India Poker Series or IPS as its popularly called, is the brain child of Kolkata based poker enthusiast Bharat Agarwalla. Bharat Agarwalla of Kolkata learnt how to play poker in the early 90s when his close friend Dev Saharia returned from the USA and taught him the game. There were barely a handful of players on Kolkata in those days who knew how to play poker. The same was the case in other metros of India while people in the smaller cities and towns were not at all conversant with the game. Ideally the game is played by 6-9 players and as there were fewer people who played the game, it was difficult for them to play the game. It was teen-patti (Flush) which was more popular amongst the Indian crowd. The void was filled up only in late 2008 when facebook became popular in India and people started to play online poker on facebook. In Kolkata, the players were mainly online players and still had not much exposure to the live game.
In April 2009, Bharat Agarwalla organised a friendly tournament in Kolkata which got a fair bit of response (37 participants). Players were keen that he holds an event every month but he wished to make it more systematic. He held friendly tournaments every 2-3 months in Kolkata (including one which had over 100 participants) and at the same time the game also gained popularity amongst the youth. As the game requires sharp skill of judgement and calculation, the younger lot found it extremely entertaining. It is indeed one of the most popular indoor sport in the USA and now also in India.
In July 2009, he thought of organising an event on a National level sometime later in the year closer to the end of December 2009. Creating an all-India database became the first hurdle. He started his work on it the target date of December 2009, which was missed because the logistics were not working out as he had aimed to hold the tourneys in Nepal but the airfares to Nepal were extremely high and also access was not easy from all places in India. He then booked himself for a research trip to Goa for December 2009 to have a look at the Casinos in Goa where he had heard a few poker tables had come up few months back. As the travel could not materialise in December because of certain teething problems with the travel dates, he then rescheduled his dates and then in mid-January 2010, he went to Goa and visited Casino Pride and Casino Royale. The game was semi popular there but very few tables were there at both casinos. He did his survey and research and came with a view to wait till the infrastructure improves and more tables (atleast 10) were there at any venue (Casino). In March 2010,
Phil Sanders who has been connected to casinos for over 2 decades came and met him in Kolkata with a proposal that Bharat Agarwalla hold his intended tournament in Casino Royale Goa in APril 2010. Within a week of that India Poker Series was formed and it went ahead and announced India Poker Series' first event which was Chapter 1 to be held in Casino Royal Goa from 23rd to 25th of April 2010. Three weeks was all that Bharat had to "market" his event with promos. He swung into action and he was also to make people from all across the country aware of the event. A lot of support came from Phil Sanders and also the Sales team of Casino Royale Goa as also the expert Tournament Director Craig Wildman (also Poker Room manager at Royale). The event went of successfully and since then there has been no looking back. India Poker Series has been holding poker tournaments in India regularly every alternate month plus a couple of additional events each year since then and is one of the pioneers of the industry.
Poker is the fastest growing sport in the country. Every other person is playing poker. Its one of the largest forms of entertainment in the country as one is able to play it online and offline with friends and family. We are making an effort to bring all poker players of the country (INDIA) under one roof.
To promote the sport of Poker in India by holding tutorials when possible and holding competitive tournaments at various Casinos.
Holding poker tournaments in India at legal and licensed Casinos in India. Our endeavour is to make the finest poker players in India to get to play competitive tournaments in India and also make them get the taste of international quality tournaments in India itself.