Last couple of months have been captivating for the Indian sports fans with back-to-back cricketing action. What’s more interesting is the fact that how Indians are opening to various categories of sports. One of the rising stars in that segment is the mind sports of Poker. It enjoys a wide following across western countries including US, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, and France. Poker is fast picking up in India and has seen an exponential growth in the last few years. Given the rising popularity of the game, Poker tournaments have become a regular offering on various poker platforms. However, there is one tournament that stands out in creating massive buzz amongst the online gamers.
Bringing true justice to its name, the EndBoss is India’s single biggest poker tournament by far and offers a staggering prize of 5 Crore. Introduced in the year 2020, the first edition of EndBoss saw Pune based Abhishek Maheshwari clinching the title.
The much-anticipated 2021 edition of the tournament kicked off on October 20th. 31-year-old Delhi-based MIT graduate Ishaan Chugh came triumphant over 4,816 entries.
While the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) alumni has been playing poker since 2008, Ishaan feels special about this win which also awarded him a prize amount of 70 Lakh.
“₹70-Lakh is no small amount. So, I am thrilled!” said Chugh, ecstatic about his competition-smashing victory. So, if you’re thinking, ‘what were the chances?’, Chugh provides some insight. He attributes his success to his strategy of focusing on the hand in front of him, avoiding emotional decisions, and navigating game fatigue well. “While I did my best to avoid the tough spots, things worked out, and the right cards fell my way,” he adds.
Talking about his origin story in an interview with Poker commentator Aditya Wadhwani, Chugh shares that his brother introduced him to poker in 2008. He says he started “playing for fun before upping the challenge to playing for real money online and playing with other friends from MIT.”
He reveals how his experience playing across different circles gave him insight into how other people play and how small decision calls can add up throughout the game. The EndBoss witnessed more than 4800 entries across five qualifying rounds, but only about 600 players made the cut and continued on to the final, also known as Day 2.
Currently estimated at ₹400-Crore, the online poker industry is only set to skyrocket in the next five years. According to the estimates by KPMG, the Indian online gaming enterprise is projected to develop at a CAGR of 22 % to attain 11,880 Cr by 2023, making it a lucrative front runner in the race for top new sources of revenue.
The EndBoss tournament is hosted by PokerBaazi.com, an indigenous platform that leads the Indian poker industry today. The platform, known for its award winning mobile app, available for Android and iOS, has been a key accelerator in the poker space. It is also accredited for hosting India’s flagship poker series, the National Poker Series. Platforms like these and inspiring stories of people like Chugh will be influential in taking Poker to a larger space in India.
This is a partnered post.
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