The highly awaited India Poker Legend (IPL) tournament took place from the 18th-21st August 2011 at Casino Royale, Goa. The IPL weekend action included a high stakes ₹100k buy-in NLHE freezeout event and the ₹12K bounty + re-entry tournament. The response to the IPL main event was extremely encouraging with 43 participants making it one of the largest prize pools in Indian tourney history and establishing the organizers (The Shark) as the premier high stakes tourney organizers in India.
Following action was witnessed at the India Poker Legend four-day poker tournament:
Thursday August 18th: ₹5K No Limit Hold’em Re-buy
The first event of the India Poker Legend weekend was the 5K re-buy held on Thursday. The event saw a decent response with a field of 54 players starting including tournament regulars such as Dhaval Mudgal, Lawrence Sanjay, Rakesh Agarwal, Farukh Shaikh, Abhishek Goindi, amongst many first timers from all over India. The tournament structure allowed re-buys up to the first hour and one add-on at the end of this, ensuring fast & furious poker action including 29 re-buys and 27 add-ons. The first 7 places were paid and the final 9 were decided after 5hrs 20 minutes and another 3hours 20 minutes of final table play saw Jasven Saigal as the eventual winner, a regular tourney specialist in the Goa Poker Tournament Circuit and the organizer of the Aces Unlimited events at Casino Pride.
Friday August 19th: ₹10K No Limit Hold’em Freeze-out
Day 2 of the tournament weekend saw a smaller field due to players resting before the 100k main event to be held the following day and only 37 players attended the 10k freeze-out. The event saw many regular tournament pros such as Rakesh Agarwal, Jasven Saigal, Dhaval Mudgal and Hussain Lakda, amongst others. The tournament lasted a total of 7 hours 10 minutes with Lawrence Sanjay winning the event after battling the final table for almost 3 hours, with Dhaval Mudgal finishing 2nd (two money finishes for him on the first two days of the IPL weekend).
Arjun Pasricha with his winning hand at the Main Event of the India Poker Legend – August 2011
Saturday August 20th: ₹100K No Limit Hold’em Freezeout
The eagerly awaited main event of the India Poker Legend was held on the third day featuring a high stakes 100k freeze-out tournament. The poker room had a real buzz before the start of the event, with one of the hardest tourney fields in India preparing to take down the title. The event got underway with 38 players and with 5 late registrations, the total prize-pool was one of the largest in Indian poker tournament history. The final table saw an intense heads-up battle between Arjun Pasricha and Mohit Kumar (both of whom had entered the final table with the top 2 chip counts). After 8hours and 40 minutes, Arjun Pasricha (who had flown down from Delhi just for this event) emerged as the India Poker Legend Main Event winner taking a massive first prize.
Sunday August 21st: ₹12k Bounty + Re-entry
The final event of the weekend was a bounty plus re-entry tourney, which saw a below average turnout due to the excitement over the previous days 100k main event. 27 players competed and the tourney organizers announced that this would be a rake free event to ensure maximum value for players. When the final heads up battle between Farukh Shaikh and Pranav Bagai began, it seemed like Pranav (part of the organizing team at The shark) was going to declare the Sunday event at his tourneys a “Mr. Bagai Invitational Challenge”, as he had won the last Sunday tourney he had organized as well. But after many all-ins and the chip lead being exchanged multiple times, Farukh Shaikh emerged as the winner and this also saw him win the “Player of the Series” trophy from the organizers.
Overall, players who attended the weekend complimented the organizers from The Shark on excellent structures set for all four days of the events. The organizers were extremely happy with the response for the 100k main event and said in a statement “We only see numbers for the 100k event at the IPL increasing from here on and hope to have over 50 players competing for the next edition. Response for the smaller events was below par, but this was mainly due to a very short lead time we had from the time we announced our event in July. Moving forward we have some unique events planned in the coming 6-12 months as part of our Premier Indian Poker Tournament Brand.”