The Spartan Poker: India's Leading Online Poker Platform

Amin Rozani, Co-Founder & MDPost achieving success in the U.S., UK, China and other European nations, online poker has emerged as a sport of skill and thrill in India. Manoj Pentakota, a Mechanical engineer who chose to opt out of his core field, today spends up to eight hours a day playing online poker. Manoj made his biggest ever online score when he won Rs.10 lakh by winning the Millionaire tournament held at online poker website, The Spartan Poker within a matter of nine hours and buying in for just Rs.5500. Talk about a fantastic return on your tiny investment!

Strictly adhering to regulatory compliance and having become a comprehensive Indian online platform for poker that is trusted by its users for their online monetary transactions, The Spartan Poker has come a long way. It began in 2014 to host the country’s most popular and high value poker tournaments and series like The Millionaire, Two of a Kind (2.o.K), Spartan Super Series (SSS) and India Online Poker Championship (IOPC), which are best known for maximum return on investments. Its flagship product, The Millionaire, a monthly tournament, can be played by paying Rs.5500 and it recognized Manoj Pentakota as the first ever winner in 2016 with a cash out of Rs.10 lakh. The same flagship property now offers double the prize amount i.e. Rs 20 lakh and guarantees two Millionaires being crowned in the same event as second place prize is Rs. 10 lakh. This stands as a true testimony to the company’s growth trajectories and burgeoning number of players using the platform.

Giving it back to Players
A team of four passionate poker players – Amin Rozani, Sameer Rattonsey, Peter Abraham and Rajeev Kanjani, who conducted the India Poker Championship – India’s biggest and most popular tournament poker event on the offshore casinos of Panjim, Goa since March 2010, launched The Spartan Poker in 2014. They charged forward with the intention to explore the enormous possibilities of conducting tournaments online, imbued with professionalism. “We firmly believe in giving maximum value back to the customers, be it in terms of remunerations, VIP points, branding or any other benefit,” asserts Amin. Through bestowing maximum RoI, offering innovative and engaging products and executing out-of-the-box marketing strategies, The Spartan Poker over the years has been able to persuade people inch-meal about how games of skill are different from gambling and how poker is classified as a game of skill in India just like any other skill game as akin to chess, pool or golf. With an aim to produce more professional players, the company also trains beginners by introducing them to the basic rules and regulations, new features and updates in multifarious variants of Poker, through a dedicated segment on the website – Spartan School.

One of the most frequent users on the platform, Ujjwal Rana says, “I have been playing on The Spartan Poker since it went online. It has the best user interface and a great (customer) service team and instant cash outs. For learning, earning and turning into a professional poker player, I highly recommend The Spartan Poker”. Determined to bestow a professional gaming environment to online poker players, The Spartan Poker employs cutting-edge technology to ensure a great online experience for players backed by an excellent monitoring team as well as multi-layer security for transactions taking place on the site.

A Flawless Platform
“Having country’s foremost payment gateways like PayUmoney, Go Cash and TPSL to support us, we are extremely stringent in ascertaining secured payment,” shares Amin. When it comes to game-play, The Spartan Poker has a dedicated ‘Collusion team’ in place, which regularly monitors the payment, transactions and deposits, checks for all kinds of malpractices during the game-play, and even performs a reconciliation on the very next day. If there is any suspicious cash out, the team investigates thoroughly to verify that there has been no malpractice in terms of several criteria.

The collision team coordinates with a strong
tech-team comprised of brilliant anti hackers who tackle any other possibility of technology breach. The Spartan Poker further consolidates the security assurance and makes itself a flawless platform through an IP matching system that flags and immediately blocks multiple IDs logged in from the same device. Along side, the players are also entitled to reporting suspicious IDs and thus, initiating an investigation. Furthermore, The Spartan Poker’s 25 people strong customer support team, which is always within reach of players through all the available communication channels including a live chat room on website, resolves any further query to make it the most user-friendly platform to play poker. “High quality customer service is the backbone of our company, not to mention the players’ respect towards the game. They have been extremely supportive during the course,” Amin adds.

