Bangalore as we know is a modern Indian city best known for its corporate culture and as a hub of Information Technology in India. Also called the “Silicon Valley of India” Bangalore is India’s 3rd largest metro city by area and Capital of Karnataka. Apart from a bubbly night life, Bangalore is also known as a sought after poker destination in the card game circles of India.
In October 2013 a historic decision was given by the Karnataka High Court where it declared poker as a game of skill and from then revival of poker started in Bangalore. The court ruling allowed for poker to be played as a game of skill in recreational clubs. And since then poker has made a significant place in night life of Bangalore especially for card game lovers. After the court order many poker rooms opened up and Bangalore became for some the preferred destination in India for poker tournaments and cash games. At present there are around 6 active poker rooms in Bangalore which serve as the grinding option for poker players –
- Rockets Poker Room: Started recently Rockets Poker Room has become a top choice among poker players in Bangalore. This Poker Room is managed and owned by Mr. Rajeev Raut who himself is a poker enthusiast and has experience of management because of his prior assignment with Deltin Royale Poker Room, Goa. Currently this poker room has a dedicated poker floor with 6+ tables and soon it plans to expand and offer VIP lounge for poker along with other facilities. In Aug Rockets launched its debut tournament with the Independence Weekend poker tournaments which featured Freezeout poker tournament with a prize pool of Rs. 10, 00,000. This tournament opened to a great response from the Indian poker players who were starved for tournament action this year.
- IPA Poker Room: Indian Poker Association(IPA) runs a poker room at YMIA club which is one of the oldest ones. KN Suresh who is the man behind IPA and also was instrumental in the High Court Ruling is the founder. IPA was originally formulated to regulate poker environment and fight the long battle of its existence in India. Along with existing cash players who are member of IPA new members can also visit here, become members and start playing poker. So if you are in Bangalore and wish to try poker hands this is one place you must visit.
- Golden Aces: One of the best known poker rooms of Bangalore is the Golden Aces Card Rooms which welcomes every poker player with 6 + tables, a double story building, board games, drinks and food. Founded by the brother duo of Vikramaditya and Deepak Chawla, Golden Aces was till recently also running its own poker tournament under the name “GAPL – Golden Aces Poker League” in association with Casino Pride Goa. GAPL has already seen two seasons starting from May 2012 with the 2013-14 Season running quite well with online satellites hosted on Adda52.com. But in April 2014 they abruptly cut short their curent seasons schedule and have still to come up with an announcement.
- High 5 Poker Room/Andyz Fish & Chips: High 5 Poker Room was a well known name in the poker circuit of Bangalore and also played host to a poker tournament The House of Spew(THOS) in early 2014. Managed by Uma Mahesh and Raghavendra Rajana it had smoke free poker gaming lounge, table side dinning, Wi-Fi connectivity, beverages and locker services. But the poker room ran into some controversies after the THOS poker tournament and was in news for wrong reasons. IF the grape vine is to be believed then the management has changed and the poker room is running with new name of “Andyz Fish & Chips”.
- Kings Queens Poker Room: One of the newest members in poker rooms of Bangalore is Kings & Queens Poker Room is situated in Koramangala. Poker Room offers cash tables and poker tournaments on regular basis along with fine dining, drinks and entertainment.
Apart from these there are many other poker rooms’ available where poker players can play and enjoy the game. But currently entry in poker rooms is based on memberships and invitations however scenario is changing as poker culture in spreading across Bangalore.
In 2014 Bangalore has been host to the following poker events –
A) Independence Week Special Rockets Poker Room
B) THOS Cash Games Festival
C) Mega Poker Weekends by Rockets
D) Pokerthon – Cash Game Marathon Series
Unwind in Bangalore
Owing to the high business tourist traffic in the city, Bangalore has always had some of the top hotels in the country. All popular hospitality and hotel chains have 5 star properties here. Some of the best hotels in Bangalore include-
- Hyatt Bangalore- Located centrally on MG Road, Hyatt Bangalore is a fine luxury business hotel.
- Oberoi Bangalore- A very luxurious Oberoi hotel is also located near the financial district and in close proximity to most poker clubs in banaglore. The lavish hotel also has a very good spa for those unwinding times after a marathon poker session.
- Movenpick- Located picturesquely, Movenpick’s new property in Bangalore is well known for its wellness spa. Though not very central to poker rooms of the city but it is still a great option with high luxury and a wonderful spa. It is close to the Bangalore Airport and is a great option to unwind if you are grinding at Rockets Poker Room.
The Garden City of India has given many poker pros to India and Abhishek Goindi tops the list. Goindi does not need any introduction as far as Indian poker circuit is considered, one of the most admired poker pro who has made carrier out of this game and has the earnings of more than $ 2, 00,000. Though he has taken a break from poker currently but bangalore, poker and Goindi are things mentioned in the same breadth.
Other poker players from Bangalore include Dyuthidar Suresh, Madan Kumar and many more.
How to Reach Bangalore –
Is it tough? Not really. Being a metro city Bangalore enjoys all connectivity options from rest of the country. Choose any transport mode and Bangalore has all options available –
By Air: Bangalore International Airport is well connected with all domestic and international locations. If you are planning to travel from Delhi you will have 26+ flights to choose from daily. The journey from Delhi to Bangalore is of 2 Hrs 40 Mins and can pricing starts from Rs. 10,000. Other cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai also have direct flights to Bangalore.
By Train: Bangalore itself is the biggest railway stationsof southern regions and has connectivity of meter gauge and broad gauge lines. From Delhi tourists have 7 to 8 options per day to choose from and also in nominal fare.
By Road: Good connectivity of Bangalore from other states is because of National Highway 47, 48 and many inter and intra state bus service operators. Karnataka government has its own Bus service connecting Bangalore with many surrounding cities and states.
Poker has seen everything in Bangalore and also fought a long battle of existence but after 2013 HC order it has been growing at a fast pace. Because of poker’s legal existence Bangalore has become one of the few places where poker players love to travel for the game and gambling tourism has been increasing. Well next time if you have any business trip to Bangalore and poker is your preferred card game then you know the address.