Muskan Sethi Becomes PokerStars India AmbassadorApril 18, 2018 9:50 am
Establishing a presence in India has been a firm goal of PokerStars for a few years, and in 2015 it took its first steps towards promoting its brand amongst the country’s residents by signing Aditya Agarwal as a sponsored pro.
This month, PokerStars subsequently announced that it would soon be launching a ring fenced poker site in India, and coinciding with the news the operator has now recruited Indian poker player Muskan Sethi to its team of ambassadors. As PokerStars blog staff writer Stephen Bartley, wrote:
“It makes it a memorable time to be a poker player in India. Sethi will be at the forefront of that.”
Sethi, 27, received her formal education in the country’s capital city of New Delhi, before later earning an English Honours from Delhi University, and a diploma in fashion journalism from the London School of Fashion. Nevertheless, Sethi said that she did not derive the satisfaction she craved from the corporate world, and so started assisting her mother with her social work, ultimately leading onto her discovering online poker.
She had previously found a love for the game as a teen while watching poker on television with her father, and by the time she started playing on Facebook with her friends a few years later “would clean the table out”, leading to her deciding to take up the game seriously.
In December 2014, Sethi started playing at PokerStars under the screen name ‘Musku89’, and to date has earned $115,658 on the site, with her largest online cash recorded in May of last year after finishing the SCOOP-55-M: $1,050 NLHE Main Event in 39th place out of 5,033 players for $10,066. As she then explains:
“I wanted to learn more so started watching some videos online. My journey started on PokerStars.com in 2014 when I qualified for the TV show called Sharkcage to compete against some of the biggest names in poker for $1 million dollars in Barcelona. Ever since then it’s all been like a dream coming true!”
Honored By India’s President
This year, Muskan Sethi was also one of 112 women to be honored by the Indian president Ram Nath Kovind for achieving success in variety of fields traditionally dominated by men. In her case, Sethi is recognized as the country’s first professional female poker player, with the Ministry of Women and Child Development commenting that the event has helped transform the status of women in India, whilst establishing the “unabated standing of the Government in promoting equality for women in Indian society.”
Sethi said that she intends to continue helping the Ministry with her time and resources, and that aside from poker her life goals include more social work, as well as helping old people, and looking after dogs.
India’s $150m Market
India has one of the biggest and fastest growing poker markets in Asia, with the Stars Group estimating the industry to be currently worth around $150 million per year. Nevertheless, PokerStars will have to make some significant investments before it establishes the brand in the country and achieves profitability.
Against this backdrop, PokerStars has already recruited Aditya Agarwal to its Team India, who has been playing on the site since 2004, during which time he has won more than $4 million from online tournaments. The pro is also his country’s third most winning live tournament player with $950,704 in earnings, with his career highlights including deep runs at the WSOP Main Event (2008: 96th for $51,466, 2015: 71st for $96,445), and this year finishing the APPT Main Event for US$242,211.
While Muskan Sethi has earned just $50,992 from live tournaments since 2014, she will have plenty of opportunities to sharpen her live skills as a PokerStars India Ambassador, with part of her duties including wearing her sponsor’s patch at various tournaments throughout the year.