With the popularity of sports around the world, poker has also found its way, picking up the speed and an upward trajectory for the past decade. Couple that with poker events taking place in popular tourist destinations like Goa and it’s easy to see the attraction for seasoned players and new enthusiasts alike. It feels like yesterday when the country’s most prestigious poker series, the India Poker Championship (IPC) concluded its resoundingly successful comeback edition at the Big Daddy Casino in the state capital of Panjim.
In a statement released earlier today, the company announced that the first edition of the new year will have Moneycontrol, the largest online financial platform in India, as Presenting Partner of IPC Jan 2020. The Moneycontrol platform hit the market in 1999 and ever since then the website and subsequently, it’s app as well has become the go-to resource for financial information on the internet for millions of Indian investors. Aside from chronicling the Indian economy, the platform has flourished to become the country’s biggest store of news, analysis, data, and tools on investing, personal finance, the business sector, and the economy. Moneycontrol has an incredible 17 million plus visitors each month! Undeniably, this enormous number of viewers will get exposed to the premier national championship of poker which will only serve to grow this mind sport.
Following its successful September event, IPC Jan 2020 will return with yet another thrilling edition from 14-19 January with a spectacular INR 5+ Crore GTD! The last edition pulled in tons of big names in the poker industry, not to mention special guests like the King of Instagram, Dan Bilzerian. Besides, plenty of newcomers got an opportunity to kick-start their poker career by participating in the four feature events.
IPC Director and Co-founder and MD of Spartan Poker Amin Rozani said, “We are delighted to announce the schedule of our flagship tournaments to kickstart 2020. The overwhelming response from players across the country for previous editions encourages us to constantly invest in superior player experience and keep bringing exciting gaming options to our customers. We are excited for IPC 2020 and its followup IOPC 2020 as we are bringing even higher GTDs for Indian players, making both series the largest in our country’s history for both live and online tournaments.”
New India Poker Champion to be Crowned
The upcoming edition of IPC is especially prestigious for one special reason. The new year’s first IPC edition will see the crowning of the India Poker Champion 2020. The INR 50,000 Main Event which will take place from 17-19 January will eventually play down to one player who will be crowned the best of the best. Indian poker’s ultimate winner is not only going to take home a beautiful trophy and no doubt a chunky first prize purse, he or she will also take home some additional incredible giveaways like an all expenses paid sponsorship from Spartan Poker to participate in various live series in the country along with some cool prizes going the way of the new India Champion. We will bring you more details on this as it is released so stay tuned right here!
Goa is once again going to experience the frenzy of India’s biggest poker series so if you haven’t already done so then head to Panjim from 14-19 January to catch all the live poker action at IPC Jan 2020!
There is much cause for cheer among the poker enthusiasts of the country as the New Year brings in a massive windfall in terms of amazing poker offerings from the India Poker Championship! It’s going to be a triple whammy for the month of January as three tremendous properties from the IPC stable will feature at different points of the month. Not only will we see the next edition of the IPC live tournament series return to Goa but that will soon be followed by the ever popular India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) which like the live event will offer mouth-watering guarantees. How much you ask? There will be over 16 Crores on offer at the IOPC and that makes it more than 21 Crores in guaranteed prizepools across both of India’s premier live and online tournament series! And to add an extra bit of sparkle, we will also see the third edition of the India Poker Championship Awards take place in January 2020.
IPC 2020 – 5 Crores GTD
The IPC has always held a special place in the pages of Indian poker history. Over the years the brand has earned the goodwill of thousands of players who have participated in its various editions. Despite going on hiatus a couple of times, the IPC made its comeback in a big way both times setting attendance records with every edition they did. This time too it’s going to be no different. After their return to Goa in September, the IPC will now begin the new year with its opening edition of 2020 set to take place from 14-19 January onboard Big Daddy Casino in Goa. The September edition had promised 3 crores in guaranteed prizes and the IPC crushed that by going well over 5 Crores in the series. This time around the organisers have amped up the guarantee for the January to INR 5 Crores! And we won’t be too surprised if this new year edition of the IPC goes on to crush previous records for prizepools and attendance.
