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The excitement and humdrum of live poker action may be missing from the domestic sector this year, but poker brands have more than made up by churning out a smashing palate of online offerings. Poker players now have another BIG reason to smile. The World Poker Tour (WPT) is returning to India for the fourth consecutive year, this time in an online avatar as the WPT Online India series!
Instead of returning with the usual seven-day eight-event live schedule onboard the Casino Deltin Royale in Goa, the series is going virtual for the first time and will be hosted by WPT’s exclusive India partner, Adda52.
The WPT Online India has 154 events on the schedule and with a jaw-dropping ₹13.5 Crores guaranteed between them. The series will culminate with the ₹2.5 Crores GTD Main Event that features 10 starting flights, allowing players to buy-in for ₹11,000.
Adding to the attractions will be two leaderboards – the ₹25 Lakhs Mega Leaderboard and the ₹10 Lakhs Mini Leaderboard, assuring more cash prizes to the ranked players.
The two brands have a long history of working together with Adda52 running online satellites to the live WPT India events each year. It will be safe to expect the site to roll out a comprehensive satellite schedule for the upcoming edition soon.
WPT Online India – What to Expect!
While the full-blown schedule of the first-ever WPT Online India series is expected to come out next week, what we do know right now is that there will be 154 events on the schedule.
Talking about the series, Manish J. Adnani, Business Head of Poker, Delta Corp, said, “Adda52 has added tremendous value to the Live Poker space with the introduction of WPT India in 2017 with successive rollouts in 2018 & 2019. WPT India has set a very high standard for a live series, and we hope to deliver the same experience online on Adda52.”
“The WPT Online India festival is a well-balanced series with 2 Leaderboards packed in with The Main Event with a 2.5 CR GTD with some welcome attractions. We hope to roll out a memorable series for all the players and unfold glory for the new champions of 2020.”
2.5 Crores GTD Main Event
The piece de resistance of the WPT Online India will be the Main Event boasting a ginormous ₹2.5 Crore guarantee at an entry buy-in of ₹11,000.
There will be 10 starting flights starting November 11, and all qualifying stacks will converge for Day 2 on November 22.
Unlike most online series, the WPT Online India will have two “Player of the Series” (POS) Leaderboards that will dole out an additional ₹35 Lakhs in cash prizes to the consistent winners.
The MEGA POS Leaderboard will give away ₹25 Lakhs in prizes and be open to players who participate in 29 qualifying tourneys with buy-ins up to ₹55,000. The top-ranked player will collect a whopping ₹10 Lakhs and the POS Trophy.
The MINI POS Leaderboard, on the other hand, promises ₹10 Lakhs in cash prizes to the top 10 ranked players, with the leaderboard topper set to walk away with ₹3 Lakhs. For this leaderboard, players will get the opportunity to rake up points through 125 qualifying tourneys.
WPT India – A Growing Presence
The World Poker Tour entered India through a partnership with India’s biggest online poker site, Adda52, in 2017. Since then, the two brands have jointly hosted three successful live editions of WPT India onboard Casino Deltin Royale, operated by Adda52’s parent company, Delta Corp.
The first-ever WPT India edition was hosted from November 7 to 13, 2017, and the series headliner, ₹55K Main Event, crowned a champion in Vikash Mantri, who shipped it for ₹60.03 Lakhs.
The 2018 edition was an even bigger success, and the Main Event drew a record 697-strong field. Former IPC champion and Mumbai-based high roller Nikunj Jhunjhunwala added another glorious title to his tally and a career-best ₹66.35 Lakhs.
The last WPT India stop took place in October last year, where PokerGuru Ambassador Ashish Munot came out on top of 630 entries in the Main Event to win ₹63.48 Lakhs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on live venues like Deltin Royale and even tournament brands like WPT that have improvised by moving many live stops to the virtual felts. WPT has hosted many series in tandem with partypoker across various international markets. India is understandably a significant and growing market for the WPT. With the WPT Online India, the brand continues to extend its long-standing association with Adda52 and the Delta Group.
Keep following PokerGuru for more updates on the 2020 WPT Online India series!