Chris Gayle doesn’t miss an opportunity to play in India. One of the most prolific professionals of world cricket, Gayle hag got his best career deals in India. The hard-hitting West Indies batsman has earned over ₹52.50 crore by playing in all the 11 Indian Premier Leagues seasons, for which he is placed at the 16th position in the IPL Moneyball Salary Rankings.
The passionate sports professional, Gayle is also following another sport in India passionately and professionally. He is the brand ambassador for India’s largest online poker platform Adda52. While Gayle has a massive fan following in India as a skillful cricketer, it might not be the same for poker which is people still see as gambling than a skill sport. The Adda52 brand ambassador would dismiss that notion, saying “poker is a game of skill, where like in any other sport the players often get away with some luck”.
The “Universe Boss” of cricket shared his thoughts on a range of questions about poker, his second professional connect with India after, off-course, cricket. Here are the excerpts:
Question: How did the “Universe boss” end up being a part of the Poker world?
Chris Gayle: I find Poker very mentally relaxing and enjoyable. We play a with other cricketers during IPL season and other leagues. And I got better at it while playing more.
Q: How much time do you invest in playing poker and after your association with Adda52 as their brand ambassador has that playing time increased?
CG: My cricket schedules and travel keeps me busy. I do look forward to a Poker session every now and then. I had a lot of fun in the last Adda52 poker tournament that I was a part of. Looking forward to playing more often.
Q: People consider Poker as a game of ‘luck’ versus that of ‘skills’. What do you think?
CG: Poker is absolutely a game of skill. One needs to learn the terms and techniques really well and also have a strategy to be able to perform considerably well. As far as luck is concerned, well, that is needed in any sport, is it not? Haha. For example, if a person drops a catch and you go on to score a 100 – That’s luck too, they say!
Q: What do you think about the growth of Poker in India and being a personality recognized a lot in India, do you think you can play an active role in growing the sport?
CG: Poker is growing rapidly in India. It is a good time to be in this game and witness the excitement around the growth. Adda52 are the leaders and being associated with the leaders in anything you do is always a great thing. Have full faith in Adda52 to take this game to newer heights.
Q: How do you plan to engage more audience in India to be a part of poker. What all activities have you planned with Adda52?
CG: What immediately comes to my mind is conducting lots of events and contests around the game. Will also be great to educate the audience about poker through various programs.
Q: Do you think that organizing more leagues can lead to more fan following in a county like India where people consider poker as gambling!
CG: People need to be educated about Poker, a game of skill. Leagues will help most definitely. They are great for any game. Look all around you and see how leagues have helped in driving any particular sport- For example, IPL, EPL, NBA, PKL
Q: What’s the best thing you like in poker that makes it your second choice after Cricket
CG: It is a mentally stimulating game and also helps me relax and take some time out from cricket. A lot of cricketers play it too, you know. Haha