Poker Sports League announces Season 3 with Rs. 4 crore prize money

Dabur scion Amit Burman and Adda52 promoted Poker Sports League (PSL) has announced the launch of Season 3 of the league that will be held from November 2019-March 2020. The league will have a total prizepool of Rs. 4 crores, as per the organisers.

According to the company’s press release, the free to enter online qualifiers for the event will be powered by Adda52 and held from November 2019-February 2020.

Physical qualifiers for the main event are also set to be held across four major cities in India – New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Founder of PSL, Amit Burman has also vouched to invest an additional US$ 2 million in the league to scale up the event.

Commenting on the announcement of Season 3, Burman noted, “The Poker Sports League is a pioneer in the world of poker where current and potential poker players from across the globe come together on a unified platform, and have the chance to actually enjoy the beauty of a mind-skill sport.

Owing to the tremendous response and popularity of the first two seasons, we are delighted to launch the third season of the Poker Sports League which will see much larger spends on our part compared to previous editions. With a total prize-pool of over INR 4 crores, both amateur and professional poker players will have the opportunity to showcase their skills to win big, and at the same time, learn to play responsibly with the introduction of a first-of-its-kind coaching system which will guide the players.”

CEO and co-founder of PSL, Pranav Bagai added, “With the launch of the third season of the Poker Sports League, we aim to bring a bigger and better platform for poker players. With an increase in the number of members per team, we want to provide amateur players with the opportunity to learn, enjoy and succeed with the use of their mind and skills.

The league has received a great response, not just from India, but from people across the globe, and it gives me great joy that we are also going to be the only company in India to produce poker shows in our state-of-the-art production studios in Goa.”

The second season of PSL was held onboard the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa in May 2018, with the Goan Nuts winning the league and Rs. 2 crore prize money. Total prize money of Rs. 4.5 crores was distributed in Season 2 of the league.

The promoters of PSL have announced the third edition after a 16 month hiatus.


11Wickets withdraws sponsorship from PSL in wake of recent Pulwama attack

Kolkata based 11Wickets, the fastest growing fantasy cricket platform of India, has pulled out from the sponsorship of Pakistan Super League. This has been decided in the wake of Pulwama terror attacks. The decision has been taken after the massive reaction over the terror attacks in the Pulwama district of South Kashmir on Thursday.

11Wickets, which operates as a flagship brand of Ability Games Private Limited, was to co-present for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 2019 tournament on DSport television channel.

On Thursday, 14th February, 45 CRPF paramilitary troopers were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama. Many others are battling for their lives following what is being regarded as the deadliest terrorist attack in three decades at Jammu and Kashmir.

“The incident is deeply regrettable. Due to the unfortunate events last week which resulted in the death of our beloved soldiers, with immediate effect, 11Wickets is pulling out as the co-partner of PSL on DSport,” said Navneet Makharia, the founder and CEO of 11Wickets.

The fourth season of Pakistan Super League has kicked off already from 14th February and it was the same day on which a JeM terrorist has rammed a vehicle carrying explosives to the bus taking CRPF personnels in Pulwama district.

The popular domestic T20 league of Pakistan was founded in 2015 and the first season kicked off in 2016. The six PSL teams are playing against each other in 34 matches. United Arab Emirates & Pakistan is hosting the matches from 14th February-17th March, 2019.

Before sponsoring PSL, 11Wickets has previously been the title sponsor for Nangarhar Leopards, one of the teams of Afghanistan Premier League 2018. It has also co-sponsored T20 cricket tournament series Mzansi Super League 2018 and the Bangladesh Premier League 2018-2019.

In a nation where the population counts in billions, cricket is more than just a sport. The sense of unity and joy that cricket builds is unlike any other activity in the nation. With 11Wickets, this sense of unity and joy increases as the platform continuously works on giving the best to the fans and the nation.

Disclaimer: This article 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. 


Dream11, other fantasy sport operators stop offering Pakistan Super League games in light of Pulwama terror attacks

Fantasy sport websites like Dream11, LeagueAdda, BalleBaazi and StarPick have discontinued offering fantasy game contests of Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches on their platform due to the Pulwama terror attack on Indian paramilitary forces.

