The game of poker is fast-catching the nerves of Indian masses and it is not just because of some celebrities joining the game. The primary reason for its growing popularity and acceptance in the country lies in the fact that the lovers of mind sports are now realizing the fact that the game is not just about luck. It involves hard work and mastery over some skills and techniques to notch up wins.
The five-time world chess champion – Viswanathan Anand, who recently joined Poker Sports League (PSL) as brand ambassador, believes that the poker is indeed a game of skill, like chess.
“Poker, like the game of Chess, is indeed a game of skill, which involves a lot of strategy and a defined skill set. I have played chess all my life and when I was introduced to poker I could instantly draw the paralells, which made me connect better with the game,” said Anand.
Poker fascinates several world-class cricketers across the globe, including the West Indian cricket super star – Chris Gayle, who recently joined as the brand ambassador of India’s largest poker site – adda52.com to be a part of the poker boom in India and to promote the game in the country.
“I have a special relationship with the people of India. Adda52’s name is synonymous with online poker in India – it was an immediate yes from my side. It’s amazing to see the growing passion for poker in India and I would love to be a part of this journey,” said the Universe Boss, Gayle.
Currently a part of IPL Kings XI Punjab team, Gayle is considered as the best T20 cricket batsman and holds the record for hitting the fastest century in the format. The 38-year old cricketer has been playing poker for quite a some time. For him, poker is a way to stimulate his mind, relax and take some time out from his punishing cricketing schedule that keeps him busy throughout the year.
“It is a mentally stimulating game and also helps me relax and take some time out from cricket. A lot of cricketers play it too, you know,” he said.
“I find poker mentally relaxing and enjoyable. We play with other cricketers during the IPL season and other leagues. And I got better at it while playing more,” he further added.
Drawing paralells between cricket and poker, the West Indian star said, “Poker is absolutely a game of skill. One needs to learn the terms and techniques really well and should also have a strategy to be able to perform considerably well. As far as luck is concerned, well, that is needed in any sport, is it not (laughs)?! For example, if a person drops a catch and you go on to score a 100 – That’s luck too, they say!”
Talking about his observations on poker, Gayle said, “People need to be educated about Poker, a game of skill. Leagues will help most definitely. They are great for any game. Look all around you and see how leagues have helped in driving any particular sport- for example, IPL, EPL, NBA, PKL,”
Talking about his association with Adda52, he said, “Poker is growing rapidly in India. It is a good time to be in this game and witness the excitement around the growth. Adda52 are the leaders and being associated with the leaders in anything you do is always a great thing. Have full faith in Adda52 to take this game to newer heights,”
Gayle, who is the first player in T20 to score 10,000 runs, spares time from his cricket schedule to play poker and wants to play it more often. Sharing his poker experience, he said, “My cricket schedules and travel keeps me busy. I do look forward to a Poker session every now and then. I had a lot of fun in the last Adda52 poker tournament that I was a part of. Looking forward to playing more often,”