9stacks: A Synonymous Name for Seamless Poker Experience

Pratik Kumar, Co-founder , 9stacks11 | Insights Success | Business Magazine

Creating a niche in an industry, where trust and transparency is of utmost importance, 9stacks, India’s fastest online poker platform has built an empire with its sheer determination and unified efforts – this not only counts the exclusive range of products and services but also the distinct approach which the company follows to outshine its competitors. Today, Enabling users to play poker – online, anytime, and anywhere is what best describes 9stacks. Recently, the company has been recognized as the “Hottest Startup to Work for in 2018” by an employment agency.
Team 9stacks consists of young individuals truly passionate about poker. Every Friday, the company organizes a poker evening where all the team members get together to brainstorm for newer ideas and play poker, which makes the work environment fun and challenging. Along with believing in the adage ‘work hard, party harder,’ the company also stands tall when it comes to work responsibility and accountability.
Four Aces Ruling the Table
Sudhir Kamath, Pratik Kumar, Abhinav Nigam, and Rishab Mathur are the Co-Founders of 9stacks. All of them come from various professional backgrounds and each one has his core strengths in Marketing, Technology, Operations and Management.
Sudhir is an IIM-A alumnus and ex-McKinsey consultant with over seventeen years of experience. Prior to 9stacks, he was also the CEO of Suntera Energy – a privately held oil and gas exploration company.
Pratik is an IIT KGP alumnus, with over twelve years of experience in e-commerce and online marketing. He was the CMO of Nykaa.com and founding team member of Zivame.com
Abhinav is an IIT KGP alumnus and ex-BCG consultant, with over twelve years of experience with Accenture Strategy and the Boston Consulting Group
Rishab is an IIT KGP alumnus with over twelve years of experience in technology. He was the head of mobile technology for Nearbuy and CTO of 9monks and Blot Canvas.
Setting the Chips Right!
9stacks’ advocacy for poker as a recognized mind sport in the country is loud and clear and it has partnered with the All India Gaming Federation to take this to greater heights.
Like any other startup, 9stacks also faced some teething troubles in the beginning. The biggest challenge was getting the word out in an industry with already established companies. Acknowledging this scenario, the company started introducing innovative online poker tournament formats and worked on launching highly achievable online poker cash races. It added a variety of goals and milestones with rewards to make the chase more exciting in its big cash grind contests for the users. The company took the largest contingent of poker players from India to Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2018. After that, it launched the Aussie100 Challenge which was spread across three months. This was a compete-against-yourself cash grind, where qualifiers won the Aussie package worth two Lakhs and fly to Melbourne, Australia during the Aussie Millions 2019 in January.
On 11th January 2019, 9stacks took the Indian poker industry by storm when it announced the ‘version 2’ of the #LFGVegas promotion. #LFGVegas2.00 is spread across 4 months (11th Jan- 31st May 2019) and brings back the ‘compete-against-yourself’ grind that poker players enjoy so much. Participants have to play on cash tables, make atleast 50K points on the Vegas Board to win a trip to Las Vegas, the poker capital of the world. There are more milestones to be achieved and the prizes increase accordingly.
On 5th February 2019, the company opened the doors for online poker tournament aficionados by launching its newest promotion, ‘Vegas in Rs 2’. With this, 9stacks has effectively taken online poker mainstream.
Vegas in Rs 2 is the first promotion of its kind ever, to be launched by any poker company,  in the India.
The winners will get to experience the poker capital of the world, Las Vegas, first hand during the 50th Anniversary edition of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the world’s largest poker festival. 9stacks will fund flights, visa fees and accommodation for winners.
9stacks’ tournaments like Peti@FT and leaderboard contests like the Tournament Milestone, the Mini Tournament Milestone, Prime Time Leaderboard Challenge, are innovative formats that people enjoy participating in. Every week there are individual prizes worth 1 Lakh and more, won by leaderboard toppers.
With an aim to bring more women players into the pool, the company took 9 women players this February 2018 to the Deltin Poker Tournament in Goa. In March 2018, 9stacks launched Ladies Night – India’s first women only, weekly poker tournament, to encourage women to discover and play poker.
Selling Poker Dreams
The company is a data-driven and focused on what the poker players in India demand from an online playing platform. It is on its way to add innovative features in its menu. It recently launched a Skills Dashboard, where gamers can carry out in depth analyses of their own strategy, and become better poker players. A lot of poker players gave their feedback about their experience and how this has helped them evolve their poker game strategy on the table.
The company has been steadily increasing the prize pools of its marquee tournaments and simultaneously the payouts in the cash grinds are getting bigger and better to attract more players.
The Pro Tips
With its overwhelming experience, 9stacks advices the young to be – obsessed about growth, data driven, nimble, and frugal. It also advises them to keep a keen eye on its target group to generate profitable outcomes.
The Next Game Plan
9stacks is on a mission to be the biggest player in ‘real money’ gaming space.
It would be exploring other gaming properties besides poker over the next few years. The company is working towards building a more responsible attitude towards gaming and will introduce some unique features in the near future.

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