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Obsession for the game

Posted by Rajeev Raut on 2015-09-05 at 12:00 AM

In continuation of my 1st Blog

Poker had taken over my Life. I had started obsessing on the game.
For every Poker Player The Ultimate Dream is winning the Main Event Of The WSOP. So I downloaded the entire series of the 2010 WSOP Main Event won by Jonathan Duhamel. For every Aspiring Pro, I suggest you see this entire Series & you will, like me have hair raising moments …moments of agony & ecstasy which will make you understand acceptance of the 2nd Most dreaded Word in Poker VARIANCE (more on this Bad word in my later Blogs)

In 2010, I started organizing a small home game as silent partner as I was a local & he was from out of town but this game fell apart soon as The organizer squandered & defaulted his credibility & Bankroll in cricket betting.
Having tasted blood (RAKE income) I wanted to organize / host games but could never find time away from My restaurant Business & Of course Family support was tough to even bring up this topic.
However Destiny, I had a slight altercation in my regular game I was playing where the Organizer humiliated my GURUS Kavin Shah & Jasven Saigal by denying them a seat & even making 1 of them relinquish an occupied seat. I was so furious that I immediately called a few friends & organized my 1st Home Game at my House.
Although I was from a Business family, had restaurants in partnership & had a string of Race Horses, I had managed my finances so badly that I was nearly broke trying to support extra colorful life.
My 1st home game was a 10k & I was running so bad that was 100k & even got up & sat beside Jasven watching the game & seeing the collection. Jasven convinced me to take 1 last buyin, which I did & ended a dream session getting up with a stack of 143k. If not for a crazy gutty chase call in Omaha …I might have tamely given up budding my poker career.
After this there was no looking back as I was running like the Luckiest FISH in the Pune Rivers but I didn’t realize the quality of my game was so low that I luckily had all the luck to survive the craziest action games of Pune.
My Wife was the greatest support in just allowing me host games as for her this was way past the acceptance just a Poker Player

Casino Royale Goa was a monthly sometimes more frequent stop for me. In those days, there was at least 1 tournament series every month naming the old ones: –
Goa was a great opportunity to catch with Indian Poker Fraternity, exchange ideas & most importantly network. There was a time that if anybody wanted to play a home game in any city, they would contact me to fix them up & even vouch for the credibility both ways.
I shared a great rapport with Late Phil Sanders operator of Casino Royale Poker Room, who I thought was one of the greatest visionaries of Poker & had a big hand for taking Poker to the next level in India. He was in constant touch with many Sports Authorities in the Central Government & State Governments to promote Poker & can actually be attributed with setting the ball rolling for the Government to start at least thinking about legalizing Poker.
Must add here that Phil was very well supported by Craig Wildman who was an excellent Tournament Director & Floor manager for Casino Royale & all the staff who we see today running Deltin Royale are a product from the training school of Craig.

I was most fortunate to have great Interaction with the POKERGURU brothers Rajat & Aditya Agarwal who again had such futuristic views on the game that it turned the Game on its head. They had started live reporting of all tournaments, which was the 1st shot at fame in the media for the budding Poker player.
They had Conceptualized India’s 1st Rake Free Tournament series, which saw the biggest numbers & was the biggest Aspiration for all budding Poker players.
Adi had started a mentoring session for a few selected young & talented players. In my opinion these youngsters were the luckiest guys in India to have been mentored by Adi who is still the most Brilliant & Affable individuals in Poker.
(I always wished to be on it but I had 2 main drawbacks – NOT young & NOT talented)
I was Fortunate to Be with Adi in Macau in his 1st Outing as PokerStars Team Pro India. It was 1 of the most proudest moments for me. Adi is way beyond his Age & is 1 of the biggest Influences on Indian Poker & probably the 1st guy to Put Indian Poker on the World map.
Thank You all for being patient & reading. My Next Blog will Feature Early International Experience of Indian Players.

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Rajeev Raut

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