Team India are the defending Asian Champions after their nail-biting victory at the 2019 Asian Nations Cup in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Their squad for the upcoming event contains 2 players from the title winning 2019 squad, namely Aditya Agarwal and Gaurav Gala. They are focused on defending their trophy and going back home with the title of ‘Champions of Asia’ once again. With more teams competing and overall level of skill increasing, defending their title will be a hugely impressive achievement if they manage to do it!


Here is the Indian squad for the upcoming 2023 Asian Nations Cup:

Name: Jagdeep Singh (Captain)

Bio: Arguably India’s best performing Match Poker athlete, Jagdeep has been competing at the highest level since the inception of the Match Indian Poker League in 2017 where he first tasted success with the Mumbai All Stars. He has since created his own team, the Haryana Hawks, and lead them to victory in season 2 and 4 of the national league. This will be his 5th appearance for the national team.


Name: Harman Baweja

Bio: A Bollywood producer and movie star, Harman’s talents go well beyond acting as he’s proven time and again. Against the odds his ‘celebrity’ Mumbai All Stars team emerged victorious in the inaugural season of the MatchIPL, leading to him captaining the national team at the 2017 Nations Cup in Oxford where India finished 5th overall. Since then his team has finished runners-up twice in the national league, and this will be his second opportunity to play for his nation.


Name: Abhishek Jalan

Bio: Abhishek was a member of Harman’s Mumbai All Stars in MatchIPL’s first season and after tasting success he too created his own team, the UP Indians, who he lead to a podium finish in seasons 2 and 4 of the league. Jalan was also part of the Indian team in Oxford and is very excited to have the opportunity to play for the national team once again.


Name: Aditya Agarwal

Bio: Aditya was an integral member of the title winning Indian squad in Taiwan and after having tasted success there is desperate to help defend the Championship, and add another gold medal to his collection. He was awarded ‘Player of the Tournament’ after his solid performance in the inaugural season of the Match Indian Poker League which not only helped his team finish in second place but also allowed him to become a part of the national team.


Name: Shuchi Chamaria

Bio: Shuchi has been a regular part of the national league, playing an integral role in the Pune Kings victory in season 3 under the leadership of Gaurav Gala. She then went on to represent Team India at the Nations Cup in Dublin which she thoroughly enjoyed, and is honoured to be playing for her country once again.


Name: Loveleen Singh

Bio: Loveleen proved himself playing for the Delhi Aces in the MatchIPL and was selected to represent the Indian team at the Nations Cup Finals last May. Another strong performance by him lead to his selection for the upcoming Asian Championships, which will be the second time he is playing for Team India. After a disappointing finish on his debut, he is keen to help the team achieve a much improved finish this time around.


Name: Abhishek Goindi

Bio: Abhishek was a member of the national team at India’s first ever performance in a Match Poker event – the Asian Nations Cup in Sanya, China in 2013! Since then he has gone on to really improve his skills and also teaches poker through his Poker Bootcamp. He has fond memories of his previous participation and representing India, is extremely excited to see the evolution of the sport over the past 10 years and having the opportunity to put on the blue jersey once again.


Name: Gaurav Gala

Bio: Gala lead the national team to victory in 2019 and wants to do all he can to ensure Team India continue to be Champions of Asia. He has been successful at the national and international level, helping bring the best of the team and will surely play an integral role in Hong Kong too.

Team India has consistently impressed in Match Poker events and is fully focused on the World Championship. Winning the first Asian qualifier last year, finishing 4th in the 2020 Virtual Nations Cup, being crowned Asian Champions in 2019 in Taipei, and launching the world’s first pro Match Poker league have all been feathers in India’s cap but now the national team is looking for its first ever podium finish at a World Cup!

