A newly launched poker room in Bengaluru has cancelled its inaugural poker series after it was raided by police. The raid caught both owners and players unawares and created a bad vibe to the tournament, forcing owners to cancel the tournament.
The Stars Poker Room, located in Indiranagar in Bengaluru is a joint partnership between Rajeev Raut, who has spent a number of years in the poker industry and Bengaluru entrepreneur Krishna G. The room was launched earlier this month and had only just kicked off its first event in its inaugural series when local police arrived and asked the players to leave the venue, putting an immediate stop to the game. There were a total of 75 players who had initially signed up for the event but only 60 were present during the time of the raid.
Due to this raid, the series was cancelled by the organizers and there is no information if the tournament will be rescheduled at a later date. In a statement, Rajeev Raut and Krishna G said, “With great regret have to announce the cancellation of Stars Poker Series. Really thankful to all the supporters who stood by. We are still continuing cash games & Sit’n’Go Games at IPA Stars.”
Star Poker Room and the Indian Poker Association (IPA) entered into a strategic partnership in 2015 by which Star Poker manages IPA’s properties and operates the Indiranagar venue. Raut had been confident at that time that the partnership would be a success and enable the opening of four or five poker rooms across Bangalore given the growth of poker in the city.
Poker in Bengaluru city has been growing in popularity after it was legalized by the High Court in 2014. The court declared poker to be a game of skill and not chance, thereby making it legal for clubs to offer poker. Several poker rooms have since opened up across the city and there has been an increase in the number of players frequenting them.
However police raids on poker rooms in Bengaluru still occur at times despite it being legal. Raut has previously faced a raid when he was a co-promoter of a popular poker room, which was the Rockets Poker Room located in Sheshadripuram.
The Rockets Poker Room was raided in February 2015 after local police suspected that the club was offering games other than poker. While Raut has parted ways with the Rockets Poker Room, the room has continued to function and expand after partnering with Adda52.com to host tournaments in the Southern part of India.