NEW DELHI (AFP) – India is to get the first professional “match poker” league, organisers say, as the card game follows in the footsteps of the hugely popular Indian Premier League.
Cricket’s IPL spawned a host of similar leagues in the country featuring city-based teams, such as football’s Indian Super League and the Pro Kabaddi League.
The International Federation of Poker (IFP), the game’s governing body, said on Thursday that the “Match Indian Poker League” would take place over a weekend in September.
The league will see teams representing the cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. Goa will also have a team.
Players would seek points for their team based on the number of chips they win.
Match poker is a type of team poker based on the Texas Hold’em format. It is played on digital devices to reduce the element of luck caused by the random dealing of cards in traditional poker.
Federation president Patrick Nally said he hoped the league would be rolled out to others soon, with plans for Italy and Spain at an advanced stage.
No players will buy in, as that would be gambling, widely banned in India, but players would get prize money.