Poker enthusiasts in India can now enroll in a course focused solely on the game of poker. The course is being offered at the famed Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kozhikode. This has been made possible through the efforts of IIM faculty member Deepak Dhayanithy, who formulated the course called “Competitive Strategy:  The game of poker (CSP)”.
Latest figures show that a growing number of students are becoming interested in CSP, with more than 200 students enrolling in the course, significantly higher than the 60 recorded during its first year. The numbers of boys and girls choosing for the elective course in their second year are almost of equal proportion, which indicates that the traditionally male-dominated game is starting to draw attention among the female demographic in India.
Managers Can Learn From Poker
In an interview with online poker operator 9stacks, professor Dhayanithy said CSP connects business management with the beautiful mind sport of poker. Managers will definitely learn a lot from poker, as the game requires mental toughness and excellent decision-making skills – qualities that business leaders also need to succeed in their field.
While CSP is the first of its kind in India, courses that teach poker strategies have long been offered in some of the most prestigious universities across the US, such as Harvard and MIT. Poker-related courses introduce relevant business approaches that can be applied in a wide range of settings, including vendor negotiations, stock markets, and capital investment decisions in the face of uncertainty. Professor Dhayanithy believes that course can even help improve decision-making in real life.
Dhayanithy’s interest in card games started back when he was still a child. He would play the game with his family and when he eventually had the chance to learn more about poker by watching shows on ESPN, he began playing the game and fell in love with it.
The professor said he is satisfied to teach the course and is pleased that it is growing in popularity among students in India. To effectively teach CSP, Dhayanithy continues to practice and study poker by playing poker tournaments and learning more about strategies before every class.
Bright Future for Poker in India
CSP classes involve live sessions, as well as discussions on business parallels. While most students really have fun taking part in tournaments and discussions, around 20 percent still believe that poker is a taboo topic in India. Dhayanithy makes it a point to not force them to change their beliefs, and instead allow them to experience the game for what it is. This small minority still attend these poker classes as they are eager to learn more about the game.
However, there is still a stigma attached to playing poker in India, with the game still being banned in most states. However, now that one of the country’s top universities has taken the first step into promoting awareness about the game and recognizing the skills learned from it, there is no doubt that the poker market will continue to grow in the country.
Operators Finding New Ways To Promote Poker
The Indian poker market has grown at a rapid pace in the last two years as both domestic and international poker operators have launched their poker rooms in the country. The one goal that both domestic and international poker operators have in common is getting state legislators across the country interested in the game of poker.
These poker rooms have come out with innovative strategies to bring attention to the game of poker and educate both legislators and then general public that poker is a game of skill and not of chance. The IIM course is one such initiative and so is the recent Justice Mudgal Championship which PokerHigh decided to launch.
The Justice Mudgal Championship is a poker tournament open to only members of the legal fraternity. It is named after the former Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal who was a key campaigner for legalizing gambling in India. His son Dhaval Mudgal is one of the top poker players in India. Once significant members in the legal community are convinced about poker being a game of skill, it becomes easier for proponents of poker to make their cash strong and push for legalization!

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