PSL to be telecast on DSport TV channel from 12th-17th June

The second edition of the Poker Sports League (PSL), the team-based poker tournament founded by Adda52 and Dabur scion Amit Burman will be broadcast exclusively on DSport, a premium sports television channel run by Discovery Communications from 12th-17th June from 8 pm (India time) onwards.

PSL uses a ‘RFID chip’ technology to give viewers a first-hand experience of the hands being played at the table as they will be able to see the cards and gauge the moves made by players, making it a very involving and interesting experience.  Apart from the actual gameplay of poker, the show also focuses on entertaining viewers by delving into the backgrounds and life stories of poker players.

With this initiative,the company hopes that poker will now follow the likes of mainstream sports such as Indian Premier League, Indian Super League, I-League, Pro Kabaddi League and many others setting up an identity of its own.

Commenting on this exclusive partnership PSL co-founder Amit Burman said, “The growing interest of people from across the world is a validation of this league – changing the landscape for poker in India. Our country being the country of sport fanatics, poker deserves an equal opportunity to openly build its fan base and have a dedicated property that every poker lover could look up to and dream of being a part of. We are glad to associate with DSport as our telecast partners to make this dream a reality where we will give anybody and everybody interested in poker a chance to experience the game.”

The final event of PSL was held from 9th-13th May, 2018 at the Deltin Royale casino in Goa. Eleven city-based teams competed against one another and a total prize pool of Rs. 4.5 crores was distributed to the winning teams and players. Chess grandmaster Viswanthan Anand was present at the event and is the brand ambassador of the league.


Adda52 Rummy returns with Indian Rummy Challenge, 2018 at Deltin Royale, Goa

Adda52 Rummy proudly announces the return of India’s biggest offline rummy tournament- Indian Rummy Challenge which will be held on 14th and 15th July, 2018. Deltin Royale – the luxurious casino cruise ship in Goa will once again play host to the next edition of this outstanding event.

The total prize pool of the tournament is Rs. 25,00,000 and the 1st winner will receive colossal cash prize worth Rs. 10,00,000.

IRC’s last edition was held as a part of WGF (World Gaming Festival) in December 2017 which proved to be a phenomenal success. The event took place at Deltin Royale and witnessed great participation from well-known professional players as well as amateurs from all over India. The top finisher in the multi-table Main Event was Vikesh Divakaran who amazed opponents and spectators with his level of skills and took home Rs. 10,00,000 as the grand prize.

Divakaran won the Main Event seat by participating in the online satellite tournaments hosted by Adda52 Rummy and knocking out the tough competition. The 2nd finisher was Rajasekhara Reddy who played with great intensity and poise. He exhibited a true fighting spirit and won the 2nd cash prize worth Rs. 5,00,000.

This year, the highly anticipated tournament is again expected to continue the run of success and see a great number of registrations from across the country. It is not just the huge prize money that attracts rummy players to IRC, it is the opportunity to fulfil their dream of showcasing their talent and skills on one of the most popular live gaming platforms in India that drives them to join this wonderful gaming event.

How To Earn Ticket to Indian Rummy Challenge Main Event

Adda52 Rummy is hosting online satellites where players can participate daily and win tickets to the Daily Qualifier tournament. The winners of the Daily Qualifier will get the opportunity to play the IRC Main Event live at Deltin Royale in Goa.

The IRC Main Event package consists of the following:

  • Entry ticket to play IRC Main Event 2018 live at Deltin Royale in Goa.
  • Flight expenses
  • Accommodation in cruise.

Players can join any of the following satellite tournaments to win a spot in the Daily Qualifier tournament:

Super Satellites

Super satellite tournaments are running daily every hour from 9 AM to 7 PM on the website which players can join with just Rs. 100 buy-in. Each tournament will award the top 2 finishers the ticket to Daily Qualifier.

Turbo Satellites

Turbo satellites are running daily on the website in every 30 minutes (from 9:15 AM to 7:15 PM) where players can participate with just Rs. 30. The top 2 winners of each tournament will get tickets to Daily Qualifier.

Winners of Super Satellites and Turbo Satellites will get the chance to play Daily Qualifier tournament which is happening at 9:30 PM every day on the website. Everyday top 2 finishers will get the ticket to IRC Main Event.

For players who want to join Daily Qualifier without playing satellites, direct entry option is available and they can register themselves for Daily Qualifier with Rs. 2500 entry fees.

The website is providing 2 tickets to IRC Main event on weekdays and 3 tickets on weekends.

