Deltin Poker head Praveen Dwarkanath shares insights on the state of organising poker tournaments

Sponsored by Adda 52 Live, Deltin Royale’s Poker series titled ‘Deltin Poker Tournament’ which commenced on 14 April is set to conclude on 19 April 2022. 

Praveen Dwarkanath

In conversation with AnimationXpress, Deltin poker head Praveen Dwarkanath shared, “Deltin Poker Tournament is India’s most sought-after live poker event, better known amongst the poker enthusiasts as ‘DPT’. This is held at Asia’s largest offshore gaming and entertainment destination Deltin Royale, Goa. This tournament will host 300+ players from across the country, including some eminent pro-players from the poker community.”

He believes that the entire mobile gaming, online gaming and fantasy sports ecosystem is undergoing a massive paradigm shift from just playing games to incorporating gaming in better ways in day to day lives. He has seen burgeoning interest of people in poker which further reflects in the user base across all gaming platforms. 

“The same applies to the tournament scene as well. Today we have players playing Poker from the smallest and most remote cities in India. The user base has increased significantly from the time I started playing poker which was roughly a decade back. Today, at poker tournaments, you don’t see the same set of faces, as the community is now widespread. The guarantees at tournaments have gone up tremendously, in line with our tagline #Upthegame. All in all today there are a multitude of opportunities – some of which we haven’t yet capitalised on but that’s exactly what we are working on now,” he added.

Here is the excerpt of the conversation:

 While live (off ground) events have commenced again, do you think this will strengthen the growth?

Definitely, it’s great news for all the stakeholders – all poker operators are here to grow and Deltin would definitely like to continue being the leader and the first choice of all gamers and players in India and recreational players from out of the country. We will be conducting a series of live poker events this year as we expect a great turnout for all events, considering that people have had to stick to online gaming for too long and so it’s been exciting for them as well to be able to play in a live setting. Even online players are now looking forward to playing live so we have been able to get them on the felts too. Not only for us or for poker, the thrill of all games is 10x more after a two-year long pandemic induced restriction! It’s different when you choose to play online versus when you have to play online – so the excitement shows in the footfalls!

 What are pressure points in organising such big scale events?

 Managing any event of such scale, irrespective of any industry requires meticulous planning and coordination with all relevant stakeholders. DPT isn’t any different, but I wouldn’t say they are pressure points; Deltin Royale is known for hosting grand and spectacular events and DPT is an extension of the same legacy. This time at DPT, we have decided to #Upthegame and therefore went the extra mile to make sure that all players experience a different version of DPT than they have earlier.

 Tell us more about the production workflow in organising such a big tournament?

As I mentioned earlier, planning, coordination followed by seamless execution is the mantra to pull off an event of this scale. We just need to make sure that both the idea and execution are jaw dropping. As the popular saying goes “The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth 20 rupees, while the most brilliant idea executed well is worth 20 crores” . 

 Women poker players are comparatively less.  What could be the possible reason?

Earlier, poker was considered to be strictly a ‘man’s game’ for many years – it started as a male-dominated activity, and during the early days of the game, it was played almost exclusively by men. If female players hit the felt, they were definitely going against the social norms of that period, and those who decided to break the unwritten rules were branded with not-so-favorable labels by their contemporaries. So, from the get-go, there was this aura of exclusivity surrounding the game. But today things have changed significantly. Some of India’s top players are women. So, it’s a great time for women to be in poker.

Tell us about Deltin’s plan to engage more women players?

Deltin salutes all women from various fields – education, medicine, science, business, engineering and what not! We are dedicated to creating an environment supporting a growing community of women with comprehensive poker skills, and so we’re bringing in a ‘Women’s Special’ on Tuesday, 19 April, at the upcoming Deltin Poker Tournament April 2022 edition onboard Deltin Royale.

 Do you think streaming of poker tournaments on social media platforms will encourage and interest more players?

Definitely! Poker viewing has changed drastically in the past 10 years, and with the current popularity and increasing availability of live streaming poker, it has come with new and interesting challenges and opportunities. With the unparalleled reach of social media platforms, it is a huge advantage towards learning the game. Watching the evolution of chip stacks in a tournament is an invaluable tool to becoming a better player. It’s a marvelous time to try and get better at this game. There are tons of players in the remote parts of the country, who have watched live streams of events, and grown to understand and like the game, and today are in command of the game.

 Your vision for responsible gaming?   

 An important aspect of responsible gambling for poker operators is to offer an environment that is fair and transparent. We, at Deltin have always offered a fair gaming experience to all our players. From comprehensive texts and information on identifying gaming addiction, to dealing with it and implementing self-checks, limits, and timeouts, we create a safe and secure atmosphere for all patrons.

 What does the year 2022 look like for Deltin?

2022 already seems to be an exciting year for poker ! We chose the first long weekend of 2022 to conduct DPT, so that it would be convenient for all our players flying in from different parts of the country for this event. We have started work on publishing a calendar of all poker events that will be conducted this year so that our players can plan their trips well in advance. We have a lot of exciting and innovative strategies planned out and will be revealed once everything is in place. On the whole, we are going to revolutionise the way Poker is played and conducted in India.