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2019 of World Championships

2019 of World Championships

The world championships of two of the most popular games in the world are underway. Could they be better timed? One is a complete package of team spirit showcased with flexed muscles on a well-cut grass turf. The other is an illustration of individual mental skill displayed over green velvet felt. Both, being prime examples of converting pressure into opportunity.

The games

World Cup Cricket begins with both teams assembling for their respective national anthems. Then comes the first powerplay. These are the ten overs that give both teams a chance to get a solid head start. The next thirty overs pass by with both teams applying strategies to overcome the other team’s progress. The last ten overs give both teams a chance to push the match towards their own victory. These ten overs are often a do or die situation.

Poker is not much different. The game begins by dealing the players their respective hole cards (the starting cards), and that’s their arsenal. The flop tells them where their hand stands. Betting rounds occur. This is the strategizing phase. A wrong bet may change everything and drastically reduce winnings. The river hammers the last blow on the nail. This too is a do or die situation.

The two games are not much different. One of the major differences is that of team play and individual play. The game play is almost similar. Individual skills versus pressure. That’s the comparison between cricket and poker. The world championships of both these two games are going on as you read this article.

The tournaments

The World Series of Poker, 2019 and the ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019.

Both these tournaments have our netizens focused on India’s performance. Both these games have garnered traction recently due to the 2011 World Cup win, and the recent exploits of Indians in the World Series of Poker. 

Cricket takes the prize for the more famous of the two. However, poker is coming up as a prodigious game, that India has ignored, until recently. The growth of online games has marked the advent of poker in India. The ready availability of a forum, the independence from weather and time conditions and non-requirement of a team, all these factors have increased poker’s popularity amongst the masses. 

The present

On one hand, IPL has provided a platform for Indians to showcase their prowess. The far-away towns, cities and villages in India have produced great talent with the bat and the ball. These Indians, who hardly had any chance of being noticed, have made it big in the cricket arena, and on the pitches of United Kingdom, in the ICC World Cup, 2019.

In pari materia, has furthered the cause of online poker in India. From giving the most secure platform for playing online real money poker, to flying Indian players to Las Vegas, courtesy #LFGVegas, 9stacks is on the helm of promoting poker in India. Until a few years ago, poker was a rich man’s game. Now it has entered everyone’s bedroom today. Where poker was but another card game, it is now the most popular real money mental skill game. 

The future

In any case, the results of both these tournaments will determine the popularity of the two games in the near future. The millennial population is merciless. It’ll hardly give deserved footage to anything. The millennials remember as much as they forget. A few cash-ins at the World Series of Poker will go far in the minds of the current generation. 

The ICC World Cup, 2019 and the World Series of Poker, 2019 have loads to offer to their respective spectators. But it is not surprising to notice the intertwined spectatorship of these two. These one and a half months of pure cricketing entertainment going on alongside duels of mental skill at the Rio Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, have similar viewership. The numbers and quantum vary, of course. But the generation that is following the two games will decide the tilt of the scales in favor of either. It’s not just a competition. It is an era to allow mental skills to come as close to par as physical finesse. 

In mid-June 2019, the results of the two games shall be declared. It will also decide the future of the two games. Till then, let’s enjoy the rains of England that sometimes allow players to play cricket and the updates of the WSOP on Google and PokerGo (the tournament is not being showcased on TV). 



Ankit Malhotra

Ankit Malhotra is an erstwhile practising advocate and an active poker enthusiast. He is professionally a content consultant, who happens to be a published poet as well.