Terms and Conditions for the IRC Main Event Satellites:

  1. Every individual player is eligible to get only one ticket to the IRC Main Event.
  2. Adda52 Rummy’s terms and conditions will override the terms and conditions of IRC satellite promotion.
  3. The dates of the satellites and the final event are subject to change without prior notice.
  4. Decision of the management is final and binding in case of any disputes related to distribution of tickets .
  5. Players who qualify through satellite promotions to IRC Main Event give their consent that their real name, alias name, images, Quotes and amount won can be used for online and offline promotions of all properties of Adda52 Rummy.

So, do you have what it takes to become a champion at the IRC tournament? Do you consider yourself a proficient player who never collapses under the pressure of the game?

If yes, then this is the perfect chance to put your rummy skills to the test. Register yourself on Adda52 Rummy to display your talent in this spectacular event and steal the cash prize along with the title of IRC Champion.

Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored post and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the authors of this website. Readers may treat this as an advertorial. 

Legal & Regulatory

Senior Goa minister in favour of legalising matka gambling

Goa Law Minister and one of the seniormost leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state, Francis D’Souza, supported the idea of legalisation of matka gambling in the state, as per media reports.

“I feel legalising matka is one of the options and it has to be tried since we can’t end the problem,” said D’Souza according to news reports.

He also remarked that if gambling is allowed on a big scale in Goa in the form of casinos then even matka (a form of lottery) should be allowed.

D’Souza added that since gambling and betting is a state subject, the Goa government can enact a law on the subject without waiting for any law or directions from the centre. He further stated that there should be a solution to the matka gambling problem in the state.

“Matka happens everywhere. Do you hear of police conducting searches anywhere?” he asked.

The Goa government had formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe matka gambling in the state based on an order from the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court, following a petition by social activist Kashinath Shetye.

It is however believed that the SIT probe has slowly lost momentum after initial searches and raids by the authorities.


Goan Nuts win PSL Season 2 finals, Gujarat Falcons finish runners up

Amit Burman and Adda52 promoted Poker Sports League (PSL) hosted the grand finale of the second season of the league from 9th-13th May at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa.

After a rigorous five-day event where 11 city-based teams competed against one another in different formats of the game of poker, the Goan Nuts emerged as the winner and took home Rs. 2 crores as prize money.

The Gujarat Falcons team emerged as the runner-up winning Rs. 1.2 crores while the Rajasthan Tilters team came as the second runner-up with a prize amount of Rs. 90 lakhs. A total prize pool of Rs. 4.5 crores was distributed to the winners at a ceremony held at the Deltin Suites Hotel yesterday.

Commenting on the conclusion of Season 2 of PSL, Amit Burman, co-founder of PSL said, “This season has raised the bar extensively and the game today was a proof that poker is here to stay. We are mere facilitators to give this sport the status that it deserves and establish it as a game of skill, by providing this platform to poker veterans across the globe. I congratulate each of the participating teams who fought hard to get the title and put up a brilliant show here in Goa to culminate Season 2. “

Chess grandmaster Viswanthan Anand, who is also PSL’s brand ambassador and was present for the final event said, “I would like to congratulate the winning team and all the other teams for being such a sport. Today we witnessed some amazing match where we saw the tables turning with Goan Nuts taking away the glory at the last minute by beating the rest of the teams. “

 The team owners of Goan Nuts said in a statement, “It gives us immense pleasure to take away the trophy and the prize money home. Our team has worked very hard to earn this title and hopefully will accomplish it every year from now on. We are very grateful to our team captain Dhaval Mudgal who made this dream a reality.”

The final event will be broadcast on the Discovery Sports (DSport) television channel from 11th-17th June, 2018.

Legal & Regulatory

Casino Strike gets interim relief from Bombay HC; allowed to resume operations on payment of Rs. 10 crores

The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court allowed Goan Hotels and Realty Pvt. Ltd., the company that operates Casino Strike in Grand Hyatt hotel, to resume operations on payment of a partial amount of Rs. 10 crores, in lieu of its license fee liability.  The High Court’s relief comes just one day after the government forced the casino to shutter operations for failure to pay the hiked license fees within the deadline and grace period.

Justice MS Sonak, who urgently heard the matter based on the company’s plea, noted that the company had made an application to reduce its area from the existing 1013 square metres to around 300 square metres, based on which its license fee liability for financial year 2018-19 would reduce from Rs. 40 crores to around Rs. 20 crores.

Justice Sonak also noted the state government’s response that the application for reduction of area is pending consideration and an appropriate decision is expected to be taken in around one week.

