“IPL just couldn’t keep me away, so I’m back,” were the opening lines of Raj Kundra at the launch of his new venture- Indian Poker League.
As he launched his latest venture on Tuesday- the Indian Poker League (IPL), an interesting similarity popped up between his previous venture and the most recent one. However, it is not the only time Raj Kundra, the former Rajasthan Royals co-owner has played on the similar acronym to introduce his new venture.
By the afternoon, it was quite clear that all the parties involved in the promotion of poker league had one single motto to shake off the gambling stigma intrinsically associated with the card game. However, it was also ironic to see Raj Kundra taking charge, as he is the one who was expelled from IPL due to betting allegations.
Moreover, Kundra was quite rigid to talk about the IPL he now wants to be associated with, but could not avoid questions about his previous venture. When asked about the Indian Premier League, the former Rajasthan Royals co-owner quite easily shifted his focus to Indian Poker League, the venture he wanted to talk about. He said, “This is an ideal opportunity to put India on the global poker map. The winning team here will play as Team India at the World Cup.”
The Indian Poker League has been recognised by the International Federation of Poker (IFP) and has also secured a spot for the Indian team in the Nations Cup. The Nations Cup is scheduled to be held in Oxford, England, in December. After the sixth-place finish at the 2013 Asian Nations Cup in China, this will be the second time an Indian team will be participating in an IFP event.
The latest IPL venture will be a two-day event to be held in Mumbai in October and will also be the third sports business venture of Kundra. Kundra has also tried his hand at mixed martial arts in the past and co-owned Rajasthan Royals. The Super Fight League started along with Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt in 2012 hardly gained much attention. It is now co-owned by a British businessman and 2004 Athens Olympics silver medal winning boxer Amir Khan.
Above all, IPL or the Indian Poker League is his third venture for which he is quite excited.