Man’s body found in well
An Indian man allegedly took his own life after accumulating significant losses playing online poker.
According to local police, 39-year-old Krunal Mehta lost INR 78 lakh, or 7.8 million Indian rupees, the equivalent of approximately $110,000.
his body was found in the well the following morning
Mehta was from Gujarat, the western-most state in India, partially bordered on the north by Pakistan. Local law enforcement officials say he jumped into a well in the Mota Mava area, situated just southwest of the city of Rajkot.
He allegedly ended his life on Wednesday night; his body was found in the well the following morning.
Victim borrowed poker money
According to local police, Mehta left a note explaining his poker losses.
“We have recovered a suicide note from his home in which he purportedly stated that he borrowed Rs 78 lakh from his friends and relatives to play ‘PokerBaazi’,” police inspector Vikram Vanzara said.
Mehta was known to borrow money from friends and family to keep his online poker habit going
Vanzara added that Mehta was known to borrow money from friends and family to keep his online poker habit going. Mehta had been playing poker via a mobile app.
Further evidence of Mehta’s mounting poker losses came from his brother. Upon Mehta’s death, Vanzara noted, his brother received an email that detailed Mehta’s financial transactions with the online poker room. It is unclear whether the information came from the poker room or the bank, but in either case, it showed several consecutive losing sessions.
PokerBaazi is popular in India
Despite online poker being a legal grey area in India, with regulations and enforcement left largely up to the states, it is still extremely popular.
According to PokerScout.com, PokerBaazi is the third-largest India-facing online poker room. It has a seven-day average of 200 cash game players, half that of the country’s largest poker room, Adda52.
Interestingly, in relation to this tragedy, the very first thing visitors to PokerBaazi’s website see is a large banner that reads “Responsible Gaming.” Clicking on this takes one to a page which lists the different responsible gaming protections PokerBaazi has in place.
After explaining how to set deposit limits, PokerBaazi lists ways players can manage their bankroll. The checklist includes playing at appropriate stakes and structures, moving down in stakes, not chasing losses, taking a break to avoid going on tilt, and studying one’s game.
PokerBaazi, which describes itself as an “online portal for skill based games” on Twitter, has not made any public comments about the situation.