Asian Poker Tour Signs Deal to Bring More Indian Players into Spotlight

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The Asian Poker Tour (APT) is set to welcome more players from India following a new partnership with Baadshah Gaming.

Jin-Woo Kim
Baadshah Gaming players can now follow in the footsteps of recent APT Korea winner Jin Woo Kim thanks to new selection of online satellites. (Image: APT)

Part of the Casino Pride group, online poker site Baadshah Gaming will now be hosting a series of APT satellites. Announced in a July 16 press release, the deal is designed to enhance the growing poker scene in India.

Indian Poker Branching Out

Following a period of domestic growth, Indian online poker operators are now looking to forge relationships beyond their own borders. The latest partnership will give Baadshah Gaming players the chance to take part in low stakes online qualifiers for a variety of APT events throughout 2018 and beyond.

Hosting more than 80 major tournaments across the Asia-Pacific region since its inception in 2008, the APT now has a presence in emerging markets such as Macau, South Korea and the Philippines. For players, the APT will offer a new way to enjoy poker beyond the fractured borders of India’s poker economy.

As it stands, different regions in India have opposing views on the status of poker. While the state of Nagaland has licensed online operators, the high court in Gujarat has refused to classify poker as a game of skill and, therefore, exempt from India’s gambling laws.

The lack of clear direction may have hindered progression in some regions but that hasn’t stopped operators from working with what they’ve got. For Baadshah Gaming this means helping Indian poker players make it on the world stage.

Success Can Breed Success

Previous results have shown that a local champion can boost the profile of poker and the same could be true for India. When Pius Heinz won the 2011 WSOP Main Event, it solidified the status of poker in Germany.

Eight years on, the leading high stakes tournament players in the world come from Germany. Indeed, even with $9 million in live tournament winnings, Heinz is only 10th on his native all-time money list behind Fedor Holz ($26.5 million), Christoph Vogelsang ($18.6 million) and Rainer Kempe ($16.5 million).

As it stands, India’s leading money winner is Vivek Rajkumar who resides in the US. If a player can qualify for the APT via an online satellite and complete a Chris Moneymaker-style victory, it could be the catalyst that takes Indian poker to the next level.

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