Here is the squad for the Indian team’s participation in North Macedonia at the 2021 Nations Cup Finals:

Name: Jagdeep Singh (C)

Age: 37

Profession: Poker Player

Bio: Has been part of the winning team in the national team in 3 out of the 4 completed seasons, captaining the team in two of them. Previously represented India at the 2017 Nations Cup in Oxford, where he won the ‘Deepstack Diamond’ for being the best performing player against the AI poker player ‘Deepstack’, then in Bangkok at the 2018 Asian Nations Pairs Challenge and most recently at the 2021 Nations Cup virtual qualifiers. He is excited to lead the national team in Gevgelija and is looking to grab this opportunity with both hands, while aiming to atleast bring home a podium finish for his country.

Name: Sajal Gupta

Age: 28

Profession: Self employed

Bio: I’ve been playing poker for more than 5 years, I have played all formats – MTT, Hold’em and PLO cash. Very interested to play a new format in Match Poker and make my debut for the national team.

Name: Pratibha Arya

Age: 28

Profession: Poker Player

Bio: Pratibha has been playing Match Poker since the launch of the Indian national league in 2017, being on the winning team in 3 out of the 4 seasons! She won ‘player of the season’ for her individual performance in season 2, and has been a consistently impressive player throughout. Pratibha will be making her 4th appearance for the national team in Macedonia and only has the world title on her mind!

Name: Amit Varma

Age: 48

Profession: Writer and Podcaster

Bio: Amit Varma is a writer and podcaster based in Mumbai. He has been a journalist for over two decades, and won the Bastiat prize for Journalism twice. He hosts the popular longform podcast, The Seen and the Unseen. He is retired from playing poker professionally, but was tempted to try Match Poker because of his love of optimising for new formats.

Name: Gaurav Kalra

Age: 40

Profession: Tech geek

Bio: An integral part of the dominant Haryana Hawks in the Indian national league, Gaurav has really embraced the uniqueness of the Match Poker concept and its team element. ‘Match Poker is making Texas Hold’em Poker a team sport with strategy spanning across a team rather than an individual, a very exciting concept.’

Name: Mukul Chadda

Age: 48

Profession: Actor

Bio: Mukul Chadda began his working career in Investment Banking at the erstwhile Lehman Brothers in New York, writing research reports on US Agency Debt securities. His current vocation is as an actor in Mumbai, best known for playing the lead role of Jagdeep Chaddha (the Michael Scott/David Brent equivalent) in the Indian edition of international show The Office. He also does Film, Stage & Improv, and Storytelling.

Somewhere between these two careers, he combined his investment & acting skills to focus seriously on poker, playing it semi-professionally for a few years. In 2011, he won the IPS (Indian Poker Series) Player of the Year title for his consistent finishes in their tournaments in Goa.

Name: Loveleen Singh

Age: 31

Profession: Poker Player

Bio: Loveleen will be making his Team India debut at the 2021 World Championships in Macedonia. He has been representing the Delhi Aces in the Indian national league and proven himself over the past 2 seasons. He will be looking to cement his spot in the national team and make his debut a very memorable one.


IFMP’s first live event since the Asian Nations Cup held in Taipei, Taiwan in November 2019 and we could not be more excited to bring our qualified nations together and competing for the Match Poker World Championship!

We hosted a series of virtual qualifiers throughout 2021, where Asian and European national teams participated from a central venue to secure their qualification for the 2021 Nations Cup Finals.

Over 25 national teams participated in 11 individual qualifying events over 4 months, leading to the following list of qualified teams:

  • India
  • Mongolia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Singapore
  • Israel
  • Iceland
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • Macedonia
  • Italy

These nations will be joined by the current Nations Cup Champions, for 2019 and 2020, Team Ukraine who will be looking to defend their title for the second time after successfully doing so for the first time in the 2020 Virtual Nations Cup.



The beautiful town of Gevgelija will be our host city in Macedonia with the Apollonia Hotel being our venue.

The 2021 Nations Cup will kick off on 23rd May and run till the 27th, incorporating an exciting elimination structure playing down to a final 6 teams for the final session of play.

3 full days of play will ensure both physical and mental stamina are tested along with Match Poker skill and strategy, producing a truly deserving World Champion.

