Being associated with the Poker industry in India is an arduous task. Faced with problems aplomb, the path to success is a rather pockmarked one. Jasven Saigal, who has been a part of the poker industry in India for over 10 years, can certainly testify to this. But unlike some before him, and most certainly many after, he has stuck strong with the sport and is, as he was 10 years back, looking to grow the sport to the far reaches of the country.

A restauranteur back in the day, Jasven had quit his life in the F&B world once he saw the immense potential in poker and over the years an astute mind and the ability to get a read on his opponents have made him a formidable adversary. His travels have taken him to Vegas, Macau, Manilla and many more places and the experiences have enabled him to become the player he is today. An immensely successful and popular player (though not by his own admission), it does beg the question of how a switch to PokerBaazi – the organization he joined a while back – came about.

As it turns out, the objective that drives both, the organization – PokerBaazi, and the individual -Jasven, is what helped bring the two parties together. After the occasional small talks at social gatherings and poker events, Jasven found in Navkiran Singh – CEO of PokerBaazi, an individual with a keen desire to grow the industry with primary focus on customer happiness.

The journey started with the Baazi Poker Tour (BPT) in June ’16 when Jasven was speaking with his long term friend and present Head of Poker at the Deltin Royale – Manish Adnani. Jasven recommended a tie-up with PokerBaazi and talks ensued soon after with the occasion being undertaken with fewer than 30 days of preparation. The event was a success and it also gave Jasven a chance to know and understand some of the other members of the PokerBaazi team better. Impressed by what he saw, Jasven came down to the PokerBaazi office in Delhi after the tournament. The discussions proved rather straightforward and he officially joined as a ‘Strategic Consultant’ in late July.

No online poker operator can claim to be perfect and PokerBaazi has certainly had its share of problems since its inception in 2014. However, one aspect of its service that is indisputable is their ethic towards players’ happiness. Shortcomings in technology have been offset with impeccable customer support and over time a trust amongst their players (or Baazigars as they like to be known). No online operator has been able to match this level of service, which quite often has been on a personal level from the PokerBaazi core team, and has led to many rethinking their own strategy for customer support. This, along with a desire to get even better, was a deciding factor in convincing Jasven to root for PokerBaazi. Having had a couple of stints with poker ventures of his own, and as a player himself, Jasven understands how frustrating it can be to a poker player if your problems are not addressed quickly. As he puts it, “I’ve always wanted to join a team which had the same vision as me”. So it is not a stretch to imagine that the “Customer first” policy at PokerBaazi was the piece of the jigsaw that he related to the most.

Four months on, there have been a quite a lot that has kept him busy. Jasven came on board around the time Sunny Leone joined the PokerBaazi bandwagon as a brand ambassador. There have been tournament restructuring (in which Jasven played no small part), live events in ISB Mohali and IIT Kanpur, corporate poker events and tie-ups with various F&B outlets which have kept him busy. With PokerBaazi entering the live space in Bangalore, it is unlikely that his schedule will ease up either. And this is precisely the way he prefers it. Jasven, by his own admission, has been only too happy to take up whatever responsibilities that have been pushed his way since joining. Working as a consultant has most certainly eaten into his poker time but he would not have it any other way.

Unpredictable as it is, the future, one hopes, will be bright for the poker industry in India. With people opening up to poker, the opportunities that once were scarce, are now endless with possibility.  Jasven hopes that as more and more players are introduced to poker, the path can be built in a way that more people find value in the sport than those who do not. It is his firm belief that the only possibility for this is by aligning the industry in such a way that operators are obliged to provide an experience that is emotionally as well as economically profitable. It is his hope that with PokerBaazi, “We can create a platform where players get the best playing experience alongside it being the most cost-friendly

PokerBaazi LIVE, PokerBaazi Premier League Season V and the new software update are some of the things keeping Jasven busy these days. With the team working overtime to roll out the new software early next month, Jasven is certain that this will not only add to the festive cheer but also to the goodwill that PokerBaazi has built. PokerBaazi is confident with their projections for the future. And no one is more so than their newest in-house Baazigar!


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