Viaan Industries telecasts Match IPL Season 3 on MTV

Viaan Industries Ltd. promoted by entrepreneur Raj Kundra and actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra telecasted India’s first ever match poker league, Match IPL, on MTV. The season telecast on the popular youth channel MTV, is the third season of Match IPL.

The league’s Season 3 was conducted at a studio in Mumbai on 23rd and 24th October, 2018 and it was aired on MTV on 19th and 20th December at 9 pm. The total prize pool to be won at the 2-day event was Rs. 3.40 crores.

Earlier this year, Viaan Industries had also launched their real money poker site PokerRaj to widen their presence in the Indian gaming industry.

Season 3 of Match IPL held in October 2018 had nine participating teams—Ahmedabad Hearts, Bangalore Royals, Delhi Aces, Haryana Hawks, Jaipur Jewels, Kolkata Diamonds, Mumbai All Stars, Pune Kings and UP Indians, with a total of about 100 players.

Goa Lions was also set to participate in the 2-day event, but withdrew its participation upon getting into a legal tangle with the league.

Before the live Season 3 of the event, Poker Raj, in collaboration with MTV, hosted MTV Pro Hunt, where players from all over India participated in online poker tournaments to win to represent one of the eight teams that participated in Match IPL Season 3.

As per company’s press release, Day 1 of Match IPL telecast on 19th December received a positive response from viewers. On Day 2 of telecast on 20th December, the winner of Match IPL Season 3 was revealed.

Glamour was added to Match IPL with the recently introduced celebrity performances and presence at the event. Artists like Karishma Tanna, Shilpa Shetty and Sanjeeda Sheikh performed at MIPL this season.

The winning team at Match IPL Season 3 received a cheque of Rs. 1.35 crores, while the team that finished at the second place won Rs. 90 lakhs.

The winning team of MatchIPL Season 3 will play for Team India at the Nations Cup to be held at Dublin, Ireland in February 2019, organised by the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP).

Business Gaming

Viaan Industries owned Game of Dot signs strategic distribution agreement with Chandigarh-based firm

Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty promoted Viaan Industries Ltd. issued a press release on 12th December stating that they have signed a strategic distribution deal with Chandigarh based B Square Global Inc Pvt. Ltd. The Chandigarh-based firm is represented by entrepreneurs Kunal Bhandari and Girish Bhayana, who have diversified interests and business portfolios.

Game of Dot  (GOD) is a digital game where you have to spot the ball in a digital picture. This easy-to-play ‘spot the ball’ game was launched by Viaan Industries about seven months ago, and as per the company’s claim, the game has grown organically since its launch.

The game, which involves judging the position of the cricket ball in a picture within 60 seconds, has been played offline for decades, and has now been digitised and monetised by Viaan Industries.

The company’s chairman and managing director Raj Kundra said in a statement, “I grew up playing spot the ball in England, and in those days, it was a manual paper game. We have just digitised an old school favorite game, added the game-of-skill element with live judging, and am happy to say that we payout over 1500 winners over a month. We use cricket pictures for our game, as cricket is the most popular sport here (in India).”  

As per Kundra, the platform will launch hockey and football spot the ball games in future. Kundra expressed his excitement about the tie-up with B Sqaure Group and added, ‘Their knowledge of marketing and distribution in the north is unparalleled. This strategic distribution deal helps us expand our touch points for the game to over 3000 locations over North India.”


Poker Raj appoints actress Anita Hassanandani brand ambassador

Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty promoted Viaan Industries’ recently launched new online poker website Poker Raj has announced that popular actresses Anita Hassanandani Reddy has been signed by them to promote their poker offering.

Hassanandani, a popular actress who has featured in various television serials as well as Hindi, Telugu and Tamil language movies is an avid poker player herself and participated in the first season of Viaan Industries and International Federation of Match Poker promoted Match Indian Poker League (Match IPL).

Other celebrities, apart from Hassanandani to have endorsed online poker in India include  Sunny Leone, Arjun Rampal, Minissha Lamba, Chris Gayle, Ranvijay Singh and Vijender Singh

Commenting on the development, Hassandani said, “I have always expressed my love for the sport of poker and now I am even more excited to announce my partnership with Poker Raj. Poker is evolving in India and I am happy to be a part of this growth story.”

“Anita is a positive vibrant person and quite a trooper! She has been a lucky charm at all our poker events and plays the sport well. We welcome her on as the Brand Ambassador of Poker Raj and we now have a queen of poker,” said Raj Kundra, Chairman & Managing Director of Viaan Industries Limited.