Based on the casino operator’s plea that it was ready to pay a partial amount of Rs. 10 crores immediately, to show its bona fides, the court asked the state government to issue a challan for payment of Rs. 10 crores.

The court also stated that if Casino Strike’s application for reduction of area is accepted by the government, then the balance amount of around Rs. 10 crores or thereabouts should be paid by the casino operator within three weeks of receipt of such communication.

The bench also stated that Casino Strike could resume operations once it pays the partial amount of Rs. 10 crores. After granting this partial interim relief, the High Court tagged the petition with Gopal Kanda’s Golden Globe Hotel’s (Big Daddy Casino’s) pending writ petition which also challenges the government’s decision to drastically hike license fees.

Both Casino Strike and Casino Big Daddy’s petitions are now scheduled to come up for hearing on 6th June, 2018.

Business Gaming

License fee hike impact: 2 onshore Goa casinos shut shop, 1 more forced to shut down

Weeks after the Goa government drastically hiked recurring annual license fees payable by onshore and offshore casinos by almost 400%, at least three onshore casinos have shut down operations, citing inability to pay the increased levies.

The Crown Casino in  Hotel Crown and Carnival Casino in Marriott Hotel shut down operations last month due to the almost four fold increase in license fees, which has been described by the industry as harsh and draconian.

Further, the state government also shut down Casino Strike in Grand Hyatt Hotel yesterday after the company that operated the gaming house failed to pay the annual license fees within the deadline. Incidentally, Strike Casino was the biggest onshore casino in Goa until its closure.

As per news reports, the Strike Casino management failed to pay the revised license fees even within the extended deadline period of 8th May, after which the government was compelled to shut down the casino. News reports indicate that so far, five offshore and seven onshore casinos have paid the revised license fees.

One of the offshore casino operators, Gopal Kanda-backed Golden Globe Hotels Pvt. Ltd. (the company that operates the recently opened Big Daddy casino) has approached the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court seeking relaxation in the license fees and permission to pay the license fees in installments.

A division bench of Justices Prithviraj Chavan and NM Jamdar declined to grant interim relief to the company but noted that the petitioner could approach the vacation court for appropriate relief if a show cause notice is issued to it. The court has now posted the matter for hearing on 6th June.

Earlier, a bunch of casino operators had made a representation to the state government seeking reduction in the license fee hike but government officials had refused to concede to their demands.

The increase in license fee and closure of few casinos may result in consolidation of the gaming industry in the state and only a few operators may be able to survive and flourish.


Feature: The Spartan Poker MD Amin Rozani speaks about the growth of his brand, pending litigation, acquisition strategy and more

Amin Rozani has been one of the most well known and important persons in the poker industry in India. The Spartan Poker Managing Director has always been in the news for aggressively promoting the game of poker. In this no holds barred exclusive interview, Rozani opens up various issues concerning The Spartan Poker and the industry in general.

From the growth of poker to his journey over the past few years and dispute with his former partner and Pokerguru founder Rajat Agarwal, to the rumoured acquisition of FTR Poker, Rozani directly answered various questions posed to him.

Full interview:

Q. You have been associated with the game of poker for over a decade, first as a player, then as an offline operator (as part of the poker room in Deltin Royale and India Poker Championship tournament) and now as promoter of an online poker website, The Spartan Poker. Can you tell us why and how you decided to get into playing poker and subsequently into the business of poker?

Amin Rozani (AR): Poker is quite a challenging game and because it is numbers and logic driven, that appeals to my statistically-inclined nature. A visit to the then Casino Royale poker room in Goa introduced me to the game. Shortly thereafter a trip to Macau allowed me to see just how popular this game was in the Asian region and that it was a viable business model which could find its own space in India. This was a key takeaway for me on that trip.

On my return, I decided to explore the business side of the game and over time was involved in various poker clubs across the city. A couple of years later an opportunity arose to lead operations at the Deltin Royale poker room along with my partners Sameer Rattonsey and Rajeev Kanjani. It was a solid run for us handling the room and running the India Poker Championship tournament series through that time which had several record breaking editions.

By the time we decided to move on from Goa, it was time to focus on another of our projects in the online poker space which was The Spartan Poker. The last couple of years with Spartan have been challenging and rewarding as well. It is heartening to see our brand’s contribution to the overall growth of the poker industry in the country.

