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Match Indian Poker League (MIPL) is an intellectual property (IP) owned and promoted by Raj and Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s Viaan Industries Ltd, a BSE listed a popular licensing, entertainment & wellness company and the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP). MIPL is a regulated sports poker tournament, approved and backed by both the IFP and its Indian Federation which is a Switzerland based governing body of sports poker, promoting poker and its Match Poker variation as a skill game and a mind sport.
Most notably, on October 2, IFMP was awarded the “observer status” for Olympic consideration by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), which works closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Match Poker is the skill-based variant of the world’s most popular card game in which players compete for points (and not for stakes) in a team format. It combines the skills of an ultra-mind sport with current digital technology. Cards are dealt digitally and the game is played on smartphones and tablets, thereby eliminating the randomness of the cards and amplifying the skill. The technology facilitates record keeping and administration of the competition.
The inaugural league is gearing up for a grand finale in November. The league will feature eight teams representing eight cities namely Ahmedabad Hearts, Jaipur Jewels, Pune Knights, Kolkata Diamonds, Bangalore Royals, Goa Kings, Delhi Aces and Mumbai All Stars.
Just a few days ago, it was announced that the winning team of the inaugural season of MIPL would represent Team India at the Poker World Cup in UK this December.
The national capital team, Team Delhi Aces, recently hosted the first tryouts. Founded and owned by young and enthusiastic poker-loving entrepreneurs, the Delhi Aces is a culmination of their enthusiasm for the game and comprises of an interesting mix of leading businessmen and professionals. Each of them bears a unique strength and their collective goal is to live up to their team motto, “Fortune favours the bold“!
Like their own personalities, they expect the Delhi Aces to play aggressive but smart poker where winning is the ultimate goal.
The Delhi Aces hosted their first try-outs on October 28 wherein pre-registered and shortlisted candidates fought for points & position over three sessions. Each session entailed the players playing a fixed number of hands with no element of luck or chance existing as the same hands were randomly and electronically dealt to the players. Players were judged on the basis of points accumulated by them vis a vis other players. The final team is yet to be announced, as the players will be selected on the basis of points earned, attitude, match poker ranking & years of play/reputation in the game.
Notables who took part in the first tryouts were Devesh Thapar, Kunal Chandra, Amit Ajwani, Prashant Jain Bhutoria, Puneet Dua, Aditya Kumar, Archit Khandelwal, Sanjay Taneja, Rubin Labroo, Simrit Tiwana, Niharika Bindra Raghav Singh, Avadh Shah, Deepak Aggarwal, Harpreet Gandhi, Samrat Talwar, Varun Kumar, Rahul Sobti, Vishal Malhotra, Rishab Gupta, Vivek Jain, Siddhanth Gupta, Rahul Jindal, Gaurav Raj Bambi, Sameer Guliani, Rohit Behal, Anirban Das, Mahima Walia Das, Aryan Chaudhary, Vaibhav Kalani, Ravi Venkatesh and Sathanapalli Seshendra Kumar.
Raj Kundra expressed his views on the first ever tryouts and said, “It is delightful to see the enthusiasm & professionalism of the Team Delhi Aces. They have embraced the format of the game in its entirety. We believe this will be the best judge of great talent. If you think you have the skill set then do come out & register on the app & with the team to get a chance to represent your country internationally.”
Delhi Aces’ Ankur Sachdeva also voiced the same feeling, “It is heartening to see Poker being embraced as the mind sport that it is! The strategies needed and applied are not very different from playing a game of chess. It’s all about thinking ahead and calculating the best possible moves to gain an advantage. The tryouts in Delhi are to give young (and old) poker enthusiasts a fair and equal chance to be on Team Delhi Aces”
Delhi Aces’ co-owner, Mr. Abhishek Khaitan added, “Poker is catching the imagination of people, the fact that it’s been given observer status for the Olympic games, reinforces our collective opinion on it being a game of skill and not chance.”
Ankur Sachdeva is an expert in Global Travel Retail and Institutional sales, with a proven track record of over 17 years in various commercial leadership roles built on profound knowledge of the Indian wine & spirit industry. He has been leading the International Business Division (IBD) of Radico Khaitan since 2010.
Abhishek Khaitan is suave, charming and elusive businessman who has successfully taken his legacy “Radico Khaitan” and exponentially grown it both in popularity and profit.
Delhi Aces very own Zambian Lion Rajnish Gupta is affable, friendly, ever smiling but don’t be fooled by his personable demeanor.
Rajat Sikka of Saivana Exports is a top first generation Indian manufacturer & exporter of very high fashion women’s clothing to some of the leading fashion houses of Paris and New York.
Shantanu Dalmia is a well-respected businessman in the oil & gas exploration industry. He has been instrumental in expanding the global footprint of Casewell Drilling Services to over 40 countries in the past decade. Dalmia is an avid poker player and is highly accomplished in the sports start-up space. He has mentored professionals in product development and growth of this game in India.
The dynamic Riju Jhunjhunwala, M.D. of RSWM Ltd believes not only in growing his business but also giving back to society with his hands-on personal & CSR activities. He is young, enterprising, fiercely competitive & an avid history buff.
Keep following all the updates from Match IPL right here on PokerGuru!