India’s Nikita Luther Signed to Adda52, But Who Is She Exactly?

India’s largest online poker site Adda52 has signed Nikita Luther to its “Pro Live” team.


Nikita Luther has been signed as a pro to India’s largest online poker site, Adda52, and also reps for Thrill Poker in that country. But who is she? (Image: thrillpoker)

If you’ve never heard of Nikita Luther, don’t worry. Neither had we.

And when we started nosing around to dig up info on her, we expected to find at least a six-figure live and/or online poker tournament cash record on Hendon Mob.

Instead, we found two championships listed, for a total lifetime cash of…wait for it…$3,584.

Both of those were in 2015, and one was a Ladies Event, in which she took home a not-too-whopping $672. But wait, it gets better: there were only 20 entries.

So why would a burgeoning online poker site in India sign someone as a “pro” with such modest financial accomplishments by Western standards? The answer may lie in that age-old marketing benchmark: demographics.

Women, Poker, and India: New Attitudes

As it stands, India’s poker scene is still in its infancy. But Adda52’s move is a sign that women are now becoming a larger part of the industry in that country. Although exact figures are hard to come by, Adda52 has published a blog post titled “Rise of Women Poker Players in India.”

Describing the current state of play, the author suggests that although poker is still “considered a taboo” and female participation “is not big,” things are changing. Latching onto this shift, the website added Luther to its Pro Live team.

That being said, we couldn’t find anything else that makes Luther a big deal. She’s certainly attractive, and in a country where Bollywood rules and men are still at the top of the food chain, that’s obviously a selling point. She was featured in India Vogue, but we can’t find any reference to her other than as a “professional poker player.”


While Luther took down the India Poker Championship Ladies NLH event in December 2015, with only 20 entrants, her take home haul was a modest $672. (Image: IndiaPokerChampionship)

According to her Twitter bio, New Delhi’s Luther is a foodie, traveler, feminist and, for the last few years, a poker player.

Picking up the game while still at college, Luther went on to play online and live tournaments before winning the aforementioned Ladies Finale event at the 2015 India Poker Championship in Goa.

She writes (or wrote) a blog column for an Adda52 competitor, ThrillPoker, and in what would be considered a no-no Stateside, appears to also be a member of that site’s “Team Thrill” pros, where she is described as a “well-known name on the closely-knit Delhi circuit.” It’s unclear if her status at Thrill ended with the Adda52 signing.

It also looks like she has a normal job, which is listed on her Facebook page as being the “Strategic Solutions Manager at NFX Digital” in New Delhi. And her previous employment gigs include working for Red Bull.

Platform to Inspire Change

But with this latest exposure, Luther’s poker profile could gain some momentum. She’ll be joining current members Kunal Patni, Amit Jain, and Tarun Goyal. And with Adda52’s partnership with the World Poker Tour (WPT), Luther will soon be mixing it up with the game’s best on the pro circuit.

If she can to break into the poker mainstream with some deep runs on the WPT, Luther could not only help to improve the fortunes of Adda52, but views on women participating in the poker industry in India as a whole.

“I passionately aspire to remove the taboo and ignorance associated with poker,” said Luther.

Helping Unearth India’s Potential

Like Western female pros past and present, such as Kathy Liebert, Susie Isaacs, Liv Boeree, and Vanessa Selbst, Luther will become something of a torchbearer for women in India. Old ideas that poker was a man’s game have gradually been somewhat eroded in countries like the US and UK, but a more entrenched “men-at-the-top” general attitide in India could make that glass ceiling harder to break through.

While there is still a long way to go until there as many women playing poker in India as there are men, Luther’s status as an Adda52 Pro Live player may help increase participation. Moreover, India still hasn’t reached its peak as a poker market, so the greater integration of women could certainly help release some of its untapped potential.

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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