Q. How was the idea of starting Spartan Poker conceived? Why did you decide to venture into online poker?

AR: We always knew that we would get into the online side of things. It is a natural progression for anyone who wishes to be a part of the poker industry. Spartan was already in the works while we were managing the poker room in Goa and once we exited Goa, our full energies were focused on growing the brand and providing the best value and gaming experience to our players.

Q. There has been lot of acrimony with your former partner of Spartan Poker, Rajat Agarwal and his associates. Litigation is pending in various fora including the Calcutta High Court and trademark registry etc. Can you tell us the progress in the litigations? Would it not be better if both sides bury the hatchet and settle the matter amicably and out-of-court?

AR: Our corporate legal team is constantly working on any litigations that may come along our way and they have been guiding us on any offence, defence or settlement strategies and we completely rely on their opinions and this has always worked well for us.

Q. The Spartan Poker has emerged as one of the leading poker websites in the country. Can you share some details such as the growth rate, revenues and number of users etc. of The Spartan Poker?

AR: The Spartan Pokers growth has been quite co-related to the growth of poker in India and we shall continue to strive to give best services to our customers. Our tournament guarantees, and registrations have grown close to 3 times since last year and we intend to do better this year.

Q. Recently, the India Poker Championship (IPC) and The Spartan team took over the poker room at the Big Daddy casino in Goa. Why did you decide to get into live poker once again?

AR: As poker players and businessmen, we are always on the lookout for additional opportunities to grow our brands and expand the growth of the sport in the country. IPC is a brand which is dear to all of us and there are similar sentiments among Indian players, many of whom had their first taste of live tournament poker at one of our events. On the face of it, the IPC is a tournament series but in our minds it is more than that. This is an opportunity for players from every strata across the country to gather at a premier poker event to play, socialize and network with their peers. I think that it is a fantastic platform we provide and our new association with the Big Daddy casino allows to do this once again.

Q. Will there be The Spartan Poker tournaments conducted in the Big Daddy casino? Can you tell us more about what is in store in the near future as far as the Big Daddy casino is concerned?

AR: It is a bit too early to comment since it has been barely 3 weeks since we took over the poker room management. We do intend to provide a full suite of gaming options from cash games to tournaments in the new venue and are working on finalizing various plans regarding the immediate future of events/promotions to be held in the poker room. Safe to say, we have always tried to ensure that players visiting us return with a great experience and keep coming back for more. Enhancing player experience has always been the goal and will continue to be so.

Q. Many poker leagues have started in India in the past couple of years. The Spartan Poker has also been a sponsor of one of the teams in Match Indian Poker League. Any plans of starting a poker league or participating in any of the existing ones?

AR: We obviously wish to be involved in every aspect of the poker industry and that was one of the reasons we decided to sponsor the UP Indians team at the MIPL. At the moment there are no plans to get into the league space but we are always open to creating or being part of something which makes sense for all our brands.

Q. There has been lot of talk about FTR Poker being acquired by The Spartan Poker. Can you confirm whether this news is true and the details?

AR: We are always looking to explore new products like league, casino, rummy and getting new sites added to the Spartan network. Our encounter with the FTR team has been very positive and if everything goes well, we shall soon be able to add a new brand to the collection.

Q. Finally, any parting thoughts on how you see the online poker scenario in India emerging/

AR: I keep telling people, “Good things are happening in Poker!” and there is a ton of truth in this statement. From live poker to online to poker leagues, the game is growing every day. When we began down this path almost a decade ago, we couldn’t have envisioned the explosive growth the industry has had especially in the past couple of years.

Online poker has been the driver for much of this and will continue to be so purely from the sheer convenience and value that it imparts to players. It will be difficult for new brands to foray into the domestic market and at the same time, the bigger brands will have to be on their toes to ensure their lead.

All in all such competition will only serve to better us all as service providers and promote this fantastic sport in this country. I truly believe India will be one of the powerhouses of the game in the not too distant future.


Big Daddy (Maharaja) Casino’s poker room taken over by The Spartan Poker team

Exclusive The Spartan Poker team led by Managing Director Amin Rozani and his brother Vasim have taken over the poker room at the recently restarted Big Daddy Casino in Goa’s Mandovi River.

While the terms of engagement between the Big Daddy casino management and The Spartan Poker are not fully clear, it is understood that there will be cross branding and synergies between the two companies. Notably, The Spartan Poker is already conducting promotional activities of Big Daddy on its website and is offering packages to the offshore casino to the winners of its online tournaments.

