If you are an active member of the Indian poker community, you would know Sharad Rao as a regular Twitch and YouTube live streamer. His regular live streams recently caught the eye of PokerStars India, one of the biggest online poker brands in the country, while being the undoubted leader in global poker.
Rao is said to have cashed worth INR 3+ Crore in online poker while also having a few achievements in live poker as well. In November last year, he beat 408 entries to win the Diwali Rush freeroll on PokerStars India that saw him winning a PSPC Bahamas Platinum Pass, which included a buy-in to the PSPC Main Event, the biggest $25,000 buy-in live poker tournament ever!
Just 24 years old, Rao hails from Pune and has been playing poker professionally since the last 3 years. Earlier this year, he completed a unique bankroll challenge wherein he converted INR 2,000 into INR 10,000 playing just 1/2 and 2/5 stakes cash games across a couple of online websites. He completed the challenge within 7 days and 12,043 hands, all of which was live streamed on Twitch.
This would’ve caught the attention of many top entities in the poker industry including PokerStars, who decided to onboard Rao as a brand ambassador, their third in India after Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal and Muskan Sethi. He will be their dedicated Twitch live streamer which also makes PokerStars India the first Indian poker website to use Twitch as a medium for live streaming.
“I have been playing poker professionally for three years now and making a career in this domain was a conscious decision. Looking at the changing dynamics of the poker industry, I sense that live streaming is the next big thing. Through PokerStars.in, I get access to Twitch and a large audience, which will help me, share my poker playing skills to all those wanting to learn,” said Rao about this development.
Ankur Dewani, CEO of PokerStars India, commented on the same, saying, “We are delighted to partner with Sharad as his passion towards the sport and the commitment towards the game is impressive. Through live streaming, we want to build a larger poker playing community and make it an interactive platform for enthusiasts to discover and explore the life of a poker player. With him, we will be able to build awareness about poker being a skill-based sport and also aim to create regular poker content for people.”
Rao began his first Twitch stream for PokerStars India on Friday, 28th June and we can see plenty more of these live-streaming sessions in weeks/months to come. For more updates on the biggest developments from the Indian poker circuit, stay tuned to GutshotMagazine.com.
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