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It’s taken 24 months, but the country’s longest-running live tournament brand, India Poker Championship (IPC), is finally back! This time, instead of the calming waters of Mandovi, the IPC will take place among the picturesque hills of Jhapa, Nepal, at the Spartan LIVE poker room at Casino Vegas by Big Daddy. The series has been branded as the India Poker Championship Megastacks and will run from May 17 to 22. The IPC Megastacks comprises four tournaments, guaranteeing a whopping ₹3.50 Crores in prize money!
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IPC Megastacks Schedule
|May 17 @4 PM||₹8K Mega Satellite||₹8.50 Lakhs 10 PKG - Kickoff + ME|
|May 18 @5 PM||₹25K Kick-Off||₹50 Lakhs|
|May 19 @1 PM||Kick-Off Day 2||₹50 Lakhs|
|May 19 @5 PM||₹100K High Roller Day 1||₹1 Crore|
|May 20 @1 PM||High Roller Day 2||₹1 Crore|
|May 20 @5 PM||₹60K Main Event Day 1A||₹2 Crores|
|May 21 @4 PM||₹60K Main Event Day 1B||₹2 Crores|
|May 22 @1 PM||Main Event Day 2||₹2 Crores|
|May 22 @4 PM||₹15K Mystery Bounty||-|
|May 23 @1 PM||Main Event Final Table||-|
|May 23 @4 PM||₹20 Lakhs Freeroll||₹10 Lakhs Cash + ₹10 Lakhs IOPC TKTs|
But that’s not all! Once you’ve had your fill of the live felts, you have more to look forward to on the virtual ones. The country`s most prestigious online MTT series, the India Online Poker Championship (IOPC), is returning for its 13th edition on Spartan Poker (and partner sites BLITZPOKER and PokerHigh) in June! Running from June 2 to 19, this will be the BIGGEST-EVER online MTT series in the country with ₹33 Crores guaranteed. More details on the series will be shared soon.
Getting the ball rolling at the IPC Megastacks will be the ₹8,000 buy-in Mega Satellite on May 17 (4 PM). The Mega Satellite guarantees ten Kick-Off and Main Event packages worth ₹8.50 Lakhs!
The series will officially start on May 18 (5 PM) with the ₹25K Kick-Off. The series-opener is a two-day event with a ₹50 Lakhs prize pool guarantee. The action will next move over to the ₹100K Highroller, which has a ₹1 Crore prize pool guarantee. Another two-day event, the Highroller, will commence proceedings alongside Day 2 of the Kick-Off on May 19 (5 PM).
The pièce de résistance of the IPC Megastacks will be the ₹60K Main Event. The only multi-flight event of the series, the Main Event guarantees a whopping ₹2 Crores, but given the past track record of the IPC, the guarantee will almost certainly be crushed.
IPC Megastack Main Event Details
Another show-stealer in the series will be the ₹15K Mystery Bounty. This will also be the first time the popular format will run as part of a domestic tournament. The event will start on May 22 (4 PM) and play all the way down to a winner. While not much has been revealed about this particular event, if we were to guess, it will be similar to Mystery Bounty events at the WSOP, where players would have to pick out their bounties from a lucky draw.
Wrapping up the series on May 23 (4 PM) will be a ₹20 Lakhs Freeroll open to all participants of the IPC events. The freeroll will have ₹10 Lakhs in cash prizes and ₹10 Lakhs worth of IOPC tickets up for grabs!
Road to IPC & Online Satellites
For players looking to attend the IPC Megastacks series on a budget, the Road to IPC is just the thing for you! The Road to IPC comprises the Cash Fiesta (April 20 to May 10) and online satellites to be hosted on Spartan Poker (and partner sites BLITZPOKER & PokerHigh) from April 15.
The Road to IPC and online satellites will have players vying to win from three IPC packages – IPC Silver Package (worth ₹1.10 Lakhs), IPC Gold Package (worth ₹1.30 Lakhs), and IPC Platinum Package (worth ₹2.25 Lakhs).
All packages offer tickets to IPC events and lodging and flight expenses (Gold and Platinum packages).