Confirming the development, The Spartan Poker Managing Director Amin Rozani said, “I am exited at the return of the Indian Poker Championship (IPC) Team in Goa. Player experience remains the top priority for us and our partners in the Big Daddy casino management. We are looking forward to doing bigger and better things with the IPC in the coming months. Vasim Rozani will be stationed in Panjim for on ground execution.”

Rozani along with his partners Sameer Rattonsey and Rajeev Kanjani (who are part of IPC) were earlier operating the poker room in the Deltin Royale casino in 2016, but exited the venture after negotiations of extending the arrangement with Delta Corp failed.

Big Daddy Casino, which is operated by Haryana politician Gopal Kanda’s Golden Globe Hotels Private Limited had earlier been in the news for all the wrong reasons. After being denied permission to revive their offshore casino license which was active until 2011, the company had approached the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court in 2016 and offered to pay all pending dues and fines totaling to over Rs. 45 crores.

Kanda’s original MV Lucky Seven vessel had courted major controversy and caused environmental damage after it ran aground in the Miramar beach in July this year. After the MV Lucky Seven vessel was found unsuitable, the company in December last year signed a deal with Haryana Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group’s casino vessel MV San Domino.

Essel Group has been trying to start an offshore casino named ‘Casino Maharaja’ in Goa for the past nine years without much success and its vessel had been lying defunct and inactive in the Mandovi river until it was leased to Golden Globe Hotels.


RummyCircle to host first offline rummy tournament at Lalit Hotel Goa

Online rummy website RummyCircle has announced a new ‘Grand Rummy Championship’ between 18th-20th May, 2018 at The Lalit Golf and Spa Resort in Goa.

This is the first offline tournament ever to be hosted by RummyCircle, the country’s largest rummy website by revenues. The Grand rummy tournament entails a guaranteed prize pool of Rs. 70 lakhs.

The top 204 rummy players who enter the online qualifiers on RummyCircle with an entry fee ranging from Rs. 500-6,000 will be eligible to participate in the Grand Rummy Championship and will also receive an all-expense paid trip to Goa.

While the winner of the tournament is eligible to receive a cash prize of Rs. 20 lakhs, all other finalists will also be assured of some cash prizes. The company has also stated that there will be several entertainment performances and a grand party for the finalists.

Commenting on the launch of the Grand Rummy Championship, RummyCircle co-founder and co-CEO Bhavin Pandya said, “Rummy is one of the most loved Indian card games and over the last nine years, we have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the online rummy community. The Grand Rummy Championship will bring together rummy players from all over India on a shared platform for the first time – all to celebrate our common love for the game.”

Sachin Uppal, Chief Marketing Officer of RummyCircle added, “The Grand Rummy Championship is the first of its kind in India. As the largest community of online rummy players in the country, we wanted to crown the best of the best – the finest rummy player in the country. The scenic Lalit Golf & Spa Resort in Goa is a fantastic and fitting backdrop for the maiden entry of this tournament. Our hope is that going forward this event becomes the most awaited mark in a rummy player’s calendar.”

While online poker websites This is perhaps the first time that an online rummy website is organising a large scale offline rummy event in India and that too in a non-casino location. Few years ago, Essel Group had organised the World Rummy Tournament (WRT) finals on a cruise ship in Malaysia and Thailand.


Chris Gayle to be the brand ambassador of DPT Colossus high roller poker tournament

Leading online poker website Adda52 has announced that star cricketer Chris Gayle will be the brand ambassador for the super high roller Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) Colossus that will be held at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa from 26th-29th April, 2018.

It is understood that Gayle will promote the DPT Colossus event and will also play the Rs. 2 lakh buy-in at Deltin Royale on 27th April.

The Caribbean superstar, who has played over 400 international games for West Indies and is currently representing Kings XI Punjab team in the Indian Premier League (IPL), is known to be an avid poker player and has played poker at various casinos.

Expressing excitement at Gayle’s presence in DPT, Anuj Gupta, CEO and founder of Adda52 noted, “We are very happy to have Chris Gayle playing the DPT Colossus in Goa. Can’t wait to see who knocks him out!”

Challenging participants to beat him in the tournament, Gayle commented, “The storm hits DPT Colossus in Goa! Am I seeing you at DPT Colossus?”

DPT is the bi-monthly poker tournament hosted by Delta Corp and Adda52 at the Deltin Royale casino in Goa. The DPT Colossus is a special high roller tournament that will have an estimated prize pool of over Rs. 2 crores. Five separate events will be hosted during the four day period, where players can participate in any or all of the tournament, which have buy-ins ranging from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 2 lakhs.