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Match IPL lies about poker pros participation, forced to apologise

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The Raj Kundra promoted Match Indian Poker League (Match IPL) is in the news and again for all the wrong reasons. Match IPL, which is promoted by Kundra’s Viaan Industries and Switzerland-based International Federation of Poker (now rechristened as International Federation of Match Poker) had made an erroneous and misleading statement on online news website Pokerguru about the participation of professional poker players like Faraz Jaka, Mustapha Kanit, Luke Schwartz, Vicky Coren, Marsha Waggoner and Kinichi Nakata in its poker league.

Alexandre ‘Alex’ Dreyfus, CEO of Global Poker League (GPL) pointed out Match IPL’s false statement on Twitter yesterday  and said he had checked with at least two poker players, Faraz Jaka and Mustapha Kanit, who denied having any knowledge about Match IPL.

Jaka also took to Twitter to disavow any association with Match IPL.  Jaka added that he did not even have any knowledge about such a poker league happening in India.

Once Match IPL’s lies and misrepresentation had been publicly called out, it had no option but to issue an apology on Twitter. However, the league tried to justify the misrepresentation by saying that it was done by mistake by an unnamed junior person handling communications.  ‘The person who made this error has been pulled up. We are not about pro names we are about creating pro’s!’ added Match IPL’s tweet.

Pokerguru has also removed the statement about participation of the aforementioned poker players from its website.

The false representation made by Match IPL is however not surprising or shocking as this is not the first time that Kundra has misrepresented about celebrity endorsements. In September 2016, Kundra had made a false claim on his website celebritypoker.in that cricketer Shane Warne and Bollywood stars Shahid Kapoor and Minissha Lamba were endorsing his website. Warne also had to clarify on Twitter that he had no association with Kundra’s poker venture.

Interestingly, users of the Match IPL application have also expressed dissatisfaction about the opaque manner in which the selection of players is being conducted. One player, Akash Pritom Saikia rued about how despite playing 11,000 hands, coming on top in the App and paying the annual fees of one thousand rupees to Match IPL, there was no guarantee of his selection in the league.

Jay has researched extensively on gaming laws and has been cited by various media houses and journals as an expert. He has helped leading newspapers in their stories on gaming laws. Jay completed his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree from NUJS, Kolkata in 2015 and is currently based out of Mumbai.