Feb 26, 2018


From Donkey Kong to Donk Betting

Maria Kirloskar

PokerBaazi Team PRO- India's Most Trusted Poker Website

Recently, I came across an article by Barry Carter, the editor of PokerStrategy.com and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, in which he says that the new recreational poker player is more likely to come from today’s vast pool of gamers rather than casino gamblers. 

He goes on to explain that the ‘new player’ is more of the serious, tech-savvy gamer where following Twitch and YouTube streamers, even in the arena of Poker, are part and parcel of their gaming experience. This profile of player is used to complex games, making lots of fast decisions and most importantly they are much more willing to tolerate complexity.

These insights sparked an epiphany in my mind because I had been planning to write about my gaming journey over the years and I know that many of you out there are gamers first who now have evolved into Poker players.  It’s a relief to know that all those hours in front of the Nintendo, Atari, PC, Sega, and PlayStation have not been wasted but in fact have helped us on our Poker journey! And I can proudly say I do think I’m a first generation gamer haha (betraying my age, here)!


My gaming journey began in the 1980’s with the fantastic Donkey Kong on the Nintendo handheld.  The Nintendo was my favorite possession, after my Walkman, and I had to have it with me everywhere I went. The challenge was first to get the max score of 999 after which I realized the game would reset and you could go on to make another 999 without end.  Very quickly, it became a challenge of how to get to 999 10 times in a single session! 

In this same decade, I played Nintendo “Egg” and all the uber cool Atari games like Space Invaders, Adventure, and Pong. 


In the 1990’s, I was busy completing University and starting my career.  There was no time for games and I didn’t miss it because I just thought that games were for kids, not for people who had to focus on adult responsibilities.

I was pleasantly proved wrong when I had the opportunity to join a company which was creating CD ROM learning titles around stories and games for children.  I had the joy of working on the development and marketing of those incredible games.

At this time, because of the nature of my job, I was able to spend hours after work playing games on some beautiful Macs with huge screens in the office. This was when Myst entered my life.  The most graphically beautiful and complex game I have played till date, I spent 1997 playing Myst and its sequels Myst II: Riven; Myst III: Exile in 2001, Myst IV: Revelation in 2004 and finally Myst V: End of Ages in 2005. I think I fell in love with the Rand brothers who created those amazing games.

By 2003, the Myst franchise had sold over 12 million copies worldwide.


By the 2000’s, I was a full-on the gamer, playing Age of Empires, Doom and Half-Life on the PC.

Doom was my first experience with a first-person shooter game. Released in 1993, I started playing it in 2004.  Since its debut, over 10 million copies of the games in the Doom series have been sold.

Half-Life quickly became one of my favorites and, no wonder, because it won over 50 PC ‘Game of the Year’ awards and is considered to be one of the greatest games of all time.

Then came the immersive strategy game, The Elder Scrolls, which put me on the path to Poker.  The complexity, the endurance and the long hours prepped me well for my current career!

The Elder Scrolls is a series of action-playing open-world fantasy video games, known for its vast and graphically engaging open worlds with its focus on free-form gameplay.  The first of the series was released in 1994 but I began playing it on the PS in 2006. So I skipped the earlier versions, including Morrowind, and started with Oblivion and then went on to Skyrim in 2011.  Thus, began my love for dragons – all because of the character of the great dragon Alduin the World Eater…

In 2013, The Elder Scrolls was voted as the Greatest Game Series of the Decade on GameSpot, winning out over 64 other titles competing for this honor. 

In 2006, I also began playing Call of Duty, which is my all-time favorite console game. Playing the series on the PS, I spent countless hours playing Call of Duty 3, went on to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, then Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops 2, Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare.

Phew.  I did not realize until just now that I have spent a lot of hours on my love for gaming!

In 2007, Zynga Poker was launched and all bets were on!

Still, I didn’t know that my poker journey had begun at that time so spent more hours on the PS3 games - getting through all the Call of Duty campaigns and the Oblivion fantasy with the huge battling dragons, were my daily pastime.

In 2015, all that changed when I began playing satellites to win tickets into the IPC live tournaments in Goa.  And Poker became the game of my life.

Now, I play only Poker with a smattering of video game sessions to unwind and destress.  But I do miss those weekends of playing Call of Duty and the beauty of the Myst series.

After reading Carter’s article on the new recreational Poker player being more gamer than a gambler, I realized that sometimes your pastime leads you to a passion and that passion hones skills you didn’t know you either had or would need to have.  I’m glad that gamers are now looking at Poker as a new gaming experience – we’re bound to be challenged by the current generation of gamers whose mental agility will propel them from being mere recreational players to some of the best professional Poker players in the world. 


Gamers - live long and prosper!

With the growing passion of poker all over the world, the interest of poker players is not limited to just playing day and night. They are also interested in experiencing the fancy aura of the poker circuit. Poker players are seen today with some of the fanciest accessories at the felts.

To increase the trend we see many poker companies coming up with poker-based items for the poker players as rewards or freebies. Accessory companies may not be tossing as much swag around as they used to, but there are still some nice little gems to be found if you hang around big events on the poker circuit.

