Work?
Match Poker was devised to reduce the element of luck inherent in traditional forms of poker, ensuring that it is a contest based on players’ skill and conforms to the accepted definition of a sport. Match Poker is a team sport incorporating regular Texas Hold’em (albeit typically with a pot-limit pre-flop and no-limit post-flop structure).
Each team will have eight players and the league will be contested over two days with 100 hands dealt digitally each day.
1. All players will start with an equal amount of chips and receive their cards on a digital device.
2. The same cards will be dealt at all tables (hole cards and community cards). This means that every player in each seat on every table will be dealt identical cards.
3. Each team’s combined chips will be compared after every hand and points will be allocated accordingly. The stacks will then reset and the next hand will begin.
All action is recorded electronically, thus enabling Real Time Automated Scoring, Animated Replay & Detailed Analysis.
IFMP Match Poker Basics
How to Qualify?
1) Download Match Poker and sign-up.
2) Select your favorite club out of the eight city based Indian teams.
3) Play a minimum of 1,000 rated hands against Albi and you will find yourself in the Gold Club.
Register with the International Federation of Poker for a lifetime membership and get access to play directly in the Gold Club.
4) The most skillful players in the Gold Club will be eligible for team selection and will be drafted as per the discretion of the team owners for the Grand Finale.
5) Win the Match IPL tournament & represent Team India in the Match Poker World Cup.
Match IPL will give away total prize money of ₹3 crores with the winning team set to walk away with a cool ₹1.5 crores. The runners up team will pocket ₹1 crore while the third finisher team will bank ₹50 lakhs. The winning team would also be representing India in the Match Poker World Cup and other official International Federation of Poker events!
Meet the Match IPL Team Owners
Viaan Industries has announced that the franchisees have signed a 10-year agreement to purchase the teams by paying ₹50 lakhs as franchisee fees for the first year.
The eight city based teams are Ahmedabad Hearts, Jaipur Jewels, Pune Knights, Kolkata Diamonds, Bangalore Royals, Goa Kings, Delhi Aces and Mumbai All Stars.
Some of the notable owners of the teams include actor and producer Harman Baweja, professional poker player Aditya ‘Bitti’ Agarwal, Park Street Privilege Club owner Shammi Karira, Sachiin Joshi along with promoters of Radico Khaitan and Living Liquidz.
Ahmedabad Hearts – Yatin Gupta (restaurateur, entrepreneur).
Bangalore Royals – Gaurav Kapur (banker, and real estate expert).
Delhi Aces – Abhishek Khaitan (entrepreneur and owner of Radico Khaitan Ltd); Rajnish Gupta (businessman); Shantanu Dalmia (Casewell Drilling) & Ankur Sachdeva (alcoholic beverage industry expert).
Jaipur Jewels – Aditya Agarwal (pro poker player) and Praveen Agarwal (banker).
Pune Knights – Amit Bhardwaj (blockchain and cryptocurrency expert and author).
Kolkata Diamonds – Sunny Karira (Park Street Privilege Club, Kolkata’s owner).
Goa Kings – Sachiin Joshi (Chairman of Viking Ventures); Manesh – Moksha Sani– (Founders of Living Liquid) and Sunil – Jeetu Ajbano (entrepreneurs).
Mumbai All Stars – Harman Baweja (Bollywood actor, producer, and entrepreneur).
The 1st Owners Meeting Main Points: 1. Event Date Changed to 17/18th November 2. Compulsory to have minimum One Female player per team. pic.twitter.com/Nd1FB8Amio
— Match IPL (@matchIPL) September 12, 2017
— Match IPL (@matchIPL) October 10, 2017
— Match IPL (@matchIPL) October 4, 2017
Media Partnership With MTV and HT Properties
The grand finale will also be featured on the front page of Hindustan Times Properties covering all the event days and the same will be aired on the popular TV Channel MTV a week following the event. That’s not all, as MTV channel will promote the event extensively with a strong push for 30 days before the airing date (expected dates: November 25-26 and expected air time: between 7-8p.m.).
Keep following all the updates from Match IPL right here on PokerGuru!