The IFMP team will be visiting Gevgelija on 18 & 19 April for a pre-event press conference with the Mayor of the town and a site visit with the local organising committee.

It has been very encouraging to see the growth of Match Poker in Macedonia, with the first season of the national league being run very successfully and producing a national champion, the Vardar Sharks, to go on to represent the league in the Global Champions League later this year.

Match Poker’s formal sporting recognition by GAISF has been extremely important in helping its national acceptance as a mind sport and game of skill within our member nations.

2021 saw IFMP make considerable progress after a rather quiet pandemic hit 2020. With the constantly changing situation caused by Covid, we didn’t want to be dependent on live events for Match Poker activity this year. We therefore decided to run virtual qualifiers for the 2021 Nations Cup Finals for our member nations in Asia and Europe. Being the world’s only recognised digital sport, Match Poker has the unique advantage of digital gameplay as compared to other conventional sports which are more physical in nature. We used this to our advantage and re-created the live Match Poker environment linking a video conference platform in with Match Poker gameplay, thus enabling the athletes to see and talk with each other just like they would at a live event, while playing Match Poker for their nation.
We ran a total of 10 qualifiers, which produced 5 Asian and 6 European qualifiers who will attempt to stop Ukraine from wining their 3rd World Championship in a row! 200 unique hands of Match Poker were played in each qualifier, giving us 2000 hands played by 25 participating nations. Over 200 athletes competed for their nations, testing themselves in this skill-based format with the aim of securing a spot at the finals. The qualified nations are India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Singapore from Asia, with Austria, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Macedonia and Switzerland from Europe. The virtual qualifiers allowed many nations, who have previously not been able to participate in live events, to play, compete and experience Match Poker. It has been fantastic to see our sport grow and reach so many new countries this year.
One prime example of this effect is the birth of the Mongolian National Match Poker League! 12 teams participated in the first season of the league, which took place on 11th and 12th December in Ulaanbaatar and saw 500 hands played across the 2 match days. Every team had atleast one male and one female member in their squad, across various age groups once again reinforcing that Match Poker is a fully inclusive sport. Team Pokerfriends were crowned Champions with 749.5 points, Team Shrup came 2nd with 723 points and Team Megamind was 3rd with 710 points. Trophies, medals and prize money was awarded to the top 3 finishing teams and top 3 individual players. The Mongolian NF will use this event and the content captured to approach their National Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Sports Authority (NSA) for the formal recognition of Match Poker as a sport in Mongolia and for their national federation as a national governing body of sport, linked to IFMP as the global representative.
IFMP’s observer membership of GAISF was extended for another 2 years as we continue our fight for full recognition. One of the main aims of encouraging local Match Poker activity by way of national leagues was to be able to evidence to the NOC and NSA of your nation that we are a sport, recognised globally, played digitally, and are not anything like conventional gaming or gambling. Once the authorities see it in action, being played in teams, without the presence of physical cards or chips, they will better understand what we have been trying to explain to them for so long. We are hopeful that this all will work to our advantage and we can provide the GAISF membership council with plenty of new national recognition certificates in the coming year.
We are working hard towards a packed events calendar for 2022, with a Champions League style finale event for our many national league champions, a Global University Challenge involving student Match Poker teams from universities and colleges across the globe, and of course our Continental Championships (Asia, Europe, America’s) all culminating in a Nations Cup Final at the end of the year. There have been a few nations that have expressed their desire to host an event and we are evaluating our options, and would encourage other nations who are interested to let us know at the earliest.
Finally can we take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful holiday period. Stay safe, take care of yourself and your loved ones and let’s make 2022 the year where Match Poker really takes off! Happy Holidays and wish you a fantastic New Year!

19th January 2021, Mumbai, India: The International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) and its official Indian member federation, Match Poker India, have entered into an agreement with Saran Sports to launch Match Poker into corporates in India. Since 1996, Saran Sports has always believed in introducing new concepts for the benefit of their corporate clients. […]