3 Minutes Read
Back in November 2017, Raj Kundra, Shilpa Shetty and the International Federation of Match Poker backed Match Indian Poker League (MIPL) made a grand debut that took the entire poker community by storm. The one-of-a-kind league visited the City of Joy, Kolkata on March 31, 2018 for its eagerly awaited 2nd Season and needless to say, the league came back with a bang in this second innings with a whopping ₹1 crore distributed among the top four teams.
While the opening Season saw the Harman Baweja owned Mumbai All Stars taking top honors, making a clean sweep this time around was debuting team Haryana Hawks owned by PokerBaazi, Pulkit Totla, Nitin Maheshwari, Jitendra Agarwal, Jagdeep Singh, Kalyan Chakravarthy and Pranjal Batra.
True to their mascot, the Hawks flew to new heights in their maiden appearance to win ₹40 Lakhs for their combined efforts.
Whether its experience or edge, it’s a fact that several players drafted this season in the Haryana Hawks were in fact team members of the Match IPL Season 1 champion team Mumbai All Stars – Jagdeep Singh and Pratibha Arya who played alongside some of the country’s brightest poker minds in Amit Varma, Kalyan Chakravarthy, Naman Agarwal, Keshav Chadha and Prabhat Kiran Mukherjea in the Season 2 finale.
Pratibha Arya was crowned the ‘Player of the League’ for her stellar run at the Finale and will be representing Team India for an impressive second time with her team mates from Harayana Hawks at the Match Poker Asian Nations Cup that is to be held in Bangkok, Thailand later this year.
In all, five sessions (24 hands per session) of grueling poker action saw a total of 120 hands play out before the final results came in and pandemonium broke loose when the Haryana Hawks were declared champions. Following them in top place was another debuting team UP Indians who finished second while Team Delhi Aces finishing third.
UP Indians won ₹25 Lakhs for their runner up finish while, Delhi Aces won ₹20 Lakhs for their third place finish. Kolkata Diamonds finished fourth and won ₹15 Lakhs.
1. Haryana Hawks – ₹40 Lakhs
2. UP Indians – ₹25 Lakhs
3. Delhi Aces – ₹20 Lakhs
4. Kolkata Diamonds – ₹15 Lakhs
The Hawks were off to a slow start, placed seventh after session 1 but once they took flight there was no stopping them. They took the lead the very next session and one they didn`t relinquish till they had lifted the championship trophy!
While poker action was at its peak at the Finale, the entertainment quotient was not lacking either. Benafsha Soonawalla and Dheeraj Juneja were the official MC`s at the event who kept the audience and the players in splits with their comic timing and commentary. Adding to the glamour and excitement quotient were popular celebrities Karishma Tanna and Dino Morea who along with Match IPL co-founder Raj Kundra gave away the prizes.
With MTV India as the official broadcast partner, poker lovers and buffs can catch all the action on MTV on April 26 and 27.