Corporate Honchos Put their Money on Poker League
PSL has started the qualifying rounds, both online and live, where players can participate to get drafted in the 12 teams
Mumbai: Poker Sports League (PSL), the first of its kind league launched by Amit Burman of Dabur, has roped in corporate chiefs as team owners ahead of its debut season.
ET was first to report that Burman, in his personal capacity, has joined hands with Anuj Gupta (founder of poker portal Adda52.com) and Pranav Bagai (founder of India Poker Legend), to launch PSL as a 12team league.
The 12 teams will have a total of 108 players, who will play for the prize money of ₹ 3.36 crore. PSL has started the qualifying rounds -- both online (on Adda52.com) and live (on-ground) -- where players can participate to get drafted in the teams. The teams will be announced on May 7, and the qualified players will then compete to play at the mega finals from May 24-28 in Goa. “PSL has got tremendous response from the corporate world. DELHI
Rishi Kajaria of Kajaria Ceramics Ruchirans Jaipuria of Jaipuria Group Abhishek Jain of Leela Jewels
Mehul Shah, Original Promoter of Anchor Electrical
Ankkit Bhadur of Playboy North Taarun V Jain of Legend Group
Girish Mathrubootham, Co-Founder of FreshDesk Mithun Sacheti, Co-Founder of CaratLane
Kunal Shah, Co-Founder of FreeCharge
Amit Shah of IIFL-Wealth Karan Bhagat of IIFL-Wealth Yatin Shah of IIFL-Wealth
Within one month of announcement, we got over 40 applications for the remaining five teams. The demand was astounding,” Bagai told ET.
He said that while in the first year, the final will be aired on digital platforms, PSL organisers are also looking at making a 6-8 episodic reality show out of the league. “We will have an 18 camera setup in Goa, where during the grand finale, team mentors, and players will be sharing their views, and all the activities will be recorded. It will make for an interesting watch. We are in talks with multiple TV channels for the telecast rights,” said Bagai.
The promoters have also started scouting for advertisers and they hope to close the title sponsorship for close to ₹ 1.5 crore.
As per the format, each team will have one mentor or captain, 2 professional players which the owners will have to buy in the auction. They can pick two players each from online and live hunts and are allowed to bring two wild card players, who can be from anywhere.
Organisers will share 20% of the ad revenues with the franchisees, while the business model is such that top 3 teams will break even in a couple of years.
“In the first year, PSL may lose some money, or just about break even, but this format will ensure that franchisees will start making money within three years,” said Bagai.
A skill-based card game, Poker has got a sizable following in India. It is one of the most popular mind sports across the globe and although a fair amount of luck is also involved in playing the game, a lot depends on pure skill, mathematics, probability and decision making strategy. “Game of poker augurs well for the large young population in India,” said Roland Landers, CEO at All India Gaming Federation, a not-for-profit organisation for policy advocacy on the issues surrounding the gaming industry. He said that PSL is a good initiative that will help the players and broad-base the popularity of the game among non-players.