Indian poker is about to get another big boost with the launch of the Match India Poker League (IPL). The agreement for the Match IPL is between Switzerland based International Federation of Poker (IFP) and the Viaan Industries Ltd which is promoted by entrepreneur Raj Kundra and partner Shilpa Shetty Kundra.

Raj Kundra
Raj Kundra

The Match IPL will see city based teams compete in the what will consequently be the first ever professional match poker league. The league is expected to launch in September of this year and will feature an initial 8 teams. The competing teams will represent Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Kolkata and Mumbai.

The collaboration between The International Federation of Poker and entrepreneur Raj Kundra comes hot on the heels of the PSL. The PSL or Poker Sports League concluded its inaugural season last month to great reviews, paving the way for other such leagues.

What is Match Poker

According to the IFP website, Match Poker is a team sport incorporating regular Texas Hold’em (albeit typically with a pot-limit pre-flop and no-limit post-flop structure).

Teams are split onto different tables with one player from each team in each of the different seat positions. All players start each hand with an equal number of chips and receive their cards on a digital device.

The same cards are dealt at all tables (hole cards and community cards). This means that every player in seat 1 (each from a different team) has identical cards. The same is true in every other seat.

This allows the best players and the best teams to be identified. Each team’s combined chips are compared after every hand and points allocated accordingly. Players reset their stacks and the next hand begins.

After a pre-determined number of hands the team with the most points wins. All action is recorded electronically enabling real-time automated scoring, animated replay and detailed analysis.

Overseas Entities Eyeing India

Match Poker has been developed by the IFP and it has grown significantly since launching in 2009. The IFP has a presence in 60 countries with many more lined up. Thus, their decision to explore and invest in India represents a significant milestone, following the partnership between the WPT and Adda52.com.

Patrick Nally, President of the IFP, voiced strong support for the upcoming league. “We are delighted to be working with Viaan Industries and with Shilpa and Raj who have had the vision to recognise the potential of Match Poker and the business instincts to create an exciting and entertaining, sporting framework which will attract massive interest among players, sponsors and commercial backers in one of the world’s fastest growing markets,” he said.

Raj Kundra also shared similar sentiments saying, “I am delighted to work with the IFP on this tremendously exciting project.”

Furthermore, another part of the announcement by Mr. Kundra added to the excitement. The Match IPL will help Indian poker players increase their presence overseas with 6 players going on to represent India at the IFP Nations Cup later this year.

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