Dream11 while announcing the decision posted the following message on its social media pages: ‘We strongly condemn the recent attacks in Pulwama and stand in solidarity with our Armed forces. Therefore, we have suspended all PSL matches on Dream11.’

Many other fantasy sports companies also posted similar messages in solidarity with the martyred CRPF jawans and withdrew PSL matches from their websites.

Dream11 also announced that it would be contributing a sum of Rs. 10 lakhs to the Bharat ke Veer fund created by the Ministry of Home Affairs, to support the families of the martyred jawans who had made the supreme sacrifice for the nation. MyTeam11 similarly announced a contribution of Rs. 5 lakhs to the Bharat ke Veer fund while Starpick announced that it would be hosting a special fantasy tournament in the coming days, to raise funds for the CRPF jawans.

As per news reports, DSport television channel, the official broadcaster of PSL matches in India has also stopped telecast of the games in India. Last week, it was reported that fantasy sports portal MyTeam11 was the official sponsor of the broadcast of PSL matches on DSport channel.

Popular cricket news and score website CricBuzz has also suspended its news and sports coverage of the Pakistan Super League. All the current scorecards and news articles related to this season of the league have been pulled down.


MyTeam11 becomes official co-presenting partner of Pakistan Super League

Discovery Group’s DSport television channel has announced that it has roped in Jaipur-based real money fantasy sports platform, MyTeam11, as the official broadcast co-presenting partner for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 tournament.

The fourth season of the tournament will be played across six cities in UAE and Pakistan from 14th February-17th March, 2019 and will be broadcast on DSport channel.

Commenting on the partnership, MC Venkatesh, managing director of Lex Sportel, the channel management partner of DSport noted,  “Fantasy sports is a necessity for any sport and league to grow as it’s a natural extension for the fans to stay engaged to their favourite sport even after the live action is over. My Team 11 with their recent associations has only showcased the growing interest and increasing fan engagement in fantasy cricket and hence it was but natural for us to get them on board as the broadcast partners for the Pakistan Super League.

The league has a huge following in India and the fact that last year it was India’s second most watched T20 league is a testimony to its popularity. I am happy to welcome My Team 11 as our Broadcast Partners and I am confident that the Pakistan Super League will scale newer heights in viewership ratings.”

Sanjit Sihag, the chief operating officer of MyTeam11 added, “We are aiming at achieving international presence as a leading fantasy sports organization thus, the said collaborations. We believe our partnership with PSL can reap both the series and us, great results in terms of fan engagement.”

Besides PSL, MyTeam11 has in the past been a sponsor/partner for the Bangladesh Premier League, Pro Volleyball Series and the India New Zealand T20 cricket series. The fantasy sports platform has also retained retired cricketer Virender Sehwag as its brand ambassador.


WPT Vietnam winner Dhaval Mudgal talks about poker developments in 2018

Dhaval Mudgal, the winner of WPT Vietnam and one of India’s top poker players, recently gave an interesting interview to Raj Juneja, the host of Poker Life India.

In their discussion on PokerGuru TV, Mudgal and Juneja spoke about various poker developments  that affected the growth of poker in India in the year 2018.

The discussion began with the variables affecting the game at the macro-level. Juneja noted how better internet connectivity and higher smartphone usage is changing the gaming market. He also pointed out the huge funding received by companies like 9Stacks.

Mudgal and Juneja went on to appreciate the way 9Stacks used its Rs. 27 crores funding by taking more than 50 Indians to the #LFGVegas promotion, and now sending a lot of players to play in Australia, as well. Mudgal said, “It’s important to engage new people (players)… it’s a big responsibility that lies with people (poker companies) who get big fundings.”

The duo spoke about the trailblazing run that Team India had in international events in 2018. They recognised a few Indian poker players who performed well at events like WSOP and APPT Macau—Nishant came 34th in WSOP and cashed in Rs 1.57 Cr, one of Dhaval’s closest friends, Nikki (Nikita Luther), won a bracelet, and Paawan (Bansal) did well in Las Vegas. Mudgal appreciated the fantastic performances of Indian players in 2018.