This article is all about the poker-based items that are absolutely loved by poker players and are often seen with it. Let us list you with the topmost item used by them.


When it gets a bit breezy, if the temperature drops further if the weather outside is quite pleasant or rays hit you straight; it’s always good to have an extra sweater on your hand. A thin jacket is definitely a savior and with a hint of poker in it will make you look cool as well.

Key Chain

This is the most used item and noticed with the majority of the poker folks. Building keychain from piercing a chip that makes you remind of the sweet victorious hand you had at the tables, how cool! A keychain hung displaying poker background has been seen a lot. The gesture speaks the passion of a poker fan.


Texas Hold’em on the screen and some coffee seems a perfect combination. A solid handy mug is great to have when you’re clicking buttons on online poker games at home. The chilly nights are on their way and poker fans get a reason to buy a mug printed with their favorite poker idol or some pitch poker lines.

Like-There is more to poker than life.


While sunglasses gained popularity at the poker tables long back, hats have just walked in, setting a new trend. Let me tell a secret that the hats not only work great to hide one’s visual tells at the felt, hats also provide great advertising space for poker companies, who are only too happy to have their brands showcased by players who wear them at televised feature tables.

Portable Charger

As more and more live poker rooms outfit their tables with USB ports, a portable charger is becoming somewhat less of a necessity, but when it comes to mobile devices, you can never have enough juice. Portable chargers with a hint of poker related designs/quotes will continue being a poker swag accessory. You certainly wouldn’t want to be in the middle of taking notes and your phone to shut off!

Past couple of years, since poker has come into existence with a huge fad, it has outbound its presence. From live tourney to mobile apps, it has built its space everywhere.

Long free hours, itching to grind; have to wait for someone, delayed fight? Take your phone and start playing poker. From being convenient to giving an easy reach, poker games real money are now played on cell phones.

So, we are here talking about the advantages stating why playing poker on your favorite mobile device is an easy go.

Play Poker Anywhere, Anytime

The essential advantage that a cell phone gives is that play poker anytime anywhere! No matter what situation you are in, you always make time to play poker. The exhausted mind when you back home, waiting for your food order or any random situation- all you have to do is sign in to PokerBaazi.com and start grinding. The scene is sorted!

Online Poker Runs More Smoothly On Mobile Phone

One noteworthy observation you will always notice while playing it in mobile is that it is a smoother playing background than on your PC. You will find that majority of poker portals offer HTML5 technology as opposed to Flash, which is quicker and considerably more secure for the online players accessing from phone.

Mobile Players Get Exclusive Bonuses

Get ready for the exclusive bonuses if you play texas holdem poker online from your mobile device. Online poker rooms and casinos are engaging more players’ on their websites via mobile phones. One bonus type that every poker portal gives out is a welcome bonus, make your first deposit after signing up via mobile and get free cash to spend at the poker tables.

Besides this, there are many other bonus codes for ongoing tournaments. PokerBaazi offers the biggest promotions that you will see in the market. There are always awesome promotions going on especially for mobile users ranging from free tickets to high value tournaments to hefty bankrolls for you to take a swing at the cash tables.

Enjoy High Quality

The mobile phone doesn’t compromise the quality of the game ever. Despite everything, you get impeccable graphics and gameplay which gives you an ultimate poker experience.

The Process Is Very Simple

You can simply download the application without any complications. This takes only a couple of steps and you are all set to sit at poker tables. Make sure that you sign up today at PokerBaazi and reserve your seat for the biggest poker tournaments taking place.

Are you worried about the tilt, stacking you at the edge of poker tables?

A book by Roland Gary Jones can help you come over it. The book basically states the solutions to help you grinding successfully.

At the poker table, the outcome is a major hit to your bankroll. Luckily Roland Gar Jones, a Bankruptcy Attorney, composed a book called 50 Mental Biases That Cost You Money at the Poker Table, which offers a science-based answer for the tilt issue. The book will help you save your stack, can save you time, and cash on a therapist’s lounge chair!

The book not only gives 50 answers for tilt written in 178 pages, additionally tells a lot about sociology and psychology of a poker player. It has many references to behavioral science which inquires about examination, trials, and studies. In the event that making sense of pot odds is a science and making sense of hand chances and perceiving tells is an artistic expression, at that point, you ought to consider acclimatizing yourself with a portion of ideas.

This book won't just enable you to see some of your own subliminal tendencies and hidden mental and enthusiastic states of mind, yet will help you understand and identify different players’ demeanor and inclinations.

This book forwards the direction to conquering tilt. It's likewise useful in recognizing the numerous unobtrusive signs of tilt. If you are aware of the numerous ways tilt can come and raise ugly situations then stay away from it, and perceive when another person is under its impact, this book is an unquestionable requirement in your poker library.

Jones' knowledge into depths of the subconscious is astounding and he unloads it in an extremely easy-to-see way. You need not bother with a degree to get this stuff, and it will have a direct quick effect on your main concern. At the point when a Bankruptcy Attorney composes a book about how to expand your bankroll, you could possibly need to focus!

