19th January 2021, Mumbai: The International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) and it’s official Indian member federation, Match Poker India, have entered into an agreement with Saran Sports to launch Match Poker into corporates in India.


Since 1996, Saran Sports has always believed in introducing new concepts for the benefit of their corporate clients. Over 2,000 corporate teams and 28,000 corporate employees have participated in various sports championships over the years and across India. These activities act as a great leveller, motivating employees across the organization and serve as a stress-free forum for relaxed interaction amongst corporate executives – far removed from the tensions of the workplace.


We are proud to present for the first time in India, the sport of Match Poker, a fully recognised mind sport in an eSports wrapper. This team sport is played completely digitally, on mobile devices or tablets, and is free of conventional playing cards or chips.


Match Poker has been formally recognised as a sport since 2017, is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping (WADA) code and is played by over 60 national federations across 6 continents. The sport is all about data and analysis, ensuring luck is not a deciding factor in determining the winner. It is played as a mind sport and game of skill worldwide, with individuals of all ages and genders competing on a level playing field. Brief details on the sport are attached.


Many companies are now successfully using Gamification to help in a whole range of HR requirements including: employer branding, recruitment, on-boarding and employees engagement, internal training, salesforce motivation, leadership and team building. In this context gamification, and specifically Match Poker, can be an effective strategic tool for HR related activities as it can have a great impact on skills improvement and has a tremendous power of influencing people’s behaviour.

Patrick Nally, President of IFMP, commented “IFMP is delighted to be forming a partnership with Saran Sports. Sanjiv has a long-term track record of organising successful and engaging corporate events. As a recognised digital sport, Match Poker can really help corporates, even more so during this Covid impacted environment, to embrace innovative staff and customer relationship opportunities.”

Sanjiv Saran Mehra, Managing Director of Saran Sports, said “Saran Sports is excited to introduce this wonderful mind sport of Match Poker to Corporate India, with all the benefits it offers I have no doubt we will see a very positive response. Being a digital and extremely fun sport, it proves to be even more relevant in today’s world and will certainly help with bringing out the best in an organisation’s workforce and performance.”


Varun Goenka, President of Match Poker India, commented “I am thrilled to introduce this incredible mind sport to Corporate India! Match Poker is a skill-based team sport and will add tremendous value to all participating companies. Not only will it help develop numerous relevant skills for its employees but will also help them perform better and work together in a more efficient and cohesive manner. Most of all, being a mental sport, it allows the entire workforce to come together and participate with men and women of all ages having the chance to compete on a sporting platform and is just so much fun to play!”


Match Poker is a team sport where the luck element in conventional poker via the “random draw of cards” has been removed. Far from being another poker ‘variation’ to sit alongside Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Stud etc. it is in fact a revolutionary approach for how any of these variations can be structured into meaningful and sporting competition through a more skill based format.


Match Poker was devised by the International Federation of Match Poker to reduce the element of luck inherent in traditional forms of poker, ensuring that it is a contest based on players’ skill and conforms to the accepted definition of a sport.


  • Match Poker is a team sport incorporating regular Texas Hold’em, albeit typically with a pot-limit pre-flop and no-limit post-flop structure.


  • Teams are split onto different tables with one player from each team in each of the different seat positions.


  • All players start each hand with an equal number of chips and receive their cards on a digital device.


  • The same cards are dealt at all tables (hole cards and community cards). This means that every player in seat 1 (each from a different team) has identical cards. The same is true every other seat. This allows the best players and the best teams to be identified.


  • Each team’s combined chips are compared after every hand and points allocated accordingly. Players reset their stacks and the next hand begins.


  • After a pre-determined number of hands the team with the most points wins. All action is recorded electronically enabling real-time automated scoring, animated replay and detailed analysis.



Pioneers in corporate sports in India, Saran Sports were the first to launch corporate sports when the Corporate Cricket 7s was organised in 1997. It has been listed in the Limca Book of Records as organisers of India’s biggest corporate sports series. Over 2,000 corporate teams and 28,000 corporate employees have participated in multiple corporate sports events since inception.


Further information from:

Varun Goenka

+91 9820126063

Sanjiv Saran Mehra

+91 9820152981