After another failed attempt to kick-start the tournament scene, the prospects look well and truly over for the city dubbed the “poker capital of India.” The cancellation of the Boom Boom Series on the second of a proposed 4-day long extravaganza appears to have quelled any remaining hope of Bangalore providing an alternative haven for poker tournaments.

Following the events at Galactic Poker Tour last August, where players were subject to humiliation and theft, poker rooms across Bangalore oversaw a low key year with few outsiders venturing into the city to play. Plans for large-scale tournaments were scrapped and small-guarantee tournaments have been the only options on offer since.

The Boom Boom Series was the first major tournament organized in Bengaluru since the infamous incident. The turnout at the event on the first day exceeded expectations with a host of well-known names traveling to the Garden City to participate.

However, the event came to an abrupt halt on the second day when a local news station cited in a report that local clubs were conducting illegal activities under the pretext of poker. The report mentioned various poker clubs in Bengaluru and accused them of running illegal gambling operations among other allegations.

Even though the claims were grossly inaccurate the event organizers, unwilling to risk the players’ safety and money, immediately stopped the tournament and asked all players to vacate the premises. The announcement soon followed that the entire event was canceled and the participants were left with a suffocating sense of deja vu.

It is as of yet uncertain what caused the TV station to report what they did. But it seems a terrible coincidence that it happened in the middle of the first major poker event in the city for 7 months. It is even more surprising given that the previous 7 months were incident-free with business taking place as usual.

For now, though, it is likely that poker players will be staying away from Bengaluru, preferring instead to travel to the safe havens of Goa and Sikkim in search of poker. Further compounding this sorry state of affairs is the knowledge that it will probably take a lot longer than 7 months to bring them back.

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