INDIA’S POKER LAW GETS COMPLICATED

India Flag SThe situation regarding online poker in India sparked confusion this week. A Delhi court ruled that online betting is an offence in India and a website allowing people to play poker involving money cannot be given protection under the constitution.

The ruling effectively means that, while poker is considered a game of skill in India, it is illegal to play it.

District Judge Ina Malhotra made it clear in an order released this week that even skill games cannot be held to be legal and banks can refuse to provide their normal service to companies offering such games.

The courts verdict came following a petition made by an internet start-up company founded by an Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi alumnus, along with others, proposing to launch a website offering games including chess and poker, as well as other “games of skill.” The company sought the opinion of the court to ensure they did not violate any laws.

The news was not good. The court ruled that online games such as these were “illegal.”

“So, while betting or playing for money among players on a game of golf, chess, bridge or billiards may be permitted, they cannot be considered legal if operated by a gaming house,” the court said.

Read the full article on the Daily News website.

MASTERING THE TEAM GAME

Golf SA curious thing happens when a group of poker players join together to form a team to compete in an international contest: things don’t always go as they should.

The team dynamic often adds an additional layer of complication. Players who are used to living and dying by the decisions they make, suddenly have to factor in their team mates. A bad call or some sloppy play is one thing if it affects only you, but what about your teammates? Do you really want to be the one to scupper their chances? It can make even the very best players think twice.

It was this exact scenario that players faced during the IFP Nations Cup in November of last year. Each player knew they had to perform to their best, but tough decisions became even tougher, with the outcome of a single hand potentially ruining the hopes of the entire team.

Another team event begins today, one that brings together players who are usually more comfortable playing by themselves for themselves – the Ryder Cup.

One commentator said this week that the Ryder Cup is the golf tournament even those who don’t like golf should watch. It’s not hard to understand why.

It throws together two teams – the United States and Europe – into three days of competition near Chicago, USA, with every match adding to the team’s points tally. The first team to reach 14 points is declared the winner.

It’s one of the sport’s most anticipated events, with emotions and sometimes tempers running high, providing no shortage of drama, even to those who can’t tell the difference between a birdie and an albatross. But the players must play not for themselves but for the team. As the world number one Rory McIlroy said this week: “I’m one man in a 12-man team and that’s it.”

It’s not an easy conversion. Former European captain Colin Montgomery was the type of player to excel in the team format, while others, including Tiger Woods, have struggled. Either way it will prove a spectacular contest.

WILL POKER PLAYERS SWAY THE ELECTION?

Vote Here Sign SThe Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is one of the game’s key lobby groups in the United States, having campaigned for several years for the rights of the country’s several million poker players to play the game they love without committing a criminal office.

This week the PPA published the results of its survey of poker players’ voting intentions ahead of this year’s elections. Thousands of PPA members completed the survey which created some interesting results, results which could be politically significant in November.

As you can read on the PPA website, 31 per cent of those questioned were registered Democrats, 31 per cent were registered Republicans while 38 per cent were Independent, Libertarian or Undeclared.

Will this make poker players pivotal to the election? The PPA certainly hopes so, pointing out that both major parties are fighting for the vote of those not affiliated with either the Republicans or Democrats and that 90 per cent of poker players (according to the survey) intend to vote in the elections.

Not only that but 75 per cent of respondents indicated that their vote for Congress and the Senate would be determined by their local candidate’s position on legalized online poker.

For that there’s the Congressional Ratings Site giving details of all elected representatives in the US. Will the voice of millions of American poker players make a difference? Results in November may tell.

BETA TESTING UNDERWAY

Beta SOn Monday the IFP, in partnership with Vavel, launched the beta version of its global membership programme, the culmination of more than two years of work since the IFP was launched in 2009.

It’s the first of what will be several partnerships with major media platforms around the world and it’s so far so good for the beta testing.

If you haven’t already signed up it’s open to everyone and is as easy as visiting vavel.www.pokerfed.org and opening an account. The beta version is free of charge and allows you to play as often as you like in hourly Vavel League tournaments as well as your own national tournaments. Put simply it’s about the love of playing poker against people who feel the same.

What’s more every result you record is counted towards your official ranking. On your personal homepage you’ll find your ranking compared to players from your own country as well as other Vavel League players. You are also ranked internationally, allowing you to track your progress against players from around the world.

It’s not long before you feel compelled to keep playing in order to improve your ranking. Who said poker was all about money?

A NEW ERA FOR ONLINE POKER

Ifp Imagelogo Bluegreen 700pxThe moment that IFP has been working towards has finally arrived with the launch of the beta version of the global membership programme in partnership with the international sports newspaper Vavel.

It marks the start of what we believe is a new era for online poker and we’d like to invite you to take part.As well as catching up with news and blogs on the IFP website, you can now register to play on our Beta software, in partnership with Vavel. We think you’ll agree it is an innovative and elegant looking platform. Sign up, play and let us know what you think.

“Our partnership with Vavel is a hugely significant step for the International Federation of Poker and the promotion of our sport,” said IFP President Anthony Holden.

“It is a vibrant and engaging platform which attracts a largely young, technology savvy, knowledgeable and sports focused audience. That profile is a great match for the aspirations of the IFP.”

The Beta version is free to play with an annual membership fee of US $52 when the full site goes live. As one of the membership benefits you can play as much as you like, as often as you like, obtaining a national and international ranking as you progress as well as taking advantage of various other resources and training tools.

Crucially, members will be eligible to complete for the world title at “The Table,” the official World Poker Championship in 2013.

It’s the first announcement of its kind, with further partners to be announced in the coming weeks and months. It’s an exciting time for everyone involved. We hope you want to be involved too.

To sign up go to vavel.www.pokerfed.org.