Match IPL concludes Season 3; Pune Kings emerge victorious

Raj Kundra-promoted Viaan Industries Limited and Switzerland-based International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) hosted the third edition of the Match Indian Poker League (Match IPL) tournament at a Mumbai studio on 23rd and 24th October.

The two-day event started with a glitzy Bollywood-style opening ceremony that saw performances by Sanjeeda Sheikh, Karishma Tanna and Shamita Shetty as well as guest appearance by actor R. Madhavan.

Nine city-based teams competed against one another in the Match Poker format of the two-day event for a total prize pool of Rs. 3.40 crores. At the end of the nine sessions, Pune Kings teams dislodged the first-day favourites Haryana Hawks to emerge at the top of the table.

The winning team Pune Kings, which was led by poker pro Gaurav Gala and featured players like Tanmay Bagga, Suchi Chamaria, Rubin Labroo, Akash Shekhar, Tanay Hargunaney and Akshay Nasa, received a cheque of Rs. 1.35 crores, while the Mumbai All Stars team finished at second place and received prize money of Rs. 90 lakhs.

The Bangalore Royals team finished at the third place taking home a prize of Rs. 65 lakhs while fourth-placed Delhi Aces received a prize cheque of Rs. 50 lakhs. Poker pro Eka Vedantham of the Jaipur Royals team received the ‘Player of the League Award’ for his exemplary performance.

The Pune Kings team which emerged victorious at Match IPL will now represent India at the Nation Cups that will be organised by the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) in February 2019 in Ireland.

The first edition of Match IPL last year was won by the Harman Baweja-led Mumbai All Stars team, while PokerBaazi sponsored Haryana Hawks team won the second edition that was held earlier this year.

Read about offline and online poker in India.

Legal & Regulatory Poker

Goa Lions in legal tangle with Raj Kundra’s Match IPL; will not participate in Season 3

Exclusive Goa Lions, one of the teams participating in Viaan Industries promoted Match Indian Poker League (Match IPL), has alleged that the league is not fulfilling its contractual obligations and has consequently refused to participate in the forthcoming Season 3 of the league to be held on 23rd and 24th October in Mumbai.

Ability Games Pvt. Ltd., the company which owns the Goa Lions team has alleged that Match IPL is not honouring it commitment of holding an auction for poker players as well as conducting the event in the ‘match poker’ format using electronic devices.

Ability Games has stated that Viaan Industries does not have any ready software for conducting the match poker tournament and is instead conducting the event through physical cards, which makes the tournament format prone to irregularities and inaccuracies.

The company therefore refused to pay the fee of Rs. 50 lakhs for participating in the forthcoming edition of the tournament due to which Viaan Industries sent them a termination notice.

Ability Games thereafter approached the Bombay High Court against the termination of its contract. A single judge bench of Justice SJ Kathawala while hearing the arbitration petition filed by Ability Games yesterday, appointed Advocate Ranjeev Carvalho as the sole arbitrator to adjudicate the dispute.

The court vide its order on 15th October, 2018, also directed Ability Games to deposit the fee of Rs. 50 lakhs fee due to Match IPL with the Prothonotary and Senior Master of the Bombay High Court within two weeks, which shall be disbursed according to the adjudication made by the arbitrator or court.

The court further stayed the termination notice given by Viaan Industries to Ability Games and allowed the Goa Lions team to not participate in Season 3 of Match IPL.

Reacting to the allegations made by Goa Lions, Raj Kundra, Chairman and Managing Director of Viaan Industries said, “We are happy that the court has made Goa Lions submit the pending license fee of Rs. 50 lakhs and moved the case to arbitration. The (next season of the) league will go on with the remaining 9 teams.”

Kundra also rubbished the allegations leveled by Goa Lions and said the previous season of Match IPL was conducted by physical cards due to a technical glitch in the software and the same was agreed by majority of the team owners. He said it was a one off incident and that the forthcoming season would be held on the software prepared by the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP).

In January this year, actor Sachiin Joshi had alleged that Kundra’s Match IPL was rigged and that he had not honoured his contractual commitments.

Kundra on the other hand had claimed that Joshi did not pay his franchisee fee and that the cheque he had paid got dishonoured. Kundra also filed a criminal defamation case against Joshi for making various allegations against him and his poker league.

Read more about offline and online poker in India.

Business Poker

Dalmia group company launches new poker website Poker Johny

Caretel Infotech Limited, a business process outsourcing and software company promoted by the Dalmia Group has become the latest major business conglomerate to foray into the online poker industry.

The company, promoted by industrialist Sanjay Dalmia, has started a website ‘Poker Johny’ ( as part of its expansion strategy. A WhoIs search of the name reveals that the domain name is registered in the name of Caretel Infotech CEO Rajesh Sehgal.

