Poker has seen an incredible growth purely in the number of players who play the game everyday in our country. It’s been a long time coming but we truly believe that poker is becoming a phenomenon and rightly so. In 2019, we saw an incredible amount of live poker events. Coined as the ‘golden age’ of poker by many, Goa city in 2019 was the place to be for any poker player. From two of the most popular live poker series, India Poker Championship (IPC) and Baazi Poker Tour (BPT) making a comeback to Poker Sports League (PSL) announcing its third season, the domestic circuit certainly had a lot of cheer about in 2019.
Nevertheless, the poker industry has had to face a lot of adversity with the delays in the much awaited casino policy. The desire to dominate the competitive field, industry leaders kept the action alive on the live felts which allowed players to keep coming back to play poker. Many of the regulars also chose to find a house and permanently shift to the coastal state in order to be closer to the action!
Let’s take a look at the major events that took place in 2019 and made it a year to remember for the Indian Poker Community!
1. India Poker Championship (IPC) returned after 3 years!
IPC announced in July 2019 that they’ll be coming back to the live scene with another series after a 3 year long hiatus! The series was hosted by Big Daddy Casino from 11th-15th September.
The series started off with a banger, the ₹10k Freezeout event, which collected a prize pool of ₹43.70 Lakh! The tournament received a total of 437 entries, the highest ever for an IPC event!
The ₹35k Main Event was the star attraction of the event. The tournament received an incredible 777 entries through 2 starting flights. The Main Event obliterated the 697-entry record established by the 2018 WPT India Main Event and collected ₹2.65 Crores in the prize pool. The tournament broke another record as this became the 2nd highest prize pool ever to be collected for a live event.
Also Read: MEN BEHIND IPC
2. Baazi Poker Tour (BPT) 2019
After almost being gone for 3 years, the Baazi Poker Tour was announced in July 2019, a month after PokerBaazi announced their collaboration with Casino Pride 2 to launch the PokerBaazi LIVE Poker Room. The BPT was announced from 9th -14th October!
PokerBaazi has always been a player friendly base as their TDS policy lets players participate without worrying about losing half their winnings in taxes.
BPT also announced a January 2020 return and an online version for 2 days with an overall guaranteed prize pool of ₹7 Crore!
The Deltin Royale is one of the most iconic floating casinos in the country and has played host to two of the most prominent events in the country – Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) and World Poker Tour (WPT).
The DPT February Edition (February 7 to 11) was a very successful event, after which the brand went on to conduct the second edition of DPT Xpress from March 14th to 17th. After DPT wrapped up its Colossus Super High Rollers (SHR) series in May, the next edition of the DPT Xpress was announced, with a change of location.
The first two editions of the DPT were played out in the Casino Deltin Denzong in Sikkim. The first edition was a huge success whereas the second edition received an unexpected decline in the total number of entries. This resulted in changing the location for the third edition back to Goa, this time in the Deltin JAQK.
The World Poker Tour came to India with all its prestige back in 2017. There was no doubt that it would be a massive success. However the 2018 version was the one which is talked about even till this day. The 2018 WPT Main Event still holds the distinction of being the biggest tournament in the country with a record-breaking prize pool collection of ₹3.62 Crore!
Last year, WPT hosted their 3rd edition from 15th-21st October, however, due to the fact that the event was scheduled so closely after IPC and BPT, the event didn’t receive a whole lot of entries.
Must Read: TOP FOUR EXCLUSIVE POKER INTERVIEWS OF 2019
The live poker scene in the country has significantly been increasing over the last few years. These events have helped grow the industry and make India a desirable destination for international players to come and play in our casinos as well.