Monday, Feb 17, 2020 | Last Update : 01:32 PM IST

Royal flush at 10th Poker championship

THE ASIAN AGE. | GANDHARV KAMALA
Published : Jan 18, 2020, 1:43 am IST
Updated : Jan 18, 2020, 1:43 am IST

For Amin Rozani, Co-founder and Managing Director of the Spartan Poker, the IPC is close to heart.

Amin Rozani in action.
 Amin Rozani in action.

Panjim (Goa): The 10th edition of the India Poker Championship, organised by Spartan Poker, got underway in a scintillating fashion at the Big Daddy Casino here.

The prize pool for the 2020 edition of the IPC, a week-long tournament, has been increased from Rs 11 crore to Rs 15 crore with the winner taking home a minimum of Rs 5 crore, without deductions, as their prize money.

“The IPC has helped me realise a lot of my dreams. I was introduced to poker by a common friend and there has been no looking back since. While I competed last year without any expectations this time around, I am here to defend my title,” the 2019 IPC winner Raj Talwar said.

“Poker has grown considerably in India. It’s about time we started looking at it as more of a sport and less of just gamble. We need to get rid of the negative mindset towards poker. It actually assists you in a lot of ways in real life. It helps you to train your mind and remain calm in both good and bad situations. You play with the cards that are dealt to you, that requires a lot of mind training. A lot of people are embracing the sport and that’s heartening to see,” Raj added.

For Amin Rozani, Co-founder and Managing Director of the Spartan Poker, the IPC is close to heart. “We started the IPC as an event to give Indians an opportunity to come out and express themselves. I am happy that IPC is doing just that. Over the years the property has seen a growth of over 300 per cent and the prize money has increased significantly over the years. Last season we had a total participation of 1,769 players. In 2020, at the end of the day two, we have already seen close to 500 participants. Please keep in mind these two days were weekdays. So by the end of the tournament, we are looking to go past the 2,000 mark,” Amin said.

“Like Raj mentioned, poker should be seen as a sport now. We are organising tournaments, paying our taxes, our papers are in order and more and more people are willing to compete. It is not necessary for someone to come out and spend all their money. There are many tournaments where one does not have to pay anything upfront. They can play for free and win money. A lot of state governments are finally coming out to support poker. But there is a lot more that can be done,” Amin explained.

While encouraging people to come out and compete, Amin had a word of caution. “For beginners, I would suggest to start with the free tournaments. Once they gain confidence, they can compete at the adults table. But ensure you don’t go all out once you start winning big. Only bet the money you have on bankroll (the amount of money that a person has allocated to play poker with). Remember once you put all the money on the table and you lose, there is no looking back. So remember the term bankroll and compete in the tournaments,” Amin advised.

Unless you are a James Bond (Daniel Craig) from Casino Royale and you have your own Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), who would save your life while betting big. Not everyone gets to say: “I’m sorry. That last hand... nearly killed me,” and win at the table.

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