Goa: India’s Home Of Poker

When you think of casinos and Asia, you’re probably going to be looking straight in the direction of Macau. But avert your eyes 4,000km to the west and you’ll find another hotspot in the land of poker – Goa.

Goa’s reputation has been growing in the poker community over the last few years with some lavish casinos in the Indian state. And they’ve been putting on some prestigious events too. Although it’s certainly worth practicing ahead of the big day. By brushing up on the variations of online poker, you can master the art of probabilities and get an edge over your opponent.

We take a look at some of the biggest and best events to have hit the Goa casino calendar, turning the scene into a must visit for the 3.1 million tourists who visit the state each year.
Asian Poker Classic


It was the tournament that kick started the Goan revolution, and India’s first major poker tournament. The Asian Poker Classic took place at the Grand Resort and offered a guaranteed a $1 million prize pool.

The event, which took place in 2007, brought a whole host of pros over to the tropical coast resort, alongside both stars from Hollywood and Bollywood.

It was eventually won by Danish Carl Hostrup, who secured his highest ever cash out, beating native Surinder Sunar to the $320,000 crown.

Casino Royale Cup 2012

Casino Royale

There aren’t many poker tournaments where there’s the potential to get seasick, but then again not many luxury casinos are stationed on boats. The Casino Royale is one of the exceptions and is perhaps Goa’s most popular casino.

The Royale Cup in 2012 was at the very height of India’s poker boom and welcomed the likes of former Asia Player of the Year winner Bryan Huang. Coinciding with the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, it aimed to get players from the region playing who couldn’t necessarily make it to Sin City.

World Gaming Festival 2011

Indian Poker Championship

The World Gaming Festival was the brainchild of the World Gaming Association and tested gamers’ skills in Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold’em, and Baccarat for a prize pool of Rs. 5 crore.

Goa was just one location of a number which the WGA held the festival with Macau, Las Vegas, and a host of casinos in Europe also participating.

When it came to tournaments, it put Goa on the map and help set up the state as a gambling capital with tournaments regularly touching down each year.

Indian Poker Championship

And one of those, and a staple in the Indian gaming calendar, is the Indian Poker Championship. Every year the country’s best players arrive at India’s premier gaming destination to battle for some big prize pots.

Both tourists and pros head up to the likes of the Casino Royale to compete with buy-ins from as low as $80. It’s the ideal spot to spend an afternoon on the beach before hitting the tables in one of the country’s most-loved poker tournaments.