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2018 has been a landmark year for Indian poker in terms of growth and popularity. Despite the legal uncertainty that has surrounded the mind sport, poker has continued to scale new heights in the country and PokerGuru has not only consistently reported on the progress, but many times has contributed to the growth story as well.
The past year not only saw monumental developments in the domestic poker industry but was an important year for us at PokerGuru as well, as late last year we ushered in our biggest upgrade till date where we transitioned to a new platform – PokerGuru 2.0. Our new platform comes with a complete facelift including a better layout and new features. Staying true to the motto of being the ‘One Stop For Indian Poker Players’ PokerGuru, in its new avatar, aims to continue adding value to the Indian poker community.
As I say these words, I acknowledge and I’m sure that you will agree, that there is no doubt that the Indian gaming industry, and poker in particular, has come a long way in recent times. So much so, that today we can proudly say that there’s a healthy environment and an ever-growing user base for poker in India. Our players are etching history on the global felts, and much more is yet to come.
For the better part of a decade, we at PokerGuru have been the frontrunners in the Indian poker media space with our extensive and in-depth coverage and our deep rooted connect with the Indian poker circuit! Now, with the launch of our new platform, I can only reiterate that the mission has not changed. We have passionately believed in and worked for what is right for the game. And in that vein, I would like to inform you about our latest collaboration. PokerGuru has joined hands with Vikram ‘Lungi’ Kumar and Kartik Ved in a venture to re-brand the popular live poker staking stable, AceJack that will henceforth be known as the PokerGuru stable.
Ever since poker’s popularity in India sky-rocketed over the last few years, the need for proper coaching and staking has also become imperative. In fact, PokerGuru was one of the first brands to stake domestic players under the guidance of poker pioneer and our co-founder Aditya Agarwal.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of ‘staking’ in poker, it means that an investor sponsors a poker player in exchange for a cut of the profits. Staking is hugely beneficial for players, especially budding talent for it often comes with free coaching. Up-and-coming players often have limited bankrolls and having a staking stable’s backing can take the pressure off when players go through downswings. Even though staking in India is at a nascent stage, it has tremendous potential to prosper as the game picks up momentum with attracting the masses.
While poker staking stables in India are few in number, AceJack is one of the more popular stables in the country for MTT-players. Founded by Varanasi-based poker pro Abhishek Jalan in March 2017, AceJack was the first-ever live poker staking stable to be set up in India that offered domestic players staking, coaching and special sessions to help budding players pursue their dreams of turning professional.
AceJack offered a standard staking deal to most of the selected applicants i.e. 50% of the profits with makeup, players were selected after a thorough background check and the primary focus was given on the player’s goal on why they were looking for staking, how dedicated they were to the game and their goals.
Abhishek steadily build his team to include Rishabh Jain and Kartik Ved. Chhabria and Jain parted ways with the stable after a few months, while Kartik stayed on and donned a management role in the business. He is presently in charge of the day-to-day operations of the poker stable.
As the brand grew, Abhishek roped in the Manager of GPL India Team Chennai Sharks, Vikram Kumar in October 2017. A former poker operator, Vikram has dabbled with several aspects of the mind sport and is possibly one of the most well-known faces in the domestic circuit. Vikram has also built a strong rapport with a large number of pros within the local community, which was a crucial factor behind the success of the stable.
In 2018, Aditya Agarwal was brought in as a mentor for a select group of players to help in improving their MTT game. Agarwal`s presence did wonders for the staking stable and its bandwagon of young players. His coaching bore almost immediate results with several rising talents like Vivek Singh, Jayjit Ray, Nadeem Basha, Gokul Raj, Ashish Ahuja, Ashish Munot, Rishabh Jain and Ratul Steves achieving a string of live and online wins.
In November last year, Abhishek parted ways with the AceJack stable and handed over its command to Vikram and Kartik.
Abhishek’s departure from the stable prompted the need for a re-branding of the AceJack stable. Having personally known Vikram and Kartik for several years now, it was a fairly easy decision for us to collaborate and proceed with this branding exercise which seemed to work to everyone’s benefit, especially the Indian poker community.
With this collaboration we hope to bring a lot more content for aspiring poker players, along with leveraging the experience and keys learnings of the young players associated with the AceJack stable. All the players of the poker staking stable will now become brand ambassadors for PokerGuru and flagbearers of the Indian poker fraternity. These players will be constantly sharing key concepts and strategy tips on PokerGuru in order to help and guide budding domestic talent.
I am really excited to welcome Vikram and Kartik along with all the players staked by them as part of PokerGuru’s extended family. We are grateful to the Indian poker community for the faith and support they have given to PokerGuru since our inception and we will continue to strive hard to deliver on their expectations.
I sincerely hope that this collaboration will be fruitful for both brands, along with bringing a positive boost to the poker community. This is first of many more exciting announcements to come from PokerGuru, all you have to do is stay tuned.
Note: Rajat Agarwal is the CEO & Editor-in-Chief of PokerGuru.