Poker in India is set to be revolutionized with what will be the biggest ever poker league the country has ever seen. The Global Poker League (GPL) is set to make a grand debut in India, with six teams that will battle it out for ultimate glory – Kolkata Creators, Pune Alphas, Chennai Sharks, Delhi Diehards, Mumbai Jetsetters and Bengaluru Hackers.
It’s a long journey before we reach the business end of the inaugural GPL. To begin with, GPL India announced its online qualifiers towards the end of May, where ten players were eventually selected to each of the six teams. These 60 players then moved on to the GPL India Bootcamp at the Radisson Blue, Delhi, a first-of-its-kind in India, and here’s where the real journey begins.
After the 6-week online qualification process, the GPL India Bootcamp is set to kick-off, an event that will be held between 8-9 September. Once this is done, we move on to Daft Day, the Regular Season, and the GPL India Finale, which will be a live-streamed 2-day event scheduled for 27-28 October 2018.
Gutshot wanted to know more about the GPL India and the Bootcamp, so we had a word with former PokerBaazi Team Pro and Chennai Sharks mentor, Vikram Kumar. We asked him about GPL India as a whole, to which he said, “It’s a great initiative. With the kind of passion that all of us have worked from Day 1, I’m sure this will be a great boost to the already booming Indian poker scene.”
We also asked Kumar about the Bootcamp and what players will go through here. He said, “Each team has 10 qualifiers who will be interviewed by a panel at the Bootcamp, and 1/10 will get selected through this process. The rest 9 play an SnG through which the winner seals the final spot in the team.”
As Kumar explained, the qualifiers will all go through a panel interview, where judges will rate them between 1-5 and this panel will include GPL India managers, local celebrities, selected personalities from different walks of life, while PokerStars Team Pros Aditya Agarwal and Muskan Sethi will also be a part of the event.
The one player with the highest points from this round will qualify to the main team (5 members each), while the rest of the 9 will take part in an SnG, with starting stacks based on their points scored in the interview (1,000 chips for 1 point – 5,000 chips for 5 points). The winner of this SnG becomes the second member of each team, while two more drafted pros will join the team on Draft Day, with the mentor being the fifth player.
We also asked Kumar about the overall experience being a part of the GPL India and being the mentor of the Chennai Sharks. He said, “The real stuff starts now. I’m sure it’s going to be a great learning experience for everyone.” He ended with a message for our readers, saying, “Make some noise for the Chennai Sharks. Your support means a lot to us. If you’re in Delhi, drop by for some onion fritters and lungi tales.”
We then had a word with Kavin Shah, Mentor of the Mumbai Jetsetters. He said, “I feel good and lucky to be part of GPL India and to lead as a manager. I have been playing poker since more than 12 years and I can say from my experience that I have a pretty decent team, with a combination of experience and youth (who play a lot of online MTTs). GPL is backed by PokerStars, the biggest online poker site in world, hence GPL is quite famous. It’s only going to help poker grow in India.”
Keep reading GutshotMagazine.com for more updates on the inaugural GPL India series.
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