The Spartan Poker further consolidates the security assurance and makes itself a flawless platform through an IP matching system that flags and immediately blocks multiple IDs logged in from the same device

On the other hand, with new tax policies implemented by the union government, it has become imperative for online platforms to ensure regulatory compliance, especially for a segment like poker gaming, where ample transactions are carried out on a daily basis. Four MBA professionals (co-founders) leading from the front with the support of a dedicated legal team, The Spartan Poker strictly adheres to all the e-Commerce compliances right from ascertaining that only a player from India can buy-in or cash out (blocks all the international payments) with respect to FEMA to paying TDS and GST, ensuring responsible gaming and complying with the local requirements. Amin says, “Any player who cashes out from The Spartan Poker is liable to pay 30 percent TDS, and we ensure that this amount is kept aside during cash out, while a TDS certificate is sent to the player”. The company adopts responsible gaming practices, which allows players to take breaks during the game-play and thus, ensures a fair and safe gaming experience for them.

Engagement & Fun
Running 24 hours a day and hosting 10+ varieties of innovative tournaments including The Millionaire, IOPC (10 day tournament series), 2.o.K, Spartan Super Series, Destiny and BigWin Sundays, The Spartan Poker has been able to gather a fair amount of crowd over the years. In fact, it makes sure that at least one high value tournament is organized every day. “The winners of IOPC are also recognized at a ceremony called IPC Awards. We conducted IPC awards in Bangalore last month (September 2017), and the ceremony was a complete success with the presence of celebrities like Bollywood actor Emraan Hashmi and comedian Naveen Richards,” adds Amin. Besides conducting events, to bring more engagement to the game, the company instigates various promotions; from its poker blog – Samoh Says, written by Sangeeth 'Samoh' Mohan, a professional poker player and a part of The Spartan Poker’s Pro team. The Spartan Poker has also recently started a podcast – Mera Kaam Poker, which is a fun-filled, humorous and informative poker podcast hosted by stand-up comedian Azeem Banatwalla and The Spartan Poker co-founder Peter Abraham himself.

Staying Innovative
“We believe in providing innovative products to our players and thus, endeavor to improve the standards of our platform. Period,” affirms Amin. The youthfulness of The Spartan Poker’s 50 people strong workforce genuinely contributes to this belief and the company provides them with a world-class work culture. “We keep a live and sporty atmosphere. In addition to PlayStation and a library, we have a special gaming space where our people can play several games like football, basketball and darts. We are trying to achieve a work culture like Google,” he adds. At the moment, The Spartan Poker’s focus is on revamping the website to make it more informative and reducing the cash out time from four working hours to two hours and even real-time.

As a bootstrapped company, The Spartan Poker has measured an impressive 2.5 times growth in the last one year. This elucidates how online poker has emerged as a popular skill game in the subcontinent to compose a market of $120 million (according to a media report). While making the most of this lucrative market, enroute to the future, The Spartan Poker aims to be the front runner in the Indian online poker industry by 2018.

Key Management:
Amin Rozani, Co-Founder and Managing Director
Amin began learning the art and mathematics of the card game in 2009 and has since participated in tournaments across Asia. A former banking consultant, Rozani has helmed several clubs including Deltin Royale, the biggest live poker room in India.

Sameer Rattonsey, Co-Founder
The co-founder of the India Poker Championship as well, Rattonsey hails from a business background, who has competed and won in notable tournaments across the Asian circuit. He is also a former India Poker Champion (2011-12).

Peter Abraham, Co-Founder
The other co-founder of the India Poker Championship, Abraham has been associated with the sport since its early days in 2009. He is also the editor of Gutshot, a poker and lifestyle magazine as well as co-host of the “Mera Kaam Poker” podcast.

Rajeev Kanjani, Co-Founder
Rajeev Kanjani, a well-known name in the Indian poker industry, was first introduced to poker in Macau's poker rooms in 2009. His playing record has been notable on the Indian circuit as well as the Asian region and Las Vegas.

Offices: Mumbai, Kolkata