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India’s 1st Long-Run Poker League – GPL India Season 1 Grand Finale Airs Tonight on Colors Infinity

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  • Namita Ghosh April 6, 2019
  • 6 Minutes Read

Poker leagues are fast-catching the attention of poker audiences all around the world and India, that has a growing poker population, isn’t far behind. If 2017 saw the first poker league set foot in the country, then 2018 belonged to Global Poker League (GPL) India. Mediarex-owned GPL took its first steps on Indian soil in partnership with another industry leader – PokerStars, becoming the country’s first long-run poker league!


A Quick Recap

GPL India Season 1 aired for the first time on Colors Infinity and Colors Infinity HD on Saturday, March 9 from 7-8pm. Every Saturday since then two back-to-back episodes have been broadcast on the channels mentioned above. If you have missed out on the thrilling action here is a brief recap.

An action-packed Bootcamp brought 60 online qualifiers on a single stage and saw them fight for a spot in the six city-based teams. There was drama, there was cheer and needless to say, there was disappointment for some when the Bootcamp concluded with only 12 out of the 60 online qualifiers making it to their teams. After the teams were announced on the Drafts Day, the Regular Season kicked off!

The Regular Season started with a clash between the Team Managers followed by the online qualifiers and then the wildcard entries. The teams were all working on accumulating crucial points in these matches. Capping off the Regular Season was the Manager`s Finale.

After four weeks of exciting action, the time is fast approaching to announce the winners formally. With Pune Alphas and Kolkata Creators out of the race, the remaining four teams – Bengaluru Hackers, Chennai Sharks, Delhi Diehards, and Mumbai Jetsetters will be seen coming together for the Playoffs and the Finals today at 7-8pm.


GPL India Season 1 Teams

The online qualifiers for GPL India Season 1 ran on PokerStars India from June 25 where a total of 60 players were selected out of 7,500 entries, 10 for each team converged at the Bootcamp. Following the interview round and SNG Match, the final lineups of the six teams were unveiled on the Draft Day.

Team Bengaluru Hackers: Team manager Vidwath Shetty picked Abhishek Panda and Rahul Melwani as his pros. Shiv Bhargava won the interview round, and the SNG match was won by Arun Sriram.

Vidwath Shetty
Vidwath Shetty

Team Chennai Sharks: Managed by Vikram Kumar, the team saw Ashish Munot and Gaurav Gala join as wildcard pros, Mithun Mahesh and Suyog H won their way into the team.

Vikram Kumar
Vikram Kumar

Team Delhi Diehards: headed by First Ladies Award winner Muskan Sethi who handpicked Arsh Grover and Niharika Bindra as wildcard pros, with Ajitesh Bhargava and Albetrose Alex topping the interview round and SNG round respectively to join the team.

Muskan Sethi
Muskan Sethi

Team Kolkata Creators: Managed by PokerStars’ first Indian pro Aditya Agarwal, the team had Jayjit Ray and Rishab Jain as wildcard pros and Gokul Raj and Jai Saha as interview round, SNG round winners coming in.

Aditya Agarwal
Aditya Agarwal

Team Pune Alphas: Elite poker coach Abhishek Rathod was at the helm of the team that comprised of wildcard pros Nitin Jain and Kanishka Upreti, and online qualifiers Vishal Bajaj and Vikas Dhull as the bootcamp winners.

Abhishek Rathod
Abhishek Rathod

Team Mumbai Jetsetters: Managed by high stakes pro Kavin Shah, the team had Vivek Singh and Ramandeep Gujral as wildcard pros; Saurabh Sindhwani and Aneesh Gopinathan were the interview round & SNG match winners respectively.

Kavin Shah
Kavin Shah


Episodes 5 to 8: GPL India Regular Season

Broadcast on March 23 and 30, the Regular Season comprised of four episodes wherein six matches were held among the teams. Each match awarded scores to each team basis its performance in the match. The team ranked first was to score 7 points, that coming second to score 5 points, the third team to get 3 points, 2 points for the fourth team and 1 point for the fifth team. The team finishing sixth was not awarded any points. The points tally was added was all teams after all six matches of the Regular Season, and the top 4 teams made it to the Playoffs.

Here is a quick recap of each match.


Episode 5 – Manager’s Brawl

Kicking off the Regular Season was the Manager`s Brawl that saw all six Team Managers in action. Abhishek Rathod (Pune Alphas) was the first one out with Aditya Agarwal (Kolkata Creators), Muskan Sethi (Delhi Diehards) and Kavin Shah (Mumbai Jetsetters) all going out one after the other.

