There have been signs in the poker world for some time, that India could be a potential growth area for poker, but it is always difficult to tell just how much poker may take off in a country by guesswork alone. The IPC, having been running since early 2010 provides a reasonably accurate reflection of where poker in India is in terms of popularity. The answer is, growing steadily. It hasn't seen a huge surge as such, but the attendance figures for the IPC which takes place every two months are conclusive. In April this year, the Main Event drew 236 participants, while in August, the figure was 248.
The IPC Main Event drew 236 participants (photo IPC)
Poker enthusiasts Peter Abraham and Sameer Rattonsey first came up with the idea after ten years of playing poker. Event is organized on the offshore casinos of Panjim (Goa). Since it's arrival in 2010, the IPC has become a more frequent event, a more popular event, and a more lucrative one, as prize pools rise, and the prize for player of the year also grows. The reward has increased from 100,000 Indian Rupees ($1,500) of sponsorship, to 200,000 ($3,000) in recent years after being introduced to the IPC in 2011.
National tournaments are important for poker growth in India. There are also a multitude of Indian online poker sites that are on the rise and have been sponsoring aspiring sharks and running online Satellites to live events. All these factors allow young talented players to find their way onto bigger tournament circuits globally.
IPC August 2015 Edition
The success of the IPC has led to a High Roller Event being introduced this year, with the event bringing in a healthy field size of 140. The participants paid an INR 60,000 fee ($917) to enter the event. Priyesh M took down his first title and the top prize of INR 16.24 Lakhs (around $25,000).
As for this month's Main Event (Buy In INR 30,000 – $468), it was Abhishek Ravi who took home 1st place prize money and the player of the year points, moving himself further up a leader board which was led by Kanishka Samant with 1,395 before the start of this event. Ravi picks up INR 16.40 Lakhs (around $25,000) for 1st place, just 3 years after he first started playing poker, defeating Uday Bansal heads up when his A7 held up against QK in the final hand. This is his first significant tournament win and it required 21 hours of tournament play to best the field of 248 players.
The IPC returns with the next event in October.