In a first for the game, 30 of India's top poker players are set to play together in a new Virtual Poker League 2020. The initiative is aiming to raise money for charities under the #ALLINFORCHARITY hashtag.
The prize pool of Rs. 10 Lakhs will be distributed in the ratio of 5:3:2 to charities of the winner's choice. United Way Chennai, Super School India and The Association for Sustainable Community Development (ASSCOD) are the official charity partners.
The tournament will take place in three stages: Stage One: There will be five matches with six players each on 14 and 15 October; Stage Two: All 30 players will play a multi-table tournament and play down to the winner on 16 October; Stage Three: Finale on 17 October.
Mr Amit Burman, Promoter of Poker Sports League, said: "I am thrilled to announce VPL on behalf of the entire team of Poker Sports League. Setting a benchmark in today's tech-savvy world, VPL is the first-ever poker event (post-COVID) which replicates the live poker experience. Our entire operations are conducted in a virtual format through the Virtual Poker League."
He further added: "#ALLINFORCHARITY tournament will witness some of the finest poker players in the country play for a cause that is beyond winnings of any tournament played for personal benefit."
Elaborating on the idea behind this tournament, Mr Pranav Bagai, CEO and Co-Founder of Poker Sports League, stated: "Poker Events that normally gain interest and traction are those with high prize pools and crores at stake. Most people assume that professional poker players, due to the nature of their profession are inherently greedy and only care about their personal benefits. But that is untrue and the idea behind VPL is to help change the negative perception built around poker and poker players and prove that the Poker community cares."
Bagai added: "This marks a great initiative in the books of the Indian Poker players, who are stepping in the battleground to showcase their skills for a good cause. Strategically aligning a virtual tournament gives us an edge on the tech front, earning the trust of our stakeholders to a great extent. The seed thought was to highlight the social responsibilities that come along with it and were considered inconsequential before."
In line with the concept of Poker Sports League's season 3, the Virtual Porker League will be played online on the company's proprietary application Hashtag Poker. It will also be streamed online on its YouTube channel. The same virtual platform will also be used for this year's Poker Sports League - Virtual.
Spartan Poker and MukkaMaar hosted a similar charity event on International Women's Day two years ago.
And at the start of this month, PokerStars India announced their charity tournament series, 'Play for a Cause'.