Given an attorney who hopes to earn through this publishing, the tilt issue with players definitely needs attention to ensure all the hard-earned chips after a long grind gets into your pocket and not someone else’s because of a simple reason – you could not keep your calm!

It was 23rd October 2014 when I screamed “IT’s LIVE”!! That was the day PokerBaazi.com opened to the public. I am more than excited to see us complete 3 years. Well, it’s actually 2+1 and there’s a reason why I say so.

The first two years were more about building relationships and trust with the Baazigar community. We’ve gone from launching as an online poker website which only offered cash games to reaching a point where events like the PokerBaazi Premier League have become a brand. The initial years were difficult with our home-grown, made-in-India software, but things got considerably easier with your unwavering support. It was that support which helped me and my team to constantly work hard and take our software to a level where there are no complaints, where Baazigars love to play poker on and where I get regular compliments for the same. Along the way, we have implemented clear, transparent processes to compliment our software and pushed others to be transparent as well. As our work has increased, so has our team. We have also added to our work environment with a TT table the newest fad in our office. Sunday evening cricket matches at the Baazi office are also catching on!

I had gone to Vegas for the WSOP this year and I was talking to a few internationally renowned pros who were on my table. I showed them our client and they were really amazed. Their reaction was something I will never forget. I came back super charged to grow even faster and ensure that we are recognized on the world map.

The last year has been one where PokerBaazi hasn’t lifted the foot off the accelerator. I had a clear vision to offer something to every type of player and by something, I mean something big! We did The Vegas Challenge, Vegas VIP Race, Vegas Tournament Challenge, Goa Carnival, Baazi Summer Carnival, PokerBaazi Premier League, Diwali Cash League and The MoneyMaker, among other promotions. What excites me the most is the fact that we have not just built the numbers, but have got a terrific set of smart players who can stand out in any promotion, no matter the target. In the Vegas Tournament Challenge, where we offered 3 Vegas packages for players who can win two tournaments each out of the 14 to be held over two weeks; all three packages were hunted down!!

In all these promotions, prizes included multiple international packages to Las Vegas, Macau, Manila, Thailand & more. The last edition of the PPL, called the PPL Special Edition, guaranteed INR 2.4 Crore in prizes. When I take a look back to see the 12 LAC guaranteed prize in the first edition of PPL held in December 2015, I get good vibes seeing the rise in every subsequent edition.

I must mention the highlight of our journey so far - THE MONEYMAKER! With its humungous prize guarantee of INR 1 Crore and a 25 LAC guarantee to the winner, it became the biggest online tournament in the history of Indian poker. It became the talk of the town. What was most overwhelming was the response you showed to it. It was a full-house before I blinked. The MoneyMaker is also something that goes on to prove that PokerBaazi is India's most trusted poker website. The idea of The MoneyMaker came to my mind in a casual post dinner discussion with some of the Baazigars. One of them raised the question what if a foreign brand comes to India and announces a 1 Crore guaranteed tournament. It was in that moment that I decided to give our Indian community something which they would only expect from an international giant or may be not expect at all. And that’s what I aspire to do, to bring forward what amazes you, to keep doing new things, bigger things every single time!

The month of October will always remain special to me. This time we decided to do a Hi Octane October. The promotion not only provides great value to tournament grinders, but has also brought along the launch of a new concept, Double Or Nothing. The Double Or Nothing tournaments have created a lot of buzz and a liking for a range of buy-ins starting from 500 to 5000. The response was so good that I had to ask the team to increase the number of these tournaments everyday for the first few days of the launch.

Before I go ahead and take you through what is already planned for the coming days and what to expect, I want to whole-heartedly thank you for being an integral part of this journey! I also want to congratulate the whole PokerBaazi team for the success we have achieved. I congratulate the PokerBaazi Pro Team for being true representatives of the PokerBaazi brand. A special congrats to Abhishek Rathod & Vikram Kumar who became proud fathers recently!

In the coming year, one thing is going to change. The man writing this blog will not remain single! But that’s only one of the things to cheer about. My team and I are all working full power to take your PokerBaazi experience to greater levels. The next editions of the PokerBaazi Premier League & The MoneyMaker are already announced. PPL Winter ’17 Edition will be from 14th to 19th November and will carry a massive guaranteed prize of INR 2.6 Crore in just 6 days. Only a week later, you will witness the second edition of INR 1 Crore guaranteed The MoneyMaker on 26th November. Though the guarantee remains the same, which is still the biggest till date, the first two places this time are guaranteed 30 Lac & 20 Lac, respectively.

These are the big numbers that you now know already. I promise that there will be bigger things, bigger surprises for you. There will be constant client optimizations to give you a superior playing experience. While I promise to do my best, I solicit your kind participation in whatever comes next. Let’s together make this Indian software a benchmark the world over.

I may have sprouted a white hair or two along the way, but no complaints. The family of Baazigars I received along the way leaves me very proud.


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