They briefly touched upon the tweets by Lok Sabha MP Dr. Shashi Tharoor on the sports gaming private member’s bill introduced by him. The Poker Life India host raised an important question about All India Gaming Federation (AIGF)—‘If there is a new start-up poker website, are they bound to join AIGF or can they operate outside of it?’

To this, Mudgal replied saying that he doesn’t think that there is anything that compels any poker start-up to join AIGF. However, he also put across his viewpoint on the importance of being affiliated to an organised body that can regulate and systemise gaming.

Speaking on the topic of RNG, Mudgal said that companies like Poket52 that claim of bringing in safer RNG system with the help of blockchain technology will be game changing only if the security enhancement offered by them is significantly higher than the existing operators. He also asked that in case Pocket52 and other such companies are really offering safer games, then does it mean that the current ones are not secure?

The duo also spoke about how social media is used as a medium by poker players to voice their opinions about poker platforms, as was recently done for Adda52 and The Spartan Poker. They questioned the authenticity of the criticism sometimes received by such platforms on social media.

This led to Mudgal pointing out the importance of unity and long-term thinking among poker players. He said that players should not go for short-term gains at the cost of compromising the quality of the game in the long-run.

Another important point discussed by the duo was about big big money coming into fantasy league gaming platforms. For example, Dream11 got $100 million investment from Tencent Holdings from China.

Mudgal noted that ‘truly, fantasy sports has ridiculous potential in our country.’  He stated that specially, for games like cricket that have a large customer base, the prize pools can reach billions even if small ticket prices are charged from each player.

The ace poker player showed optimism about the potential of some of these huge prize pools and funding trickling into the poker sector of the gaming industry, too.

He, however, expressed slight concern about the large hold of the popular and huge fantasy gaming sector on the regulations that will take affect for the gaming industry as a whole.

He mentioned how, with huge funding, fantasy sport platforms may easily be able to afford draconian taxes, while poker players cannot afford to pay the same, at present.

He also noted how the changes that poker players want in the gaming industry are far deep rooted than the changes required in Fantasy gaming and Rummy sectors. He indicated that poker players would hope for a more customised regulation for the poker industry than a one-fit-for-all solution for the entire gaming industry.

Nevertheless, the duo noted that any regulatory changes in the gaming industry are more likely to be brought to fruition after the elections of 2019.

They briefly spoke about the social stigma around poker in India. Mudgal shared his experience of how people abroad find playing poker for a living cool, while people in India think of it as gambling. However, they noted how the perception about the game is changing over time.

Mudgal also noted the contribution of poker leagues like PSL, Match IPL and GPL India in bringing the right exposure for poker among the mass audience. He said that such platforms show people how exciting this sport is and motivate them to join existing players in playing poker. 


IIM professor propagates learning through poker

There is much debate about poker being a gambling game or a skill sport.

An Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kozhikode assistant professor, Deepak Dhayanithy, has done something revolutionary in this context by recognising the pros of the game and inculcating them in his competitive strategy class at the management institute.

Dhayanithy marvels at the vastness of learning possibilities offered by the game of poker. He points out that through poker, players learn to manage their resources in different situations that occur in the game.

Poker, professor Dhayanithy points out, presents myriad situations to players, and with time, practice and analytical abilities, players’ reactions to those situations evolve.

Also, players develop discernment towards behaviour, motivations, moves and body language of other players. Through poker, you learn to read various intentional or unintentional ways in which competitors communicate a lot of information about themselves.

With all the possibilities of cards and competitors’ moves & intentions, players have to be on their toes and take adaptive decisions to survive longer and win.

Managers also develop a higher EQ and better decision-making abilities with time, under uncertainty and stress.

All these poker teachings pointed out by the IIM professor are highly important for business persons to learn to stand out and succeed among competitors.

At a recent event of Poker Sports League (PSL) in Goa, Dhayanithy had discussion with a number of top poker players to support and propagate his research.

At the event, Dhayanithy also got to play a few hands with chess grandmaster and PSL brand ambassador Viswanathan Anand. He felt disarmed by the calm and fun persona of the chess legend, while playing poker.

Dhayanithy described the chess master as a person with a calm and sharp mind. He appreciated how quickly Anand pointed out correlations between the moves and strategies of poker and chess games.