IPC Megastacks Packages
|IPC Silver PKG||₹25K Kick-off, ₹60K Main Event||5 Nights/ 6 Days Stay Worth ₹25K||₹1.10 Lakhs|
|IPC Gold PKG||₹100K High Roller||15K Flight, 3 Nights/ 4 Days Stay Worth 15K||₹1.30 Lakhs|
|IPC Platinum PKG||₹25K Kick-off, ₹60K Main Event, ₹100K High Roller||₹15K Flight, 5 Nights/ 6 Days Stay Worth 25K||₹2.25 Lakhs|
IPC to Make Its Debut in Nepal
The upcoming series will be the second time the IPC will be held in an international land casino, with the first one taking place at the Ballys Casino, Colombo, in Sri Lanka in 2013.
Casino Vegas, located at Hotel Mechi Crown in Dhulabari, Nepal, is the host venue for the IPC Megastacks. The casino`s poker room, operated as Spartan Poker LIVE, began operations on January 1, 2022. Running under the same management as Casino Big Daddy in Goa, this is the second collaboration of the casino with Spartan Poker.
Even though Nepal is an international destination, Jhapa’s accessibility to all the major cities of India makes it a travel-friendly poker destination. Jhapa is the easternmost district of Nepal and is just 48 kms from Bagdogra Airport (IXB), making it more accessible for outstation players than the floating casinos in Goa. Jhapa lies in the Terai plains, bordering the Indian states of West Bengal and Bihar, and the closest airport at Bagdogra is well connected by air to most major Indian cities.
Hotel Mechi Crown is also the first five-star hotel to commence operations in the Mechinagar Municipality of Jhapa district. The hotel is located on eight bighas of land at Jorsimal and has 105 deluxe rooms, a conference hall, a helipad, spa, gym house, swimming pool, a green garden, and a luxurious casino.
Casino Vegas, housed inside the hotel, has the largest gaming area among all the casino properties across Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka. The Spartan LIVE poker room inside the casino is spacious enough to accommodate the record-crushing numbers we have become accustomed to reporting at IPC events.
Not only is the new poker room spacious and well-maintained, but all players will also be served complimentary meals and alcohol. Like in Casino Big Daddy in Goa, daily dance and entertainment performances offer guests the never-sleeping vibe of casino life!
Moreover, instead of traveling to the casino from the hotel or an Airbnb, players can stay at the luxurious hotel and take the elevator down to the poker room when it’s time to play. Isn’t that convenient?!
Traveling to the venue from the airport promises to be convenient as the casino is only a 30 mins drive. Moreover, Indians do not require visas to travel to Nepal and only need a valid Indian passport or Voter ID (issued by the Election Commission of India).
Note: Other documents (Aadhaar, Pan Card, Driving License, Indian Embassy Registration, etc.) are not accepted for travel to Nepal.
India Poker Championship: A Lookback
Launched in 2010, IPC is the longest-running live tournament brand in the country today. When the IPC was started, the only other tournament brand running regular tournaments was the India Poker Series.
Some of the earliest editions of the IPC were hosted onboard Casino Royale in Goa. IPC tournaments were hosted from 2010 to 2011. After a four-year-long hiatus, the series returned in January 2015 at the Deltin Royale Poker Room onboard the floating Casino Deltin Royale.
After February 2016, IPC went on another three-year-long hiatus. This time, when the IPC made a comeback in 2019, the series was held onboard the Casino Big Daddy in Goa. The series set a new record of 777 entries registered in the ₹35K Main Event, which Raj Talwar took down for ₹49.25 Lakhs. This record was recently overtaken at the 2022 Baazi Poker Tour (BPT) ₹35K Main Event, which logged in 900 entries, which will likely be challenged in the upcoming series.
The last IPC series took place in January 2020. The ₹3.25 Crores GTD Main Event was the star attraction of the series, and Rubin Labroo shipped the marquee tournament for a whopping ₹45.34 Lakhs. Besides being named the 2020 India Poker Champion, Labroo took home a shiny IPC trophy and bagged a one-year sponsorship deal worth ₹20 Lakhs from Spartan Poker and a gorgeous Panerai watch!
The COVID-19 outbreak and the nationwide lockdown in March 2020 suspended live poker activities everywhere, forcing casinos to shut down. The live poker scene has been steadily reviving in India and across the globe, and the upcoming IPC will undoubtedly act as the catalyst to push live MTTs back into top gear as it was in the pre-COVID era.
Keep following PokerGuru for all the latest updates from IPC Megastacks and IOPC!