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January will be a sizzling one on the virtual felts as Spartan Poker’s most iconic franchise makes a comeback! The first India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) of 2021 is ready to set the stage on fire from tomorrow, i.e., January 14. Boasting of a record-shattering ₹28 Crores in prize pool guarantees, the 18-day-long series will run from January 14 to 31.
Over the years, the IOPC has become Spartan Poker’s most-sought-after series. With a reputation of always offering bigger guarantees than before, the series had made a name for itself by doling out some of the most massive prize in the country. Considering that the January edition of 2021 also happens to be the series’ 10th edition, it most definitely will be a special series.
The series comprises two Millionaires, the ₹1.75 Crores GTD IOPC Millionaire Legends and the ₹1.5 Crores GTD IOPC Millionaire United. Still, the centerpiece of the series will undoubtedly be the ₹3.5 Crores GTD IOPC The CROWN. The ₹11,000 entry buy-in multi-flight tourney will run from January 25 to 31. Similar to the previous IOPC The Crown that took place in February 2020, this time too, The Crown champion will receive a glorious 18 Karat Gold crown alongside the whopping cash prizes!
PokerGuru reached out to some prominent poker players to get a feel of the buzz and excitement surrounding the mega-series!
Sky-High Expectations From the 10th IOPC Edition
Being one of the most renowned and reputable online poker stops, the IOPC invokes high expectations in most poker players, both old and new. So, this 10th edition, too, has got most of the poker enthusiasts on the edge of their seats.
PokerGuru Ambassador Ashish Ahuja and July 2020 Edition’s IOPC Main Event – The Crown champion Harshit Sanghi reaffirmed how the series is best known for its high-value tournaments.
“This time, the total guarantee is as huge as ₹28 Crores. I’m looking forward to it,” said Ahuja, while Sanghi predicted, “I expect IOPC January to be even bigger than the last one and shattering the GTDs.”
Online phenom Sagar Choudhury, like Sanghi, believes that the series is going to be an explosive one. “IOPC Jan is one of the marquee series with the highest GTD for the whole year. This year also, I am hoping that the series will crush its GTD.”
The former Millionaire champion Guneet Kwatra reiterated the sentiment stating, “IOPC has always been the flagship series in the Indian online poker circuit. And this time, the overall guarantees are massive with a bunch of high-value tournaments. I look forward to some run good and a lot of fun!”
Ahuja’s fellow Team Ambassador Naresh Veeravalli is hopeful that 2021 would be better than last year. “With a new year coming, there’s a lot of hope for the better with all that happened in the past year. So, looking forward to the new year. It’s a great start with IOPC. It’s a great series and great guarantees that look very promising!”
Sharing his excitement about the upcoming series, Young Gun Anmol Mehta said, “I’m thrilled that IOPC is usually one of the first major series of the year. It really lays the benchmark for all sites to follow since guarantees are huge, and really keeps us motivated to grind from the very get-go!”
The 2020 India Poker Champion Rubin Labroo kept it short and sweet, “It’s going to be great. Looking forward to the series and its huge guarantees.”
IOPC – League Apart
There is no dearth of online poker tournament series in the country. However, hardly any other series inspires so much anticipation and enthusiasm among poker players as the IOPC.
Elaborating on what sets the IOPC apart from others, Ahuja said, “IOPC is different from other series as it has tournaments for every kind of player. It doesn’t matter if you’re a micro stake grinder or a high roller; there’s something for everyone out there. Not just that, it even offers ₹1 Crore in leaderboard prizes as well.”
Sanghi, too, spoke about how players from all over India come together to participate in the IOPC, making it a sort of ‘people’s brand’ with its “small buy-ins but huge guarantees.”
Talking along similar lines, Kwatra claimed that the IOPC was: “a heady cocktail for anyone and everyone interested in poker.”
“I’m particularly looking forward to this year’s edition of IOPC, especially when quite a few final tables would be live-streamed as well! Spartan Poker did a great job during the inaugural FTS last year, getting world-renowned poker players to commentate, etc. So really looking forward to the live streams and watching the best of the best battle it out and constantly learn alongside!” said Mehta.
For Choudhury, it’s the series leaderboard that sets it apart from others. “IOPC leaderboard is something which has been in the news for all the right reasons every year. With pandemic still in place, I think this year the player pool will be bigger than last year.”
The first-ever Adda52 Big Game champion Rahul Jain considers the IOPC to be the best place where players of all stakes can come to play. “IOPC, I believe, is best placed to invite players of all stakes to take part. I expect the turnouts to be huge and a very high level of poker with people with new year resolutions to make it big and have a great start to 2021. IOPC has been a much-awaited series, and with live-streaming, it is going to be a talking point among the poker players.”
Veeravalli too stressed on the big guarantees and massive value the series usually offers “The one thing IOPC always does is huge guarantees and great events. It is fun to be playing it, and there’s an enormous amount of value with the range of events for players across stakes.”
All the eight poker players that we spoke to assured their participation in the upcoming series. 24-year-old Sanghi, who is also the returning Main Event champion, seemed determined to defend his crown. “I, for sure, will be participating and look forward to defending my crown. I don’t think anyone has ever done it, like defending the title back-to-back. Let’s be the first one to do it this time.”
Chasing the Leaderboard & Winning Strategy
The 10th edition of the IOPC is promising ₹1 Crore in leaderboard prizes. This open-for-all leaderboard will award prizes to the top 15 players, with the eventual topper walking away with ₹30 Lakhs in prize money.
As expected, the IOPC leaderboard has got everyone talking. Elaborating on the strategy they will implement for the series; the poker players shared their plans for the IOPC January 2021 edition.
“My strategy for upcoming IOPC will be to focus mainly on the daily featured tournaments as they will have the most points in leaderboard. I definitely will be competing and give my best to take down the leaderboard,” said Ahuja.
Sanghi jovially claimed, “Not sure about chasing the leaderboard yet, but yes, THE CROWN definitely needs to stay on the same head it was last year. 😉”
Kwatra will be among the few players not chasing the IOPC leaderboard this time. “Unfortunately, I’m unable to put in the volume for over two weeks or so, which is required to compete for the leaderboard. No difference in terms of the standard strategy of trying to play my A-game consistently over the entire duration of the series, and to win some key all-ins,” he said.
Veeravalli wisely said, “The leaderboard is a tough thing with so many events running; if we are off to a good start, maybe I’ll consider chasing it.”
“As for strategy, it is to approach these events like any other tournament, but have to be more focused and rested daily for 20 days to play good poker consistently,” he further added.
With the IOPC all set to kick off tomorrow, clear your schedule for this epic series.
Keep following PokerGuru for daily updates from the IOPC January 2021 edition!