MatchIPL, the world’s first Match Poker pro league, was launched in 2017 in association with Viaan Industries Ltd. November 2017 saw the first season of MatchIPL take place in Mumbai, India as 7 teams representing different parts of India came together to crown the first national Match Poker Champion.
MatchIPL season 1 participants:
Mumbai All Stars defied the odds to take home the title, prize money and Team India’s jersey! Player of the tournament, Aditya Agarwal of the Jaipur Jewels, joined the Mumbai All Stars in representing Team India at the 2017 Nations Cup in Oxford, UK against Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, UK, Mexico, Digital and Austria! The Indian team did well to finish 5th overall after a nail-biting finish to the group stages which just pushed us through to the finals.
Team India comprised of: Harman Baweja (C), Jagdeep Singh, Pratibha Arya, Abhishek Jalan, Aditya Agarwal, Nikunj Jhunjhunwala, Sacheen Ramchandani, Ronak Gidwani.
After the excitement and success of MatchIPL’s first season, 3 new franchises were sold to make the league 10 teams strong and it was decided to host a 2nd season in March 2018. Kolkata was decided as the venue for season 2 with the 7 teams raring to go once again and the 3 newcomers eager to make an impression.
MatchIPL season 2 participants:
The newcomers definitely made their mark with the Haryana Hawks coming first and UP Indians coming second! Jagdeep Singh and Pratibha Arya were the only two players common to both the winnings teams and they went on to represent Team India at the 2018 Asian Nations Pairs Challenge in Bangkok. 10 Asian nations participated in this event, which involved individuals competing against DeepStack AI – the world’s leading AI poker player! A valiant effort by Team India as they finished in 5th position overall.
Next came MatchIPL season 3 which was held in Mumbai in October 2018 and competed by 9 teams. MTV, the league’s official broadcaster, got involved and ran a competition prior to the event giving every team one ‘MTV Player’. Thousands of players participated in the MTV Player Hunt and the teams were assigned their players prior to the event.
MatchIPL season 3 participants:
What looked like a two-horse race going into the finals between Haryana and Mumbai, ended up with an outsider in the form of the Pune Kings pulling off an incredible victory in the finals to become the new National Match Poker Champions! Under the captaincy of Gaurav Gala, the Pune Kings went on to represent Team India at the 2018 Nations Cup in Dublin.
Team India comprised of: Gaurav Gala (C), Tanmay Bagga, Rishab Jain, Shuchi Chamaria, Akshay Nasa and Tanay Hargunaney.
Prior to MatchIPL season 4 was the 2019 Asian Nations Cup being held in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. This event was taking place for the first time since it’s previous edition in 2013. Participants included Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Japan, Korea, Israel, Hong Kong, Philippines and of course India.
Team India put together a strong team in the form of Gaurav Gala (C), Tanmay Bagga, Rishab Jain, Aditya Agarwal, Taran Mundkar, Prateek Mishra and Krina Gala.
A monumental event for the Indians as they finished top of the group stages and managed to continue their impressive form to make up a huge gap in points in the last session of the finals to eventually be crowned Champions of Asia!!!
MatchIPL season 4 took place a few days after the Asian Championships and the Jaipur Jewels looked to be big favourites having 5 out of their 6 players in the Indian team that just won the title in Taiwan. However it wasn’t to be for them and another fantastic performance by the Haryana Hawks brought them their 2nd title in the 3 seasons they’ve participated! Jagdeep Singh and Pratibha Arya have now been part of the winning MatchIPL team in 3 out 4 seasons!