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.