Daniel Colman should have been on top of the world. He had defeated Daniel Negreanu, one of the best poker players in the world. He has won around $15 Million. He had also one of the most coveted prizes in poker- The WSOP Bracelet. But he stood there- straight face, no expressions without as much as a smile. Ngreanu, the man he defeated in the $1 Million Big One for One Drop Charity Event looked happier than Colman. He didn’t agree to smile for the camera as he stood over his pile of money. His photo as seen on the screen here makes him look sad and not happy to have won money. He even refused to give any interviews to the media. That itself was enough to unleash the fury on him in the poker community.
Now through the WSOP events, I read more and more about things but the Colman example kept nagging me. I thought this was his calm and composed mode till I read an article from one of the poker media’s best known names. Bracelet Winner Chad Holloway had given his opinion on how he owed everything to poker while Colman didn’t. He had even provided a link to Colman’s reaction(explanation) on TwoplusTwo forum where he gave a sizeable bashing to poker. Colman had asked for the poker game not receiving glorification and even went down to calling it a ‘dark game’. I went into retrospect mode. Now I am neither a poker player or a full fledged poker media professional. I would call myself a poker enthusiast who loves to write and voice my opinion. And I decided to think and over-think this issue.
The recent happenings in Indian poker where there were allegations and counter allegations and whole lot of blame game on who owes money to whom have been an eye sore to the game. Add to this the fact that since April 2014 there hasn’t been a physical open poker tournament in the Indian circuit; though there have been many cancellations. And we get to our own side of the affairs of poker in India. While the first incident invited a lot of wrath from the Indian players, it also had a cross section of poker community call for keeping such incidents behind closed doors. They requested not showing off the dirty linen of Indian poker to the foreigners, international poker players and the tournament directors.
Notwithstanding the fact that online poker in India is thriving, there is something still amiss. I heard Adda52.com gave away around Rs. 8 Lakhs in prize money in a Mega tourney over the weekend. I also know that Thrill Poker is running a 2 month Freeroll campaign where they claim to award Rs. 1 Lakh a day. Having said this, we all know that the major chunk of India’s reputed poker players continue to play away from the Indian poker sites. They choose the PokerStars and the FTP’s and the 888’s of the outside world. Their reason for the same is safety of their money and legality of the Indian sites. Many cite the example of Deccan poker which has had a dubious track record of shutting shop a couple of times with player deposits getting stuck. But then again, we all know about Black Friday! Then how come the whole hearted trust on Full tilt?
If the Indian sites are illegal(as players suggest) then so are the international ones within our countries boundaries. This shunning of our native sites is what according to me is also the ‘dark’ side of Indian poker. Now I know many of you may argue that they are not willing to trust your money with Indian sites? Then I request you to revisit the Full Tilt fiasco and google the amount of money players are still claiming is stuck.
Now I have nothing against Full Tilt or Pokerstars(the sister concern of FTP), I myself like to play on their tourneys. I am a micro stakes tourney player at PS. But at the same time, I also play at Adda52.com. I have won money and even an iPhone at their tourneys. The only thing I lack on our own Indian rooms is the player competition. In simple words, I lack ‘YOU’. The online poker sites of India basically lack ‘YOU’- the Indian poker player. They lack the competition that the poker fraternity of India has with each other. They lack that healthy spirit of wins/defeats that our Indian players bring.
Now, the customary disclaimer – Neither Adda52 nor Thrill nor any other Indian poker room is paying me to write this. If you notice I am not even giving you any affiliate links in this blog to join a website. I am not benefiting financially by writing this article. I am just pouring my poker soul out to you- the poker community at large. I am just speaking for the poker benefit of the Indian scenario. Let us avoid a situation like the one that Daniel Colman highlights. He calls for poker not getting any glorification. I say, he is right where he is. If we shun our own poker stake holders, then it indeed is a dark game.
Time for introspection.
Awaiting your words!