Like most of the poker players in India, even my poker journey began with Zynga poker, when I was introduced to The game by one of the friends who knew about my love for cards. Accumulating coins on Zynga was a craze which many of us could relate to THEN, and I was one of the thousands in that crazy zone.
But things changed during my first visit to Goa. As all the teens, even we four wanted to experience the Casinos in Goa. Casino Royale, as it was known then, was the dream destination for newbies like us as it did pure justice to its name by the mere outside look of it. But we were denied entries as our clothes were drenched and were told that we weren’t fit to get in as it would spoil the interiors of the Casino. While all this was happening, I noticed a Standie (advertisement) which was standing tall right at the entry point of the casino, for Indian Poker Championship. Once Back to Mumbai, I did my R&D about it and here is where my actual poker journey begun.
The first thought about the IPC after seeing the details was, “I can’t afford it” as it had tournaments starting from ₹5000 buyins, which was not so easy for a person like me, who had just passed out of college and was working in a BPO and was bad at managing his finances. But still I registered on Spartan Poker, as i thought, If not today someday I will be able to afford it, additionally I wanted to be a part of this Real Money poker World. Within few days, started receiving text messages about the satellites for IPC. Satellite was an alien term to me, so it took me some time and reading to understand how it works. When I got a hang of it, I was all in for it, because satellites at that time costed almost nothing, If I had to quote a number, I have played satellites for a live tournament for as low as ₹250 . I somehow managed to ship satellites for 5k and the 10k event each. With loads of efforts and struggle managed funds for my travel and stay and reached Goa.
My first live Tournament was a disaster in itself and It was not because I played horribly but because I committed a mistake even before the tournament started. I reached early to the Casino and as an amateur player who is in the Casino Royale for the first time, ran my way to the registration desk .There I learnt that there was plenty of time for the tournament to start, I thought of watching the Cash Games. AND THAT WAS MY MISTAKE. The amount of money which had changed hands within that 20 minutes was too huge for a normal person like me. I wasn’t able to digest the fact that how can anybody be so casual about loosing so much money. The answer to which was because they could afford to. That thought never left my mind and it played a very big part in my exit from the tournament as I was playing very tight and by thinking of everyone else as a loose player as I thought they will re-enter as they had ample money to do so, which i couldn’t have.
Lesson 1: Never get mentally impacted by someones financial status on the MTT poker table as everyone cares for there tournament life!!
I even realized, there was a lot of learning for me to be done before I ever went back to a Live series. My only source of learning was the WSOP videos. While all this was happening, my life had taken a few twists and turns which made it very difficult for me to afford even online poker, let alone Live series. So I spent almost 3-4 years without playing any mentionable poker.
In the meanwhile, I was a member of all the Poker communities on Facebook. I got to know about the PSL qualifiers through the groups and as I am based in Mumbai, I thought this is my chance to get to play with the Big guys!!! So I registered and played the PSL Mumbai Qualifiers, did reasonably well but not well enough to make it to the draft. But the good thing was I got introduced to a lot of players from Mumbai, who did appreciate my game and also at the same time helped me with the leaks in the game which I did take very seriously. Somewhere Somehow I had spoken to them about my writing skills during my college days and so one of those member recommended me to the WPT team for blog writing and live reporting for WPT INDIA. I had to go through a test for getting selected, which I not only cleared but also did reasonably well. But due to the financial negotiations between me and the WPT team it did not work out. But nevertheless I got my chance in DPT 2018.
I had just joined my dads business and to convince him to let me go for 8 days was a big task. But I managed to do that not only because i was getting paid handsomely but because somewhere deep down I wanted to be a part of it, If not by playing at least by being in the Team who organises it. This way I made some Money which gave me a Bank roll to play a few Online tournaments.
Lesson 2: If you are passionate about the game, its not necessary that you have to play to be a part of it, you can love, care and contribute to it even without playing it!!!
I was selected to blog and live report for the DPT February 2018 Edition and the experience was second to none. What this trip did for me was not only did it give me the money to start playing poker again but also helped me to know the whole process of the tournaments, additionally getting to know so many new people and they knowing me, was a Bonus!!
I was offered some other part time jobs after that as well by one of the websites for writing blogs but again the financials dint work. When I say financials dint work, It doesn’t mean I ask for too much money, its just I have a full time business to manage, although Poker is my passion, but the business is my bread and butter. So many times in life, I am on cross roads to decide on how much time and money to invest in what, and till today I have always come to a conclusion of concentrating on my business as I am an individual who has a family to take care of, can’t afford to not give my 100% to the business where the competition is cut throat and divert towards poker.
Lesson 3: Don’t turn into a full time poker player till the time you don’t have spare money or an additional source of income for you and your family, because poker does not guarantee to fixed income.
So as of now my final status is, I play poker whenever I get time, within my Bankroll and try to be part of the events in any possible way if my schedule allows me to.I have been part of this game and the game has been part of me for almost a decade but still here I am writing a blog again to win a free ticket to the Game changer and sneak my way to the biggest online tournament in India, because not all the early starters are PROS and cant play such buyins. I had also got my way to The MoneyMaker through a contest run by Vikram Kumar (lungi) for suggesting him the content for his website/blog. But thanks to PokerGuru and Pokerbaazi, I at least found out time for something which I am passionate about, i.e Poker and Writing.
Maybe someday when I will be able to take vacations for a weeks time I would love to play one of the Live series and enjoy the game without any financial or work pressure.