Vatsal Thirani and Kanishk Bansal started FTRpoker with a dream to grow poker and build a niche brand in the industry. Starting out in a tiny apartment in Gurgaon with just a few friends, they now sit in a swanky office with a considerably larger team complete with techies, designers, and callers. A little under a year since setting up shop, the dream still burns strong and the phenomenal success of the early months, proof of not just the potential in the poker industry but also of their good work thus far, spurns their inner fire to achieve bigger and better dreams. A look back at their journey sheds light on an innovative and street-smart approach undertaken by this young, but motivated team.

From L to R: Sarth Rastogi, Kanishk Bansal, Utfal Arora, Vatsal Thirani

Out-of-the-Box Marketing
The objective thus far has been to provide value to players with the help of a transparent setup and the marketing strategy to tap into markets away from the tradition poker setups has borne fruit.

‘Innovation’ is the magic word at the FTRpoker office. Creative ideas are encouraged and they’ve been evident in the campaigns undertaken recently. Other outreach programs have included conducting events for the first time in certain colleges and corporates; thereby giving new players a feel of what the game is all about.

The Lucky 7 VIP Race is an example of the creative promotions that FTRpoker is currently offering. In this promo, the top 7 players in the VIP race from 1st March- 31st may 2017 will win trips to Vegas, Macau, Bangkok or Goa! (

Tournament Series
A serial winner on FTRpoker has been the Bang Series of tournaments. The series features a different type of tournament every day at the prime-time 9:30 pm slot and has consistently seen huge numbers since its inception. The highlight of the series is the 5L GTD Mega Bang which happens once a month. The inaugural edition of the tournament, in December, saw the then 10L guarantee crushed within minutes!

Another series that made the waves on FTR was the Gadget Series. The Gadget Series, as the name suggests, offered an array of gadgets every week ranging from iPhones to MacBooks and DSLR Cameras. With a new set of gadgets on offer every week, players have been kept engaged and keep coming back every week to the lure of taking home a fancy new gadget. It was a huge success and gave FTRpoker widespread appreciation.

Target Driven Strategy
For any management, it is important to know where the organization is headed. Vatsal and Kanishk were clear from the very beginning on the milestones they wanted to achieve in short and long term, and their work has been streamlined accordingly.

A target of 20,000 users was the big one they set out to achieve by the end of 12 months, and one they’re on course to navigate. Most of these players have been acquired through targeted marketing and more importantly, from outside the existing poker circuit – a matter of immense pride to the FTR team.

A less tangible, but nonetheless important target was establishing FTRpoker as a trusted brand in the online space. Through exceptional service, smooth UX and tactful transparency, the FTR team has built up a pedigree to match any of the stalwarts of the industry.

And finally…

2016 was a year by which the poker industry in India had already caught speed. Multiple sites were already established and regs had positioned themselves on their favored websites. As a result, FTRpoker needed to ensure that among the first hurdles they scaled was moving beyond the tag of a ‘startup site’. While there are no markers to define the exact moment you can classify a website as an established pillar of the Indian poker fraternity, the achievements of the FTR platform and the adulations of the players dictate that FTRpoker can now safely call themselves so.Welcome to big timers. The real challenge begins here!

The core team with mentor Amin Rozani

Visit and start your FTR journey today!

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