Interestingly, Dalmia, a former Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from Uttar Pradesh, was known to be a close confidante of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. Dalmia is the son of former Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) International President Vishnu Hari Dalmia.

Sanjay Dalmia’s ‘Dalmia Group’ has business interests in sectors like textiles, chemicals, tobacco etc. Apart from the Dalmia Group, listed companies Delta Corp Ltd. (through subsidiary) and Viaan Industries operate poker websites.

Until recently, Essel Group, promoted by Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra, also operated online poker website PokerNation, which ceased operations on 15th September.  The group may restart its poker operations in the next three or four months and is said to be exploring collaboration opportunities with international operators.

UFO Moviez Managing Director Sanjay Gaikwad’s Valuable Group, through its group company Dusane Infotech’s affiliate, Indusplay Online Solutions Pvt. Ltd., has also acquired poker website Thrill Poker, from Aditya Oberoi promoted Mirch Entertainment Private Limited. Indusplay also operates a fantasy sports portal called Indus Games.


Raj Kundra’s Viaan Industries to launch new poker website ‘Poker Raj’ on Sunday

Exclusive Viaan Industries Limited, the listed company promoted by businessman Raj Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty is set to launch a new poker website and mobile app called ‘Poker Raj’ on Sunday. As part of the launch, the website will host  multiple freeroll tournaments from 16th-30th September, which will have a total prize pool of Rs. 10 lakhs.

The website will cater to millions of poker players in India and complement the company’s Match Indian Poker League (Match IPL), a team-based franchise poker event that it hosts along with the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP).

The platform’s technology and software is provided by Pune-based Salus Technologies. Viaan Industries hopes to distinguish its brand from other competitors in the market through superior customer service and customised features.

Commenting on the launch,  Kundra said, “We have been focusing on all variants of real money gaming in India that fall under the game of skill. We launched India’s first official poker league. We’ve also curated a new team of passionate poker lovers and Poker Raj is something we’ve been developing over the years and are now finally ready to launch one of the best poker experiences India has ever seen. We have completed the loop of poker offerings and will now focus on taking a sizeable market share of this booming industry with one focus in mind – the player!”

He further stated that the poker website will be a natural extension to the Match Indian Poker League and added that his company is very bullish on the real money gaming space in India and sees it to be a growing industry.

Interestingly, Kundra had attempted to start a similar online poker venture, Celebrity Games in 2016. However, that project could not take off and had to be wound up.

Kundra however noted that this venture would be different. “That (Celebrity Games) was in partnership and fortunately or unfortunately it did not work out as partners had mixed views on how it should be run. Guess there is always the right time for the right project”, he adds.

He also adds that Poker Raj is a brand 100% owned by Viaan Industries and will in future, become one of the top gaming revenue streams for his company. He also noted that the company’s other real money gaming brands such as bidding game ‘Chase Bid’ and spot the ball contest ‘Game of Dot’ have also been growing at a fast pace.

Read more about online poker India.


Raj Kundra’s Viaan Industries launches new ‘Spot the Ball’ real money game

Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty promoted Viaan Industries has launched a new ‘Game of Dot’ (GOD), a real money skill-based game, where players have to spot the position of the ball in an imaginary picture of a batsman playing cricket.

Kundra took to Twitter and Instagram to make the announcement and posted: ‘A new game launched from our gaming company Viaan Industries called GOD. Super fun to play and you can win lakhs.’

GOD, which is improvised from various ‘spot the ball’ contests that are popular in airport arenas. The game allows players to buy packages of 1, 5, 11 or 28 dots from Rs. 20/- onwards. The game lures players with assured prizes such as Rs. 2 lakh cash, car and gold.

The company has claimed that the game legal since it is based on skill, analysis and logic of the player who has to use his experience and knowledge in guessing the imaginary placement of the ball.

It is understood that the game will be available on a web and app version. Further, the company will also be tying up with lottery shops and mobile recharge vendors in Maharashtra and other states in the country. This will enable the users to play the game at shops or public arenas.

Viaan Industries has started various ventures related to gaming. Apart from GOD, the company has tied up with International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) to run a televised Match Indian Poker League. The company is also planning to start an Online Team Poker League (OTPL) in various countries including India.

Apart from GOD, Viaan Industries also runs iQLive, a real time quiz app, Aunty Boli Lagao Boli, a reverse auction television show (and reverse auction app/website called Chasebid). Kundra’s company also produces various animation games and has announced its intention of foraying into other types of real money skill games.


Viaan Industries launches new Online Team Poker League with Rs. 13 crore prize money

Raj Kundra promoted Viaan Industries has announced the launch of a new Online Team Poker League (OTPL) in a bid to promote e-sports and online poker in the country.

