Post the super successful launch of the inaugural season, team owners lock-in for eight years and invest close to INR 150 crores; two teams open for bidding
New Delhi, November 3/11/2017: The time has come to brace up for the ultimate mind sport. The second season of the Poker Sports League is all set to elevate the action to the next level. The brainchild of Amit Burman, Anuj Gupta and Pranav Bagai, the Poker Sports League at its very core, attempts to popularize poker as a sport by putting on display in abundance, a combination of skill, mathematics, decision making and grit which are required in the right mix to emerge as a champion.
Post the grand success of its inaugural season earlier this year, which saw Delhi Panthers, owned by Rishi Kajaria of Kajaria Ceramics, move from being seventh-placed to the top of the charts and eventually take home INR 1.5 crore as prize money, the Poker Sports League this year is set to raise the stakes in all its aspects. While the inaugural edition included International players from 11 countries and attracted an astounding viewership of 4.1 million on Facebook Live, the second season will witness 12 teams with ten players each, battle it out in a game of wits.
With a 150 crore commitment spread over eight years, ten team owners are set to stay the course and partner the league in its journey to establish the sport of poker in India with the remaining two teams open for bidding. The prize pool this year is INR 3.6 crores and the league will roll out with the online and live qualifiers from December onwards, leading to the final team selection in April 2018. The grand finale will be held in Goa during the May. This year the plan also includes broadcasting the league on television other than online, to reach a much broader audience.
Commenting on the advent of the second season, Mr. Amit Burman, Founder, Poker Sports League said, “The first season was only a trailer of what is set to become India’s first and only credible and fully carved out poker league. We received a sizeable response from both aspiring players and corporates last season and are pleased to note, that the interest has only grown manifold. From the second season onwards, team owners have committed to an eight-year association which is a testimony of the league maturing. As we move ahead, every aspect of the league will get an upgrade which will ultimately translate into a superior experience for all the stakeholders.”
Sharing his views, Mr. Anuj Gupta, Co-Founder, Poker Sports League said, “The second season will firmly establish the Poker Sports League as an annual property with significant anticipation amongst poker enthusiasts. With the emergence of massive online poker tournaments and fantasy leagues, the time is ripe for the Poker Sports League to formalize the poker story in India. With over twenty thousand qualifier participations pan India in the very first year, one can safely infer the potential of poker in the country. PSL in some sense is laying the foundation for an International tournament and has the right ingredients to become a global brand. PSL completes India’s growing poker eco-system.
Mr. Pranav Bagai, CEO, Co-Founder, Poker Sports League: “We realize that poker is growing exponentially in India. We are opening up two teams for bidding to give an opportunity to all the poker lovers across the country to be a part of this fantastic growth story. Interested parties are welcome to connect with me through the Poker Sports League Website. I would like to thank Amit Burman for his vision and continued support. Also, Anuj Gupta, who has tirelessly mentored me and has been involved in operational decisions which have helped make the PSL dream a reality.”
Composition of the team: Like any other sport, poker too needs mentors and coaches to harness talent. The 12 teams this year will consist of a total of ten players each, comprising of one mentor and captain, two pro-players, two from free live qualifiers, three from free online qualifiers and two wild-card entries. Thus, each team will have professionals and amateurs co-exist and will include imparting knowledge and skill to the younger lot. While the first season saw 140 players getting drafted, this year with three player drafts close to 170 players can be eligible for participation.
LIST OF TEAMS AND THEIR OWNERS (In alphabetical order):
- BENGALURU WARRIORS: Ajoy Khandheria, Anurag Malhotra, Rajiv Ahuja, Amitabh Nagpal
- DELHI PANTHERS: Rishi Kajaria of Kajaria Ceramics; Ruchirans Jaipuria of Jaipuria Group; Abhishek Jain of Leela Jewels; Gaurav Goel of Dhampur Sugar
- GOAN NUTS: Gaurav Mohan of Eventwala, Ravi Goel, Sagar Gogia, Gaurav Verma of New Era Solution Pvt Ltd
- GUJARAT ACERS: Ronak Vyas of Famingo Group;Harish Bahl, Manish Vij and Gopikaa Davar of Smile Group; Mukesh Agarwal of VITWO LLP
- HARYANA HUNTERS: Divij Talwar and Adnan Kidwai
- KOLKATA ROYALS: Anil Singh of Procam Sports, Mohit Burman of Kings XI Punjab, Anupam Mittal of Shaadi.com
- MUMBAI ANCHORS: Mehul Shah – Original Promoter of Anchor Electrical
- PUNE SHARKS: Rishabh Jhunjhunwala from Bhilwara Group; Shamit Khemka from Synapse India; Chetan Kajaria from Kajaria Ceramics; Sachin Goel
- PUNJAB BLUFFERS: Vedant Thadani & Co.
- RAJASTHAN TILTERS: Purrshottam Bhaggeria from Filatex Group