The 12 franchises of India’s premier sports poker league have chosen their players to complete their squads for the league’s first season. Held at the Playboy Club in Delhi on May 6, 2017, India’s first ever poker player auction saw 12 franchises compete for top Indian poker players.
Poker Sports League is the brainchild of Amit Burman (Vice President, Dabur India Ltd) who partnered up with Anuj Gupta (co-founder of Adda52.com), the largest online poker site in the India for the league. Led by Pranav Bagai, (co-founder and CEO) and Nikita Luther, (COO), the league aims to sport the game and provide every poker enthusiast with an opportunity to play for the pride of winning.
All 12 franchises went through the Snake Draft process which allowed team owners to take turns selecting players. The process has been divided into there rounds. The first for the PRO DRAFT, the second for the LIVE DRAFT and the third for the ONLINE DRAFT. On each turn, the owners chose a number from 1 to 12 in a bowl. This number determined the order in which the team selected the players. The first choice was from the teams in the PREDEFINED region (North, South, East and West) and the order started from 1 to 12. The second choice was from any region and the order started as 12- 1. The second round and the third round followed the same process.
A total of 133 poker players went under the hammer for all 12 teams in the one-of-a-kind auction. Swedha Singh started the bidding process by specifying the rules of the process. What followed next was a test of business skills and a fight between franchises to choose which players they want. The owners of the team have carefully and judiciously ensured that they had competitive teams available for the competition.
Each team selected 4 players during the auction (2 live qualifiers + 2 online qualifiers) to complete their team of 9 players which included 1 mentor, 2 PRO players and 2 wild card entries.
The auction event also saw generic players announced by team owners. These included renowned names from the national and international circuit. Wild card entries included Calvin Lee and Dong Kyo Kim for Bengaluru Jokers, Nitin Jain and Jagdeep Singh for Chennai Bulls; Dhruv Patel and Erik Riise for the Delhi Panthers; Thomas Ward and Bryna Huang for Goan Nuts; Henrik Tollefsen and Raman Gujral for Gujarat Acers; Tomi Brouk and Samul Vousden for Haryana Hunters; Sam Razavi and Shilpa Bhagat for KINGS Hyderabad; JW Prodigy and Harshvardhan Kapoor for Kolkata Royals; Abhishek Rathod and Danish Shaikh for Mumbai Anchors; Arjun Pasricha and Rishabh Jhunjhunwala for the sharks of Pune; Akira Ohyama and Vedant Thadani for Punjab Bluffers and Muskan Sethi and Patrick Leonard for Rajasthan Tilters.
The highly anticipated Poker Sports League (PSL) season kicks off on May 22 with a two-day training camp on May 22-23 followed by the league finals at Deltin Casino Royale, Goa from May 24-28.
The 12 teams will consist of a total of 108 players who will play for the cash prize of INR 3.36 crore and one of the teams will be crowned the best poker team in India.
Other league sponsors include BIRA, John Jacobs, Real active and Jet airways.