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Cricket star Chris Gayle

Kolkata headquartered online gaming brand has announced West Indian cricket star Chris Gayle as a brand ambassador, as the firm sees its poker vertical enduring sustained growth within the Indian nation.

Part of the Kings XI Punjab franchise in the Indian Premier League, Gayle recently attended the city of Gurugram for the launch of online poker tournament ‘GayleStorm’ hosted by Adda52.

Over 2000 entrants battled it out for the INR 1,217,500 (£13,850) top prize, hailed as “a well-structured and super-value tournament” by the 26-year-old winner with Mohit Agarwal, co-founder and CEO of Adda52, stating: “Poker tournaments like these keep the players motivated and they keep coming back for good games”.

This move comes at the same time as the nation’s Global Poker League (GPL) rounded off its online qualifiers, closing six-weeks of online battles on the GPL’s partner site, PokerStars.IN, in “India’s first-ever long-run Poker League”.

Sixty players secured seats alongside their mentors, from the over 7,500 entrants, with the tournament now moving onto the ‘bootstage,’ where individuals will represent the six region-based teams – Kolkata Creators, Pune Alphas, Chennai Sharks, Delhi Diehards, Mumbai Jetsetters and Bengaluru Hacker, in tournaments played out in front of a panel of seasoned pros and celebrities.

Ankur Dewan, CEO of PokerStars India, commented: “I’m extremely excited to see GPL India shaping up so well. I can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks already and the online qualifiers on PokerStars India have come to an end.   

“These numbers are incredible, and just goes to show what this opportunity means to budding poker players. This was our main ideology behind the partnership with GPL India.

“You can go from playing for free to potentially winning crores in a matter of months; all it takes is sheer dedication, determination, willingness to learn, and of course, skill.”

The grand prize from the GPL is five Platinum Passes to an all-expenses paid trip to the PokerStars Players NLHE Championships (PSPC) taking place in the Bahamas from January 6-10, 2019.

Max Rabinovitch, GPL India project head, added: “We’re ecstatic to have seen thousands of eager qualifiers turn out for GPL India’s qualification process run exclusively on PokerStars India.

“We look forward to locking in the 12 best candidates to join the GPL in its first season in India, and to bring the region a real taste of the human element, drama and excitement which comes with poker – a game we’re dedicated to help India discover as a skill-based, team focused competition.”