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Is India Set to Become a Global Tournament Hub?

Las Vegas was at the heart of the original poker boom, and thousands of players have flocked to Nevada city for the World Series of Poker every year since the game blew up. The number of entrants to the Main Event highlights this – since 2005 there have been more than 5000 players every year.

It now appears as though online poker is having a second boom, which is allowing people in developing countries to participate, thanks to factors like having more widespread access to the internet. India is at the heart of this new wave and is preparing to start offering its own major poker tournaments to players across the country.

Online Poker Appeals to India

The height of the poker boom in the western world was in 2006. There were 8,773 entrants to the Main Event at the WSOP that year, and Jamie Gold prevailed over all of them to take home $12 million. At this time, internet poker sites were blowing up, and a Texas Hold’em fever was spreading across the USA and Europe. This coincided with the rise of broadband internet and greater availability of the worldwide web in developed countries.

India, however, was way behind. During this craze in the western world, few people in the country were even online. Only four percent of people in India had access to the internet in 2007, and internet penetration was below 20 percent until 2015. These figures have improved greatly over the last five years, and now around 45 percent of people in the country have access to the online world. These people are now finding love for online games, with poker being a highly popular option.

Online poker operators seem to have identified India as a hotspot for new players, as there are numerous sites now targeting people in the country. Players can utilise resources like Asiabet.org to find the best-reviewed games, with comprehensive information readily available on key features, such as the various poker options, and also the bonuses on offer. For players new to the world of poker and looking for somewhere to play, this kind of tool can be extremely useful.

India: Host of the National Poker Series

Players who start out as amateurs online are often driven to success by a steely focus on big monetary payoffs and accolades of the highest honours. This is why the number of people entering the WSOP Main Event increased so drastically after Chris Moneymaker won in 2003. Taking away a total of $2.5 million, Moneymaker demonstrated that it was possible for an unknown player to take home the top prize, and inspired others to follow his path.

As interest in poker continues to rise in India, it’s leading to the emergence of new competitions. The first major event to take place in India will be the National Poker Series.in. This is a 15-day series of events that will crown the first gold medal poker champions in India. There are 64 different events in total, and some of the major competitions have satellite tournaments to give players a free route into them. This will be the biggest poker tournament to ever take place in India, and it will likely result in the game’s popularity growing even more.

Potential for Future Poker Events in India?

It would make sense to expect that there will be many more tournaments in India after the National Poker Series. Not only will this event help to raise awareness of poker in the country, but it will also encourage the top competing players to seek out new opportunities to challenge themselves further. Professional players like to take part in various tournaments all year round and, if they can’t find them in India, they may be tempted to travel elsewhere.

If India wants to become a poker hub for Asia, it needs to keep its best players in the country and give them more opportunities to compete. This will also attract players from other neighbouring countries, who may not have the means to travel to the USA and Europe for major tournaments.

The fact that India is gearing up to host a prestigious poker tournament is a great sign. It could contribute to influencing another poker boom in Asia, and the country may end up becoming the equivalent of Las Vegas in the continent.

About Tom Lerma