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Team India Wins Nations Cup 2021 Qualifiers, Will Play the World Championships in November

Team India Wins Nations Cup 2021 Qualifiers, Will Play the World Championships in November
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis June 15, 2021
  • 3 Minutes Read

At a time when live poker has taken a back seat due to the global pandemic, other forms of poker have been thriving exponentially. While our daily reports on domestic online action keep you updated on how the online traffic has been spiking, today, we bring you exciting news from another format of poker, i.e., Match Poker.

On Sunday, June 13, Team India delivered a fantastic performance in the Nations Cup 2021 Qualifiers, winning the tournament from the Asian region!

For those who are unaware, Match Poker is the team version of Texas Hold’em “typically with a pot-limit pre-flop and no-limit post-flop structure,” as the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) describes it. In 2019, Team India had championed the IFMP Asian Nations Cup and registered a thumping fourth-place finish in the 2020 Virtual Nations Cup. Following the team’s Sunday win, India will now be heading to the upcoming IFMP Nations Cup slated to take place in Europe in November.

IFMP tweeted the official results.

 

Team India: Meet the Members

Team India has been an active participant in IFMP events since 2013. Leading the squad is the team skipper and high stakes PLO cash game pro Jagdeep Singh, who previously captained Team Haryana Hawks to a victory in Match IPL Season 4.

Singh was joined by acclaimed writer and Bastiat Prize winner Amit Varma, high stakes crusher Pratibha Arya, Gaurav Kalra, Young Gun Anuj Kumar Kodam, Tanmay Bagga, and Ishaan Punjani.

Runner-up Pratibha Arya
Pratibha Arya

 

Match IPL Team Haryana Hawks’ Gaurav Kalra, who helped his team bag two titles in the last three seasons of Match IPL, made his debut representing Team India on Sunday.

Tanmay Bagga, who played a crucial role in Team India`s epic 2019 Asian Nations Cup victory, was the sole member of the team who wasn’t a part of the Haryana Hawks.

Tanmay Bagga
Tanmay Bagga

 

Team India’s seventh member, Kalyan Chakravarthy, was supposed to join the squad but had to cancel his participation last minute due to a health issue.

Kalyan Chakravarthy
Kalyan Chakravarthy

 

Amit Varma shared the news on his social media profile.

Amit Verma SS

 

Nations Cup 2021 Qualifiers (Asia): A Brief Recap

As expected, due to the times we live in, the Nations Cup 2021 Qualifier was hosted in a virtual environment with the gameplay on mobile phones and tables created via video on laptops.

The single-day qualifier event was held virtually between six nations (India, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan). After four sessions comprising 50 hands each, Team India became the first Asian nation to qualify for the Nations Cup Finals, which is slated to be hosted in Europe at the end of the year.

Talking to PokerGuru about the Nations Cup Qualifier, President of the Indian Federation, Varun Goenka, stated, “It was truly fantastic to see the teams come together and bring such incredible spirit to the Nations Cup Qualifiers. We saw 2 nations (Mongolia and Kazakhstan) play in an IFMP event for the first time, which is great as we can see our sport and its community growing.”

Varun Goenka
Varun Goenka

 

According to the regular updates posted on the official IFMP Twitter handle, session 1 ended with Team Hong Kong in the lead with 201 points while Team India was just 6.5 points behind in second place.

 

After the 100-hand mark, i.e., end of session 2, Team India had laddered up to the pole position with 378 points while Team Hong Kong trailed with 377.5 points.

 

After session 3, Team India continued their dominance by pulling further ahead with 570.5 points. However, Team Hong Kong was still placed second with 551.5 points.

 

There was no looking back for Team India as when the dust settled after 200 hands, they had raked in 751.5 points to secure their birth in the Nations Cup Finals.

Speaking to PokerGuru about the team’s performance, Team India’s skipper Jagdeep Singh said, “I’m very pleased with my team for the work we have done over the years in optimizing Match Poker strategy and you can see it in our results. This is an interesting format, and it’s usually quite thrilling in the last session as the leaderboard scores keep on getting updated every hand.”

Jagdeep Singh
Jagdeep Singh

 

Singh also shared how the team prepared for the event. “Preparing for this event was a challenge as we were all in separate locations working on different time zones. We worked through zoom calls. Our plan was to try out a few different strategies and be better prepared for the Nations Cup.”

“We are super thrilled to represent India in the Nations Cup later this year and challenge ourselves against other nations. We will be looking to fine-tune our strategy, study how our opponents play, and strategize accordingly,” he added.

On Team India’s victory, Varun Goenka said, “Team India was brilliant, from start to finish they really impressed and did what they know how to do best – play as a team and make us proud. Every single member deserves immense praise and a personal thank you from me for representing India so fabulously on a global stage. We are now fully focused on bringing home the Nations Cup.”

President of IFMP, Patrick Nally, tweeted:

 

About the Nations Cup 2021 Qualifiers

The IFMP Nations Cup Qualifiers officially began on June 5, and the virtual events will determine the qualifying nations for the 2021 Nations Cup Finals or the World Championships. In all, 18 teams are expected to participate in the Finals, including six teams from Europe, four from Asia, four from the USA, Ukraine (defending champions), and three teams from Africa and the Caribbean.

The 2021 Nations Cup Finals are expected to be held in a live setting at the end of the year in a European country.

Team Austria was the first qualifying team for the Finals, and Team India secured their birth for the World Championships on Sunday.

In the official press release, Patrick Nally shared his views on conducting the qualifiers in a virtual setting stating, “All International Sports Federations are facing enormous challenges due to the pandemic, but we are fortunate that, with our gameplay software, we are able to play a ‘live’ event but in individual locations. Match Poker is a sport based entirely on skill, and it’s the combination of a team’s effort that will ultimately produce the winner”.

“The social relationships developed through the hosting of our Match Poker events are important to us, and we are looking forward to getting back to live events as soon as practical, but we will continue to support our international competition schedule in this manner until such times as our ‘sporting family’ can be reunited,” he added.

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