The highlight of the series will be the IPC Main Event, which has a higher buy-in of INR 50,000 this time around. The winner of this prestigious Main Event will be crowned the India Poker Champion of the 2020 season. So not only will there be tremendous cash prizes to compete for but also the honour and glory of being crowned as the national poker champion of India! Check out the schedule for IPC Jan 2020 HERE.
IOPC 2020 – 16 Crores GTD
And there is barely any breathing room for poker enthusiasts as the IPC’s online avatar, the India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) will soon set the virtual felts at SpartanPoker.com ablaze. The IOPC is recognised as India’s biggest online tournament series and has had record breaking turnouts and prizepools with every edition it has done since its inception in October 2015. To give you an idea of its phenomenal growth trajectory, IOPC Oct 2015 had 26 tournaments offering 8.6 Lakhs in guarantees. 4 years later, the IOPC Jan 2020 edition will feature 100 tournaments and a mammoth 16 Crores in guaranteed prizes! Not only is this an indicator of the popularity and growth of the IOPC, but it’s a significant representation of how far poker as a game itself has come in terms of being the mind sport of choice for this generation of card players.
The IOPC will take place at Spartan Poker from 24 January to 09 February 2020 and if it’s last edition is anything to go by, we can surely expect yet another guarantee crusher of a series this time around as well.
IPC Awards 2020
After two spectacular editions in previous years, the IPC Awards will return in January to celebrate the achievements of the best poker players in the country. It will be a night of excitement, celebration and revelry where the best of the best will be recognised and felicitated in front of the industry professionals as well as their peers for their accomplishments in the previous season. The inaugural edition of the IPC Awards took place in Bangalore’s Sheraton Grand hotel two years and last year saw it take place in the Sahara Star hotel in Mumbai. The upcoming edition of the Awards will take place on 14 January in Goa onboard the Big Daddy casino. This extravaganza will be part of the IPC tournament series and will in fact take place on the opening day of the series.
It promises to be a night filled with pomp, pageantry, revelry and even nostalgia as many faces, old and new, will be part of these festive celebrations and will rightfully make for a wonderful precursor to what should be a record shattering IPC tournament series. Stay tuned to this page as we will bring you more details soon on the event schedule.
What an incredible week of poker went by at the India Poker Championship! Taking place from 11-15 September in the Spartan LIVE poker room onboard the Big Daddy casino in Goa, the event saw more than 2000 participants come together and create history. All attendance records across events were broken leading to the absolute crushing of the original prizepool guarantee of INR 3 Crores. When all was said and done, prize money worth INR 5.48 Crores was awarded!
IPC 10k Freezeout – Siddharth Mundada
This opening event attracted a record field of 437 entries from which 52 finished in the money and the man standing at the top of heap was Siddharth Mundada. The massive turnout in this 10k Freezeout meant that we couldn’t play down to a winner on the opening day, going into an unofficial second day. Haresh Kukreja was the overnight chip leader among the final nine players and he consolidated that lead early on today, busting out Shane Hodges and Kanishka Samant in the first hand of the day itself. Bust-outs continued over the course of time and soon, Kukreja himself was sent to the rail by Mundada, who of course became our eventual winner.
Mundada has been proving himself as a live player in recent months, having recorded 5 cashes at WSOP 2019 in Las Vegas, with total career cashes of $24k. However, this win in Goa became the largest of his live poker career, earning INR 8,80,000 for this victory, his first major live title too. In heads-up, he was up against Nikhil R, another player who had done brilliantly since yesterday. However, Mundada went into heads-up with a chip lead or nearly 5:1 and it was always going to be difficult for Nikhil to make a comeback from there. Eventually, the 27-year old Mundada emerged winner while Nikhil had to settle for the runner-up prize of INR 6,17,000.
IPC 100k Highroller – Pranay Chawla
This second event of IPC Sep recorded 207 entries which was another record-breaking field. Day 2 resumed on 13 September with 70 players still in contention of winning a massive prize of INR 51+ Lakh, a prize never seen before in a live poker Highroller tournament in India. Slowly but surely, eliminations were taking place, eventually reaching the bubble, with 24 players being paid a min-cash of INR 1.88 Lakh. As the night went on, players kept getting busted and collecting their cash prizes, while Pranay Chawla kept increasing his stack, entering the Final Table as the chip leader. He managed a few more bust-outs and even entered heads-up with the chip lead. We would’ve expected a deal in heads-up considering the massive pay jumps, but that didn’t happen.