Managers Brawl

The final two players were Vidwath Shetty (Bengaluru Hackers) and Vikram Kumar (Chennai Sharks). Shetty eventually overcame a massive chip deficit to steal a surprise win, garnering 7 points for his team, as Kumar finished runner-up and collected 5 points.


End of Match Leaderboard Tally

Manager's Brawl Episode 5


Episode 6 – Qualifiers Showdown

There next two matches were between the online qualifiers and the action was intense.

Match 1: In the first Qualifiers Showdown, Arun Sriram (Bengaluru Hackers) was the first player to be eliminated, followed by Ajitesh Bhargava (Delhi Diehards), Vishal Bajaj (Pune Alphas) and Gokul Raj (Kolkata Creators).

Saurabh Sindhwani (Mumbai Jetsetters) and Suyog H (Chennai Sharks) were the last two players left standing.

Before the match began, Sindhwani had said, “We don’t have the lead, so I need to win this match.” With his team having managed only 3 points in the Manager’s Brawl, Sindhwani was determined to pull his team up and did well to score the victory as Suyog finished second.


End of Match Leaderboard Tally

GPL Episode 6 Match 1


Match 2: The second Qualifiers Showdown saw Vikas Dhull (Pune Alphas), Albetrose Alex (Delhi Diehards), Aneesh Gopinathan (Mumbai Jetsetters) and Jai Saha (Kolkata Creators) hit the rail before the final showdown began between Mithun Mahesh (Chennai Sharks) and Shiv Bhargava (Bengaluru Hackers).

Bhargava held a slight chip advantage over Mahesh and took his fight to the top, eliminating Mahesh in second place.


End of Match Leaderboard Tally


Episode 7 – Battle of the Pros

The ‘Battle of the Pros’, brought the 12 wildcard pros face to face for the first time.

Match 3: Jayjit Ray (Kolkata Creators) was the first pro to be eliminated, and he was followed to the rail by Kanishk Upreti (Pune Alphas), Gaurav Gala (Chennai Sharks) and Rahul Melwani (Bengaluru Hackers).

Arsh Grover (Delhi Diehards) squared off against Vivek Singh (Mumbai Jetsetters), and despite a chip deficit, Grover managed to secure the victory and most importantly 7 crucial points for his team.


End of Match Leaderboard Tally

GPL Episode 7 Match 1


Match 4: The second battle between the pros was won by Ashish Munot (Chennai Sharks) who defeated Ramandeep Gujral (Mumbai Jetsetters) heads-up.

Nitin Jain (Pune Alphas) was the first to depart, and Niharika Bindra (Delhi Diehards) joined him at the rail next.

Abhisek Panda (Bengaluru Hackers) and Rishab Jain (Kolkata Creators) and finished third and fourth respectively.


End of Match Leaderboard Tally

GPL Episode 7 Match 2


Episode 8 – Manager’s Finale

Coming into the Final Match of the Regular Season there was still a lot at stake. Three Teams – Chennai Sharks, Mumbai Jetsetters and Bengaluru Hackers were all confirmed their place in the Playoffs with Pune Alphas the only Team out of the race. It was a fight between the Delhi Diehards and Kolkata Creators for the fourth berth in the Semi-Finals and what better way to decide then to get the Team Managers to do the heavy lifting for their teams.

Vikram Kumar was the first one to be eliminated. Abhishek Rathod went out next and soon after that Aditya Agarwal also exited – and with that Kolkata Creators too were out of GPL India Season 1.

Vidwath Shetty was eliminated third leaving just Kavin Shah and Muskan Sethi in contention. Eventually, Shah won the match and not surprisingly his Team topped the Regular Season standings with 29 points.


End of Match Leaderboard Tally

GPL Episode 8 Manager's Finale


What’s Coming Up? The Semi-Finals & The Finals!

The long grind on the GPL India Season 1 is about to come to an end, with the final two episodes slated to be aired from 7- 8pm today.

GPL India Playoffs

The Semi-Finals aka the Playoffs is where the teams play in a team-vs-team knockout. Each team’s starting chips are based on their performance in the Regular Season. With the format of play changing, the teams are clearly under immense pressure.

We don’t want to spoil the fun for you, but in a sneak peek, Team Mumbai Jetsetters (50,000) will play the fourth-ranked team – Delhi Diehards (35,000) in a best of three heads-up match. Alongside, Team Chennai Sharks (45,000) will clash with Team Bengaluru Hackers (40,000)!

The winning two teams from the playoffs will then meet in the Finals where they will once again play heads-up in a best-of-five match. And to make things interesting, Team Managers have to play all their players before any player is repeated – so team strategy will play a vital role now!

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