OTPL India, which will feature 30 city-based teams that will be given out to franchisees, will be played in the No Limit Texas Hold ’em format of poker on a special app designed by Viaan Industries.

Viaan Industries is selling franchisee rights for each team by charging an annual license fee of Rs. 55 lakhs, of which Rs. 10 lakhs is payable upfront and the balance payable quarterly. As per news reports,  15 teams have been sold by Viaan Industries till date and the company claims that the remaining 15 teams will be sold soon.

As per the format of the game announced by the company in a press release, every team will have eight players who will play Sit-N-Go tournaments online, twice a month, to top the leader board. The collective chip count of all team players will be added up, giving the monthly rankings of teams and monthly prizes. The team with the most chip count at the end of the season in November will win the cup and a prize money of Rs. 6.6 crores will be shared among the top eight teams.

Besides the annual prize money, there would be a monthly prize money of Rs. 60 lakhs each for all 11 months (totaling to Rs. 6.6 crores) of the tournament, which will be shared by the top six teams of the month.

While the first season will start in July and end in November, from the next year, it will be spread over January to November. The winning team will represent the country in the World Online Team Poker League to be held in December every year.

The company has claimed that besides India, it will be launching similar city-based OTPL events in other countries like USA, UK, Israel etc.

Besides OTPL, Viaan Industies already operates Match Indian Poker League (Match IPL) in collaboration with the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP), where 10 city based teams compete against one another in the ‘match poker’ format for prize money and to win a spot to play in IFMP’s International leagues.  The second season of the league was recently held in Kolkata.

Commenting on the launch of OTPL, Raj Kundra, the Chairman and Managing Director of Viaan Industries said in a statement,  “After seeing the success of Match Indian Poker League we at Viaan Industries Ltd, created this IP to have a year long poker event to give the opportunity to more poker players to come forward and use this platform to showcase their skills. We have designed the app to support and promote OTPL worldwide. It will create an exciting Poker in a team format that’s never been seen or done before. In December we will have the World Online Team Poker League (WOTPL) where the league winners of every country will play against each other in a one-day online world cup event.”


Sachiin Joshi and Raj Kundra spar over Match IPL dues

Former promoter of Match Indian Poker League’s Goa Kings team, Sachiin Joshi and the league’s founder Raj Kundra exchanged harsh words against one another over alleged non-payment of dues and allegations of rigging of the Match IPL team, as per a report in the Mumbai Mirror.

Kundra alleged that Joshi had defaulted on the payment of a forty lakh rupee franchisee fee for his ‘Goa Kings’ Match IPL team and the cheque issued by him had been dishonoured.

Kundra further alleged that Joshi, after taking advantage of the publicity and mileage offered by his league, refused to make the payment of the franchisee fee and did not answer his repeated calls and messages. He added that Match IPL will be taking appropriate legal action against Joshi for defaulting on the payment.

Joshi’s representatives, on the other hand, stated that there was no contract with Match IPL and hence no payment has to be made by them. Joshi also made a startling allegation that the entire Match IPL tournament held on 17th and 18th November, 2017 was ‘rigged’ to ensure that one particular team won the contest and prize money associated with it.

Manoj Asrani, a representative  of Sachiin Joshi while making the allegation of rigging in the Match IPL event said, “Raj Kundra initiated a poker tournament by the name of Match IPL and around 10 teams were formed. There were commitments made and the same weren’t delivered. When we got to know that the tournament was rigged for a specific team to win, we withdrew our participation and did not sign any agreement. We made sure that the payments don’t clear as there was nothing to pay for and also informed other partners that we are out of this fraudulent tournament. We are pursuing this legally and will make sure that this goes through the right justice channels.”

Both Joshi and Kundra exchanged harsh words and made personal remarks against one another on Twitter besides maintaining that they were right and would fight the matter legally.


Meanwhile, the Indian Match Hold ’em Sport Confederation, the federation which organises the match poker league in India, in a statement noted, “Match Poker as a sport is completely transparent and cannot be ‘rigged’ in any way or form. We are shocked and saddened by these allegations (of rigging) being made by Mr. Sachiin Joshi as they are completely false.”

Patrick Nally, the President of the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP), which is the umbrella body responsible for overseeing the conduct of match poker tournaments also rubbished the allegations made by Joshi and said, “It is impossible for Match Poker to be ‘rigged’ or the system to be gamed. I can assure you that nothing of that sort has been done and the Match IPL, and Match Poker, is a clean and completely honest professionally run sports league. Mr. Sachiin Joshi’s allegations are unfounded and without any basis. Unless an unconditional apology is rendered by him immediately, we will be forced to explore our legal options against Mr. Sachiin Joshi.”