Indian poker players could be seeing a lot more of Dan Bilzerian in the coming months thanks to i3 Interactive and its core gaming brand, BlitzBet.
Bilzerian is part-owner and the public face of the new social gaming site and, according to i3, will help promote the company’s new venture in India.
The move to capitalize on India’s emerging poker market hinges on a deal between i3 Interactive and a company in Canada. In what’s described as a “business combination agreement,” i3 plans to acquire shares in an as-yet unnamed Indian poker site.
I3 Interactive Entering Emerging Market
I3 Interactive will buy the shares from a private corporation based in British Colombia. The transaction will give i3 a 65% share of a company that owns an Indian online poker site.
The poker site in question hasn’t been named because, as i3’s August 10 press release states, there is “no assurance that the proposed acquisition will be completed as proposed or at all.” We do know that the Indian poker site has “over a million registrations” and 75,000 active users as of July 2020.
PokerTracker currently lists Pocket52 as the top Indian site with a seven-day average of 1,500 players. Next is Adda52 with a seven-day-average of 600, and PokerStars India is third with 325.
Those figures only take into account cash games, which makes it difficult to determine which site could be changing owners. It almost certainly won’t be PokerStars India or the more established Adda52. However, it could be Spartan Poker, 9Stacks, or any of the country’s other licensed operators.
Whichever platform it is, i3 Interactive will own a majority stake and its first order of business will be to rename the site BlitzPoker. The plan from there is to offer Texas Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha games for “players of all skill levels.”
Is Indian Poker Community Ready for Bilzerian?
BlitzPoker will aim to trade off of Bilzerian’s bad-boy profile to generate traffic. Judging by the marketing material available on i3 Interactive’s website, that means adopting a brash, irreverent tone.
“At the core of BlitzBet is a philosophy of taking everything to the max. Not settling for good enough. Dan lives life seeking out 12s in a sea of 6s,” reads i3’s description of BlitzBet.
Bilzerian has a strong following on social media, with 32.2 million followers on Instagram alone. However, his style of self-promotion has often been described as tasteless (see video above).
In a largely conservative country like India, Bilzerian’s antics may not go down too well. However, the part-owner won’t be alone. Former William Hill CEO Ralph Topping is also part of the team. Under his guidance, BlitzPoker will formulate a suitable strategy to capitalize on one of the industry’s fastest-growing online gaming markets.