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Poker in Goa

Posted by ashutoshnaik on 2012-08-11 at 12:00 AM

Hi Guys,

I haven’t been blogging for a long time, becuase I am on a little break from poker. I have played hardly anything over the last 30 days, and my last tournament in Goa was as far back as IPS July, and unfortunately I couldn’t make it for the PGT either. However I view this as a silence before the storm, as I am going to grind a lot in Goa during the September-January period, when tourists are going to be in Goa, and I am going to be there to take care of the tourists on the poker tables. Well, its a sin to let tourists keep their money on the poker tables right ? The last quarter of the year, is always an exciting time for live poker, and I am looking forward to it.

An interesting development these days is that the number of tournaments in Goa are getting consolidated now, with August having just one tournament – IPS and most other tournament operators taking a little bit of a break except for PokerGuru tour of course, which continues to draw in the numbers. The rake-free model of PGT along with the guarantees are taking it ahead. However, I must add that with consolidation on the cards, almost any tournament in Goa will be worth attending in the future, if they provide value. I think there is enough appetite for 2 tournaments/month, and with things like the entire final table getting paid for 50+ entries these days, I think there is good value now and we should see numbers returning to Goa again.

However, the goa government is intent to put a spanner into the development of poker by firstly banning locals in Goa, and then trying to dissuade the casino industry in Goa. The govt seems to be keen on killing the goose that lays golden eggs. The Goa casino industry is generating a lot of revenue for them which includes direct as well as indirect taxes. It’s so easy for the tourists to just go to Nepal/Sri Lanka/Macau and give Goa a miss. Also, every city has its own share of underground clubs these days. I think it is high time Goa allows card games in land based casinos, if the government is so serious about saving the river Mandovi, then let them do it on land. I don’t see any logical argument, for which they have to allow live card gambling on the river and not on land. I know people who come to the casinos, they do not even visit the beaches, all they do is to be in the casino and go back. if you want to take them away from contributing taxes to the economy, then you are shooting yourself in the foot. Neither does the govt understand that Poker is a skill game, and there are people making a living out of it in Goa.

However, its a fast changing scenario, and nobody knows now, how the situation will evolve, in the coming months. I just hope that better sense prevails. Thankfully, India is a democratic country and I hear that this is already getting challenged in courts. Remember that as a Goan, I am proud of Goa, and I feel as a mature state, which was the first to allow casinos in India, in the first place, better sense will prevail soon! I am doing a bit of campaigning about this with some of the local forums and political workers and getting them see the disasters of this.

Well, that’s it from me for now, and until next time, Hope you all run good!


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