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The last six days have been full of mind-boggling poker action at the Baazi Poker Tour (BPT) comeback series! And after five days of intense and high-octane action, the ₹50K Main Event BPT crown will sit pretty on the head of the latest champion – Bharat Kumar (cover image) from Chennai! Triumphing over a field of 567 entries, Kumar will not only walk away with the coveted title but also a mouth-watering top prize of ₹38.01 Lakhs, courtesy a four-way ICM deal!
At the start of the heads-up, Kumar had said in his interview that he wanted to win the Main Event trophy for the poker players of Chennai. “This trophy would mean a lot. I am protecting the pride of all Chennai players! We are Team Chennai, so I am hoping that we take this trophy to Chennai now!” He kept his word, and now the BPT Main Event crown will be making its way to Chennai.
He played fearlessly on the final table. Despite being down to less than 1 BB at one point, he made his way back to the top and even brought about the eliminations of Maria Kirloskar, Vinod Megalmani, Dhaval Mudgal, and the eventual runner-up Tarun Guwalani. He had missed out on final tabling the ₹100K High Roller, finishing 12th for ₹2.86 Lakhs, but has now more than made up for it by taking down the most sought-after title of the entire series!
Talking about his win in the post-event interview, Kumar said, “I am very happy! All the Chennaites are very happy! It’s a great feeling. I just can’t express it right now. The heads-up started very badly for me; I had given him a 2:1 chip advantage. But then I came back from there so, obviously, it’s an amazing feeling!”
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Vinod Megalmani – 2,870,000
2. Chirag Sodha – 2,530,000
3. Bharat Kumar – 2,405,000
4. Dhaval Mudgal – 2,165,000
5. Hitesh Batra – 2,145,000
6. Neel Joshi – 1,985,000
7. Abhinav Iyer – 1,435,000
8. Maria Kirloskar – 730,000
9. Tarun Guwalani – 610,000
Final Table Recap
India’s first WSOP solo gold bracelet winner Abhinav Iyer had a profitable series. He final tabled the ₹100K High Roller, finishing sixth for ₹7.87 Lakhs and made it two-for-two by final tabling the Main Event as well. However, his run came to an end early when his ran into Maria Kirloskar’s . The board favored Kirloskar, eliminating Iyer in ninth place. The latter almost immediately jumped into the ₹20K PLO that was running at the same time.
The next elimination hand saw Chirag Sodha opening UTG for 100,000, and Neel Joshi, who was in UTG+2 jammed with his last 16 BBs. Action folded to Sodha who called tabling . Joshi turned over . Joshi sighed, “Arrey yaar!” aware that this cooler could cost him a shot at the title. As expected, the board was of no help to Joshi, forcing him out in eighth place.
Bharat Kumar picked up ace-jack twice in a row, and both times, he shoved all-in. The first time, he got no callers; however, the second time around, Maria Kirloskar re-shoved all-in from the big blind and everyone else folded.
The board gave Kumar three-of-a-kind aces on the turn, knocking Kirloskar out in seventh place.
Hitesh Batra and Tarun Guwalani were the two shortest stacks at the table, and it was a matter of time before they would be forced to make a move. Batra found the perfect spot to shove after getting dealt on the hijack seat. Guwalani re-shoved from the cutoff with to get the rest of the table to fold. The board gave Guwalani trip aces on the turn, leaving Batra with only 130,000 behind. In the very next hand, Batra moved all-in again with , and Dhaval Mudgal, who was on the button, raised to 456,000 with . The other players got out of the way. The runout saw Mudgal completing a Broadway straight, sending Batra to the rail in sixth place.
The player with a loud rail and rightfully so, Chirag Sodha was the next player to bust. The PokerBaazi team member has been the point guy for executing this event and got the chance to put in some quality time playing as well with a deep run in the Main Event. He had entered the final table with the second largest stack but was a little bit disappointed after being eliminated in fifth place. Down to less than 10 BBs, Sodha shoved all-in with from UTG, and Guwalani called from the big blind with . The community cards fanned out , and Guwalani’s pocket sixes held, ousting Sodha from the Main Event.
Soon after Sodha’s dismissal, talks of a deal started doing the rounds. The tournament director was called in to pitch the figures for an ICM deal, and it did not take long for the players to lock in the revised payouts. Guwalani locked in ₹34.22 Lakhs, Kumar ₹33.01 Lakhs, Mudgal ₹28.39 Lakhs and Megalmani ₹26.55 Lakhs respectively with an additional ₹7.03 Lakhs left in play to be distributed as follows:
Winner – ₹5 Lakhs
Runner-up – ₹2 Lakhs
2nd Runner-up – ₹3,000
Following the deal, the first elimination was of the start of the final table chip leader Vinod Megalmani. He moved all-in from UTG with and Kumar called from big blind with . The board ran dry, eliminating Megalmani in fourth place.
Next to depart was Dhaval Mudgal. This was Mudgal’s third final table finish in a month – with all three coming through major live stops in Goa. He had even final tabled the PPL MoneyMaker that played out just before the BPT got underway – finishing ninth for ₹1,92,440. The veteran pro has been in top form ever-since he took down the WPT Vietnam Main Event title last year. The action saw Kumar open from the button, and Mudgal moved all-in from the big blind with . Kumar called with and spiked a set on the board , dismissing Mudgal in third place.
The heads-up between Bharat Kumar (10,545,000) and Tarun Guwalani (6,320,000) began with the former enjoying a comfortable lead. However, Kumar lost the lead soon after that, giving Guwalani a 2:1 chip advantage. Nevertheless, he held his nerve and eventually won back the chip lead and went on to bag his career-first live title.
On the final hand, Guwalani moved all-in with , and Kumar called with . The runout spelled the end of Guwalani’s deep run as Kumar hit three-of-a-kind queens on the turn. Kumar, who is primarily a cash game regular, won bragging rights of becoming the new BPT Champion, along with a life-altering ₹38.01 Lakhs in prize money!
Final Table Results (INR)
1.Bharat Kumar – ₹38,01,000*
2.Tarun Guwalani – ₹36,22,000*
3.Dhaval Mudgal – ₹28,33,000*
4.Vinod Megalmani – ₹26,55,000*
5.Chirag Sodha – ₹12,28,500
6.Hitesh Batra – ₹10,39,300
7.Maria Kirloskar – ₹8,66,100
8. Neel Joshi – ₹6,90,200
9. Abhinav Iyer – ₹5,19,700
*denotes 4-way ICM deal
You can watch the final table action below.
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