One great chess insight that Anand shared with Dhayanithy is the after a point of time, one gets  aware of their breath, which syncs with that of their opponent’s, and any sharp variation in the opponent’s breathing pattern can suggest an anomaly or opportunity. This principle can translate to some extent to poker as well, where players have to be completely aware of the behaviour and mannerism of the competitors to take competitive decisions.

Professor Dhayanithy’s poker research and his dedication to evolve his teaching methods by understanding the game in depth attests to how much this game leans towards being skill and analytics-based.

Read more about offline and online poker in India.


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.


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.


GPL India season 1 to be held from May 2018 onwards, PokerStars to be online partner

Eight months after a grand announcement to launch an Indian poker league, Mediarex Sports & Entertainment’s Global Poker League (GPL) has finally announced the tentative schedule of GPL India season 1’s online qualifiers.

According to the company’s press release, GPL India season 1 online qualifiers will be held from May-August 2018 on their online partner Sachiko Gaming’s PokerStars India website.

The selected players will play in GPL India’s six city-based teams will compete over a four week period, with the top four scoring teams moving on to the GPL India finals to play for the title and winning five Platinum Passes – each valued at roughly Rs. 20 lakhs – to the PokerStars Championship in the Bahamas in January 2019, which has a prize pool of  around Rs. 65 crores.

Each of the six GPL teams will consist of 5 players (of which 2 will be selected through online qualifiers and the remaining 3 will be chosen by the team management) and will be led by a team manager. The six city based teams announced by GPL are Chennai Sharks (Manager- Vikram Kumar); Delhi Diehards (Manager- Muskan Sethi); Ahmedabad Alphas (Manager- Abhishek Rathod); Mumbai Jetsetters (Manager- Kavin Shah); Kolkata Creators (Manager- Aditya Agarwal) and Bengaluru Hackers (Manager- Vidwath Shetty).

GPL’s four week season will see the teams competing against one another in 6-Max and Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Poker variants online and live in GPL’s India Studio to decide weekly winners. The finals will be held in November 2018 in a two-day event and will be streamed online.

Commenting on the announcement of GPL India launch, Malta-based GPL CEO Alexandre ‘Alex’ Dreyfus said, “We are excited to have partnered with the largest poker brand in the world to bring our unique and leading league format in India. We hope to offer a unique experience to the poker communities and help building creative content promoting this skill game and sport.

With our motto ‘Compete Globally, Play Locally’, GPL India and the six cities we selected for this first season will definitely spice up the ecosystem. We took our time to understand the competitive landscape. This is not a sprint, but a marathon, and working with PokerStars in India guarantees us a long term vision.”


Viswanathan Anand to preside over PSL Season 2 opening ceremony on 15th April

Legendary chess player Viswanathan Anand would be the chief guest at a lavish ceremony to unveil the teams that would be participating in the second edition of the Poker Sports League (PSL). Anand would also be unveiling the league’s trophy that would be awarded to the winners next month.

Anand, who has been roped in as PSL’s brand ambassador and has likened the game of poker to chess, will  be making his first media appearance along with the co-founders to announce the 12 teams for this season and will also unveil the winning trophy on 15th April at the PlayBoy Club in Hotel Samrat, New Delhi.

It is understood that Anand will also be aggressively promoting PSL’s format and the game through videos, social media as well as print and electronic media.

Promoted by Adda52 (subsidiary of Delta Corp) and Dabur vice chairman Amit Burman, PSL is a city-based poker league that allows players to compete against one another in various formats of poker for a cash prize.

The first edition of the league was held last year at the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa in May last year and had a prize money of Rs. 3.36 crores. Delhi Panthers came on the top in last year’s event and took home  Rs. 1.15 crores. Mumbai Anchors finished as runner-ups with the prize money of Rs. 1 crore, while Kolkata Royals and Punjab Bluffers finished third and fourth respectively.

This year’s edition of the league will be hosted next month and would see twelve teams compete against one another for a total prize pool of Rs. 3.60 crores.  The league will be live streamed on Facebook and will be telecast on sports channel DSport (part of the Discovery TV network) in June.