The chips went back and forth between Chawla and Nitish Gupta but eventually, it was Pranay Chawla who managed to take away all glory. The Indian poker industry will remember this series for years to come and they will remember Chawla too, who managed to outlast this field full of pros to take away the 100k Highroller title and the enormous cash prize of INR 51,66,800 that came with it.
IPC 35k Main Event – Raj Talwar
And then it was time for the Big One – the Main Event. This INR 35,000 buy-in event had two packed starting flights of Day 1A (390) and Day 1B (387), which saw an incredible 777 entries competing for a prizepool of over INR 2.67 Crores. That figure crushed the original guarantee of INR 1.6 Crores by a cool additional crore, something that even the regs did not expect to happen. In the end however there could be only one and that turned out to be 32-year old Pune businessman Raj Talwar who raked in a phenomenal first place prize of and won the Main Event of this comeback edition of the IPC outlasting a massive field.
Day 2 combined the survivors of both starting flights (82 and 77) bringing them together on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm to play down to one player who would be crowned champion. Three-way action at the final table had Ayush Garg leading with Dhaval Mudgal close behind followed by Talwar on the short stack. Mudgal kept bleeding chips and failed to get any traction and eventually put it in with pocket Threes but got eliminated by Talwar who hit an Ace pair on the turn against Mudgal.Chips kept moving back and forth between Talwar and Garg but eventually Talwar managed to win a couple of pots to take the lead. Eventually he called with Ah 3d on Garg’s Qc 2d on a board of Tc 6h Jd Kd Ts. And with that hand we had a winner in Raj Talwar who took down the biggest ever field for an IPC Main Event, a cool trophy and INR 49.25 Lakhs!
IPC 15k Headhunter – Raghavendra Hada
All good things must come to an end and so it was with this amazing poker festival as the final day of the series saw the culmination of the Main Event as well as the final side event of the series in the Headhunter. This tournament followed the bounty format where for every elimination a player would receive INR 5,000 from his opponent’s buy-in. The Head-Hunter guaranteed INR 17.5 Lakh in prize money but 348 entries crushed it to make the eventual prize pool of INR 34.8 Lakh. It was Raghavendra Hada who went on to win the tournament defeating Arsh Grover in heads-up. Hada walked home with INR 7,39,000 in prize money while also separately cashing out his several bands which represented his bounties from the tournament.
The night only got better for Hada as he was handed over his trophy by none other than the ‘Big Daddy’ of poker, Dan Bilzerian. As for Grover, he began the final table as chip leader but couldn’t go on to complete the victory. Grover was slightly behind at the start of heads-up and ended up finishing second for INR 5,18,200, excluding prizes from bounties.
What a fantastic end to the proceedings and a wonderful comeback for India’s premier tournament in Goa. There was a feeling of excitement in the air right through the 5 days with great turnouts and prizepools expected AND delivered! The presence of Dan Bilzerian certainly added plenty of zing to this edition. Plenty of nostalgia in the air too as the IPC made its return after more than 3 years and many of the poker faithful who were absent from the scene came together to be a part of these festivities. So a terrific week of poker with many crores in prizes given away and four new IPC title winners crowned.
The IPC will return in the new year specifically from 14-19 January and we will see you at these felts again for another record breaking event! Until then…
After a three year hiatus, the country’s premier live tournament series in the India Poker Championship returns this September! In less than 8 weeks, the IPC, as it is popularly known, will kickoff at Goa’s newest and most luxurious casino Big Daddy moored on the waters of the Mandovi River in the Goan capital city of Panjim. The IPC will take place from 11-15 September and promises a mouth watering guarantee of 3 Crores across events to all participants. “It gives me immense pleasure to announce the return of the India Poker Championship this September. The IPC has always been a player favourite through the years and we expect this upcoming edition to be an absolute blockbuster,” said Amin Rozani from Team IPC. Rozani is also CEO of Spartan Poker, which runs the Spartan Live poker room onboard the Big Daddy which is where this 5 day poker extravaganza will take place.
