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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

A look back on the 2020 Indian Poker Championship 

The Indian Poker Championship is one of the events of the year in India and is developing an audience of significant numbers. That’s right, this is no longer a tournament that flies under the radar and is only played by a few select people, on the contrary, the masses are flocking down to the Indian Poker Championship year-on-year. 

It could be said that interest in poker in India is at an all-time high and is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years, with the population becoming more and more fascinated by the game. That is, in no small part, down to the playing of this extraordinary event, and it’s safe to say that the 2020 edition did not disappoint. But let’s first take a look at the origins of this tournament. 

The Indian Poker Championship

The Indian Poker Championship has taken place every year in the province of Goa, since its inception in 2010. The actual playing of the event is held on the offshore casinos of Panjim, which could certainly rival the most glamorous casinos in Las Vegas. It really is as alluring as it sounds. Indeed, set on the banks of the river Mandovi, the cobblestone streets and colored villas make this one of the most beautiful places in India, and the ideal host town for the Indian Poker Championship.

Typically, the tournaments last between four and six days, depending on how long it takes to crown a winner. As for the buy-ins over this time, they range from 10,000 to 100,000 INR. The number of entrants at the 2020 event was 693, with a lot of these players beginning to dip their toes into the water and get a feel for what competitive poker is all about. Which brings us onto our next topic; the Indian Poker Championship and the effect it has on grassroots poker. 

CAPTION: Poker is becoming increasingly popular in India, with many big tournaments being hosted in thriving casinos.

Starting out in India

Finding your way in India’s poker world hasn’t always been easy, which is why the Indian Poker Championship is such a great way of testing the waters. Some may call it a baptism of fire, but is there truly any better way to learn a craft other than by being on the front line and in the trenches? Cutting your teeth in the poker world is always going to be a time that you will never forget, admittedly, for varying reasons. But it is through these experiences of playing seven-card stud and Omaha that you pick up the most knowledge and skills, which essentially is what poker is all about.

There are other ways to find your feet when it comes to poker, one of these being to attend a free poker tournament such as the ones offered by 888. You did read correctly, you can enter free poker tournaments online that do not require any buys-in at all, which naturally reduces all the risk, and lets you enjoy a free lesson with the advantage of having a safety net under you. This way you can sit back and watch the professionals at work and pick up any tips that might benefit you. At the end of the day, poker is all about strategy, and the ability to master the art of bluffing. These things take time to pick up, and can often require a little trial and error before being able to sit at a 10-seater Texas hold ’em table and win the final pot. 

Indeed, good poker players don’t only rely on bluffing all the time, as they are constantly hard at work trying to figure out what type of hand their opponents have by calculating the averages of probability once the cards begin to be flipped. That’s at least what the winner of the 2020 Indian Poker Championship, Rubin Labroo, did during the Texas hold ’em final.

How Rubin Labroo won the final

The playing of the final sure wasn’t a quick affair, as it went on for 16-and-a-half hours. Professional poker player Rubin Labroo from Delhi, was able to beat Siddharth Mundada in a head to head game, with the winning hand being a pair of nines, would you believe it? Whilst the 31-year-old may have been crowned champion on the 19th of January, it was the legwork that he put in during the lead up to the final that really won him the crown, after beating and outlasting close to 700 participants. 

Some of these entrants weren’t just your average poker enthusiasts, but actual celebrities. Indeed, the Indian Poker Championship is normally awash with Bollywood stars and other famous faces. Who can forget when Dan Bilzerian, the self-proclaimed ‘King of Instagram’, arrived to play in the 2019 edition. Bilzerian, who has over 30 million followers on the popular photo and video social networking service, arguably significantly raised the profile of the Indian Poker Championship by being there.

The 2020 edition had just as much glitz and glamour, with the finale, in particular, being a spectacle to behold when you consider how big the prize was for coming first.

CAPTION: Social media mogul Dan Bilzerian succeeded in getting audience members and contestants hyped for the final of the 2019 IPC.

For his efforts, Labroo won INR 61.8 Lac as well as a limited-edition MS Dhoni Panerai Luxury watch. Needless to say, as far as nights to remember go, this was definitely one of them for the young man. The newly crowned winner also tells a humorous tale about his mother sitting up the entire night watching the live stream, which was delayed by ten minutes, so when Labroo called her immediately after he won, she thought he had lost given that she was still watching the stream.

The future of poker in India

Poker in India is becoming one of the nation’s favorite pastimes, with more and more players becoming captivated by the game. Currently, you can only play poker in a casino like the ones in Goa, where the event is held, but it doesn’t seem like that will deter people from picking up the game. It’s hard to tell where the Indian Poker craze will lead to, but a good indicator would be the Indian Poker Championship, and how quickly that has taken off since it was launched only a decade ago.