Aditya Wadhwani Stars in Netflix Show ‘The Big Day,’ Raises Profile of Poker in India

Aditya Wadhwani, one of India’s top poker commentators, players, and TV producers is the subject of a new Netflix show about weddings.

Aditya Wadhwani The Big Day

Indian poker player Aditya Wadhwani and his wife Gayeti Singh are the subjects of a new Netflix show called The Big Day. (Image: Sunil Jagdish)

Although he doesn’t have the same profile as broadcasters such as the WSOP’s Lon McEachern, Wadhwani is well-known to poker players in India.

As such, his appearance on The Big Day has got people talking about more than his wedding.

Wedding Bells Ring for Wadhwani

The show premiered on Netflix late last week. It follows six couples ahead of their “big day” and charts the ups and downs of planning a wedding.

Wadhwani and his now-wife, Gayeti Singh, are one of the featured couples. Viewers get to hear how they met at a Pitbull concert in 2012 and have been in love ever since.

They also get to hear how Wadhwani dropped out of university to pursue a career in poker. Such a story would possibly raise eyebrows in countries where poker is popular; it’s even more remarkable in India.

Despite the game’s rise to prominence over the past decade, it’s still misunderstood by the general population.

Between a lack of knowledge and a fractured regulatory system where poker is legal in some states but outlawed in others, the industry is in a weird spot.

Evidence of this is clear when you scroll through Wadhwani’s Twitter timeline. Among the well wishes on his marriage, many people have remarked on his career.

A former journalist turned pop culture writer from India, Aparna, said she wasn’t even aware that people could play poker for a living.

Wadhwani confirmed that it’s possible, and directed her to some helpful resources.

The Big Day is a Big Coup for India’s Poker Industry

In addition to raising his own profile, Wadhwani’s appearance on The Big Day is another coup for India’s poker industry.

All PR efforts over the last five years have been aimed at promoting poker as a game of skill. This is partly to help regulatory efforts in states such as Gujarat, where gambling is illegal.

The idea of skill in poker also plays in India’s culture. As an emerging and developing country (EDC), India has long pushed the values of education and entrepreneurialism.

By framing poker as an intellectual endeavor and aligning it with chess and sports such as cricket, operators have been tapping into these cultural norms. Wadhwani’s appearance on The Big Day should add further weight to the idea that poker can be a viable career option.

Although the show doesn’t make that claim explicitly, the implication is there.

Wadhwani is successful and his lavish wedding is the subject of a major show. That suggests there’s money to be made in poker which, in turn, should help to raise the profile of the game in India.

Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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