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It’s that time again! Yes, the one-of-kind poker league jointly promoted by Raj and Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s Viaan Industries Limited and the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) will be visiting the City of Joy – Kolkata tomorrow for the grand finale of Season 2.
After the grand success of Season 1 where Harman Baweja`s Mumbai All Stars topped seven teams, a bigger and grander Season 2 will see a total of 10 teams representing their cities/states, all competing for the ₹40 Lakhs top prize along with the chance to represent Team India at the Match Poker Asia Nations Cup that will be held in Bangkok in April.
After the introductions of Teams UP Indians and Pune Kings, here is a look at a rebranded Team Goa Lions, Season 1 champions Mumbai All Stars and runner-up Team Jaipur Jewels.
Coming into Season 2 in a new avatar is Goa Lions and the team is backed by a new set of owners who are industry veterans from various sectors.
Goa Lions Owners
Navdha Taparia – Taparia has almost nine years of experience in the field of marketing, branding & consulting across various industrial segments. With experience in managing & marketing various fantasy leagues, she was also a part of the Cricket World Cup 2016, Audi Quattro Cup, AUDI CXO Circle, chapter I and is no novice at the game of poker herself, she is also the CEO of Team GOA LIONS.
A major in Marketing from St. Xaviers College, Kolkata, she has represented her state and school in various sports at the national level and currently plays rugby for Calcutta Cricket and Football Club.
Suraj Chokhani – Chokhani is not just a poker enthusiast but also the Managing Director of Ability Games which is the parent company of Goa Lions & PokerLion.com. Suraj’s immense knowledge and expertise in financial products and stock market makes him a sought-after venture accelerator. Suraj is also a renowned philanthropist, who believes in giving back to the society. He has made significant contributions in the field of child education, women empowerment and rural development.
Navneet Makharia – Makharia holds an MBA degree from IMT & Bachelors in Technology from VIT Vellore. Having established Leo Cements and www.speedmedicine.com as successful ventures quite early in his professional life, he has joined Ability Games as its CEO, all because of his love for poker.
Team Goa Lions
1. Kushal Patel
2. Roshan Jain
3. Chandan Agarwal
4. Akash Pritom Saikia
5. Sanjay Saraf
6. Divya Rungta
7. Navdha Taparia
Harman Baweja’s star-studded Mumbai All Stars are the defending champions coming into this season and the re-drafted team looks just as strong.
Mumbai All Stars along with Season 1 Player of the League Aditya ‘Bitti’ Agarwal had represented Team India at the IFMP Nations Cup 2017 where they eventually finished fifth.
Team Mumbai All Stars
1. Harman Baweja
2. Zubin Panthaki
3. Abhisek Panda
4. Jasven Saigal
5. Nikunj Jhunjhunwala
6. Nisha Sareen
7. Sacheen Ramchandani
8. Ronak Gidwani
Season 1 Runner-Up Team Jaipur Jewels
Team Jaipur Jewels, owned by a consortium led by the ‘Fire and Ice’ duo of Agarwal brothers – Aditya Agarwal aka Bitti and Praveen Agarwal, had finished runner-up in Season 1. Bitti who was also the Team Captain last Season, led his team to a runner-up position and was named the “Player of the League”. Agarwal is once again the Team Captain this Season and will be looking to one up the performance this time around.
Jaipur Jewels Owners
Aditya Agarwal – Bitti is a well-known figure in the Indian poker circuit. He started playing professional poker at the age of 18 and since then, he has added several tournament accolades to his name. Some notable finishes by him include – 1st in Asian Poker Tour (APT) 2011 and 2nd in the India Poker Championship (IPC) 2016. However, his most valuable contribution to the Poker Industry is getting the game legally recognized in West Bengal after a courtroom battle. He also runs the Kolkata chapter for Indian Poker Association (IPA), a society to make India a dominant force in the World Poker circuit.
Praveen Agarwal – Praveen has been a seasoned banker and has spent a decade working for Bank of America (Corporate and Investment Banking division) in Mumbai. Recently, he moved back to Kolkata to join the family business of textiles and edible oils.
Team Jaipur Jewels
1. Aditya Agarwal
2. Ankush Agarwala
3. Tanmay Bagga
4. Arjun Dhingra
5. Karan Jain
6. Rajnish Kumar
7. Rishab Jain
8. Mahima Walia Das
Keep following all the updated from Match IPL Season 2 right here on PokerGuru!