IPC returns to beautiful Goa this September with a 3 Crore GTD series
Schedule of Events
As has been the case with past IPC events, this comeback edition too will begin with a Freezeout tournament on Wednesday evening i.e. 11 September and will be coupled with a Satellite for the Highroller which will take place later in the evening. In fact, there will be satellites at the venue on the first three days of the series allowing players to enter into the Highroller and IPC Main Event at a fraction of the cost. The second day of the series will see the Highroller take place featuring a buy-in of INR 1 Lakh. Players will be battling it out for the biggest share of the INR 1 Crore GTD prizepool. The Main Event which features a buy-in of INR 35,000, and a guarantee of over INR 1.60 Crores, is a 3 day affair with two starting flights taking place on Friday and Saturday evening respectively. It will all come to an end on Sunday night where not only will we see the newest Main Event champion being crowned but the series will also culminate with the final tournament i.e. the 15k Headhunter. All in all, plenty of live tournament poker action can be expected and there is every likelihood of previous attendance records being broken. “In the 2015-16 season, every edition we did, raised the bar higher in the terms of player participation. It’s been a while since we were away but during this time, we’ve always been asked about when the IPC will return? We certainly hope to repeat our past success and go beyond with this upcoming edition of the IPC,” said IPC co-founder Sameer Rattonsey.
Get in for a Fraction via Spartan
Rozani and Rattonsey along with Rajeev Kanjani and Peter Abraham form the team behind both these dynamic brands which have been operating in the Indian poker landscape since early 2010. The IPC continues its association with Spartan Poker as lead sponsor and online satellite partner. In fact the action of the live series goes down at the Spartan Live poker room onboard the host vessel, the Big Daddy Casino. Now if the thought of the big buy-ins at this live event have you in two minds, fear not! Spartan Poker’s association with the live event means that players can qualify for all the IPC September edition tournaments online at SpartanPoker.com and that too for a fraction of the original buy-in! Starting from 1st August, play in satellite qualifiers at Spartan Poker which begin for as little as INR 660 which is the buy-in for the 10k Freezeout satellite. You can also play satellites for the 100k Highroller and the 35k Main Event as well as combo satellites which get you entries into two or more IPC live events in Goa. And remember every satellite carries a minimum guarantee of 1 seat or 1 set of seats in a combo satty! So head on over to Spartan Poker from 1st August and take your shot at winning your way to Goa for India’s most prestigious tournament poker event.
Live event and online satellite schedules are given below. For queries about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +91-9920803125. To get in touch with the Spartan LIVE poker room, call +91-91122 22867.
Make your way to the sunny state of Goa this September for high octane poker action at the India Poker Championship. See you at the tables!
Starting off as a national poker championship back in 2010, the India Poker Championship (IPC) has grown tremendously in the past decade. Last year, it kicked off a new chapter by introducing the IPC Awards, an initiative to recognise the top poker players from across the country and make them superstars in this sport. The inaugural edition of the Awards took place in September last year in Bengaluru, a fast growing hub of the game. This year, Mumbai’s Sahara Star hotel was the venue of the 2018 IPC Awards and it turned out to be a grand celebration of players and the sport itself. It was a special evening for all the top poker players from around the country who were flown in to Mumbai to be presented their trophies in front of India’s top poker entities.
The stage is set for the 2018 IPC Awards presented by The Spartan Poker
A brilliant awards ceremony organized by presenting sponsor The Spartan Poker, the 2018 IPC Awards is an initiative which will go miles in helping the game gain acceptance as a mind sport across our country. Actor and presenter Shibani Dandekar was the host of the function while the Chief Guest was actor, VJ and television personality Rannvijay Singh, who is also the brand ambassador of The Spartan Poker. Before the festivities began, Rannvijay Singh and Spartan MD and co-founder, Amin Rozani, attended the press conference and answered quite a few poker-related questions to representatives of the various media houses present. They spoke about the game, how it has gained popularity and acceptance over the years, and how Spartan has played a significant role in making that happen.
Rozani spoke about how the IPC brand began as live tournaments hosted in Goa nearly 9 years back, and about the journey since then and how the brand has grown. In that context, Gutshot also took the opportunity to ask Rozani when the next edition of the IPC can be expected. He said, “We have planned the next IPC live tournament to happen within three months from now at the Big Daddy Casino in Goa. This is the current plan and hopefully, we should make a formal announcement about this soon.”
Spartan MD Amin Rozani (left) and Rannvijay Singh at the press meet
Rannvijay also had a lot to say about the game, how it has grown in India, and how he plans on helping it grow with Spartan over the next few years. He gave the crowd plenty of examples of international sportsmen like Shane Warne and others who have turned to the game after retirement. We also asked Rannvijay whether he has played at international locations and which venue is his favourite so far. He said, “My only experience of playing a live tournament abroad was recently in London and that was with Amin (Rozani) itself. It’s an experience I’m not going to forget anytime soon, and I’m surely going to do more of it soon. It gave me such a ‘pump’, playing with people of different backgrounds, surrounded by someone from Britain, someone from Poland and many other countries. I wasn’t even representing India there, but I know I wanted to beat them. I got a taste of it there and Amin was there to witness it. That was London and we have also planned to go to Vegas next year with a couple of Spartan Aces. I’ve told Amin that after a few years, I too would like to become a Spartan Ace.”
Once the press conference wrapped up, the top names in the Indian poker industry were welcomed at the venue, walking through the red carpet before entering the hall where the glamourous celebrations took place. The evening saw various Spartan winners being called up on to the stage to receive their trophies. Some of those who were felicitated include India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) featured event winners, The Millionaire winners, Spartan Super Series (SSS) and IOPC Main Event and Leaderboard winners, Spartan Growth Partners and many more. The most prestigious award of the night was the Best All-Rounder and that trophy went to Rishab Jain.
Apart from players, poker company heads and all those who have been associated with The Spartan Poker over the years were also invited to the show. Actress Ishita Sharma was one of them, talking about her relationship with Spartan, which has helped support her ‘MukkaMaar’ initiative that trains young girls in self-defence. Spartan co-founders Sameer Rattonsey, Rajeev Kanjani and Peter Abraham were also called on to the stage for a few words and giving away a set of awards each.
Along with players being honoured and prizes being distributed, the evening was also a social gathering for all the known entities of the poker industry. The players struck up conversations with each other as they were treated to some fine performances from the acrobatic Power Riders, musical artist Juggy as well as the dance group Illuminati which performed the Tron dance. This was followed by dinner and drinks at the venue, while the award winners also got up to shake a leg on the dance floor.
Speaking about the success of the awards function, Amin Rozani said, “It’s a pleasure to see our patrons celebrate and enjoy the spirit of poker together at the IPC Awards. Online poker is a dynamic industry with various new developments, tournaments and formats being introduced in quick succession and as a platform we are glad to have been almost every poker player top choice. The IPC Awards have played a key role in establishing a strong connect between us and our consumers, we are glad that this edition has been a success and hope to remain etched in the hearts of our patrons by offering innovative tournaments and properties. Good luck to all the players for the next edition of the IPC Awards, may the best players win!”
Rannvijay also commented on the 2018 IPC Awards, which remains the first and only awards property for poker players in India. “It was a night of grandeur and I feel privileged to have been present at this awards event. This is a unique initiative by The Spartan Poker, which provides a platform for poker talents and inspires them to continue doing their best. I hope all these players will continue what they are achieving and make it even bigger next year.”
These kind of nights will inspire budding poker players in India, as each and every one will also want to be called up on stage and have the spotlight on them. It will also do its bit in spreading awareness about the game of poker in general, not considering it as just ‘gambling’ as has been the idea in our country over the years. Gutshot would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all the winners from Saturday night and we hope to see many more such events in the future, where poker players are felicitated and honoured for their efforts.
Here’s a look at some more images from the 2018 IPC Awards:-
Spartan Directors Peter Abraham, Sameer Rattonsey and Rajeev Kanjani (L to R)
Shibani Dandekar was the host of the IPC Awards 2018
Actress Ishita Sharma
Spartan brand ambassador Rannvijay Singh was Chief Guest
Illuminati Dance troupe, Power Riders and musician Juggy set the stage alight with their performances
Time to get down and boogie!
With inputs from Dwayne Fernandes, GutshotMagazine.com