4 Minutes Read
November 7 was a landmark day for Indian poker as the team representing the nation at the 2019 International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP) Asian Nations Cup lambasted the competition to become the latest Asian Nations Cup champions!
Comprising of Tanmay Bagga, Rishab Jain, Aditya ‘Bitti’ Agarwal, Prateek Mishra, Krina Gala, and Taran Mundkar and captained by Gaurav Gala, the Indian team was “in it to win it.” From Day 1 and all through to Day 3, the team came out on top every single day! Topping the leaderboard at the end of Day 2 had ensured Team India a seat at the World Championship. The only goal after that was bringing the Asian Cup home – and Team India accomplished that in style!
Despite starting off on the back foot, the team was able to get back into the game and gave it their best shot when it mattered the most. The first session saw Bagga, Agarwal, and Jain playing from the Indian brigade. The session did not go as planned as the team placed third. Strong performances by Team Australia and Taiwan meant that India remained stuck in the third spot in the second session as well. Just before the third session, Agarwal was substituted with Mishra. The team picked up some momentum and moved a spot to second place. The final two sessions were played in the dark, and that’s when Team India brought their A-game to the table. Ultimately, it was a comfortable win for the team that displayed excellent teamwork and strategic planning.
In fact, Prateek Mishra was one of the most significant contributors to India’s ultimate victory and finished in eighth place on the individual rankings with 75,521 chips.
Talking about Team India’s victory at the 2019 Asian Nations Cup, President of the Indian Federation, Varun Goenka, said, ““This is a dream come true, and I’m still struggling to wrap my head around what this incredible team has achieved. All credit goes to the players and captain Gaurav Gala for doing something absolutely monumental for poker in India. They are all superstars – this is a day we will all remember and cherish forever. They have made history and are now fully focused to doing their best and representing India with pride at the Nations Cup Final in Peru next month. I couldn’t be more proud.”
While the top four teams – India, Taiwan, Australia, and Singapore – were competing for the Asian Nations Cup, the bottom five teams – Korea, Israel, Philippines, Hong Kong, and Japan – were fighting to book the final berth on the “Road to Peru.” While Team Israel did put up a tough fight, it was Team Korea who shined through and will be joining the top four teams in Lima for the World Championship next month.
Korea’s Lim Yohwan was awarded the “Player of the Tournament’ title.
Team India Champions the 2019 IFMP Asian Nations Cup
The top four teams, namely India, Singapore, Australia, and Taiwan, played five sessions of 60 hands each.
Team Standings After 1st session
Host nation Team Taiwan was off to a flying start in the first session of play and sky-rocketed to the top of the table. Team Singapore was placed second, and Team India was in the third spot. Team Australia brought up the rear guard in fourth place.
Team Standings After 2nd session
Team Australia sailed through to the top, with Team Taiwan just 15 points behind in second place. Team India was still stuck in third place, while Team Singapore had fallen down two spots to fourth place.
Team Standings After 3rd Session
The third session of play saw Team Australia juggernaut to the top, with Team India also improving their standing to second place. Team Taiwan fell to the third spot, and Singapore stayed steady in fourth place.
Team Standings After 4th session
Till session three, the scores were visible for all teams and players to see, but from the fourth session onwards, the teams played in the dark, which meant that they were not aware of their progress.
During the fourth session, Team India pulled through and finally whisked away the top seat from Team Australia, pushing the latter down to the fourth place. Team Taiwan jumped up a spot to settle in second place, while Team Singapore bettered its position to third place.
PokerGuru caught up with one of the star performers of the Indian squad – Aditya “Bitti” Agarwal. He gave us a brief recap of how the day went for the team, along with explaining the team strategy.
“We had a “horses for courses’ strategy, so we gave all players a fit role according to their strengths, and they performed it to perfection. The day started on a negative note as we got caught in negative variance of the game, but that didn’t shake things up for us, and slowly and steadily, we picked up pace following our strategy.”
Talking about the crucial moment that propelled Team India to the lead, Agarwal narrated, “The crucial moment was in the fourth session where all the players dominated their entire table in synergy, and we got a huge jump to cover for what we had lost in the first two sessions. The final session, we just had to cruise to take down the Asian Cup.”
Final Team Standings
Continuing with their trailblazing run, Team India towered over their rivals at the end of the day with 763.5 points. Host nation Taiwan gave India a tough fight, but ultimately ended their day in second place with 756.5 points. Team Australia (750 points) and Team Singapore (730 points) rounded out the last two spots.
It was indeed a magical moment when Team India was announced as the latest Asian Nations Cup winners! The excitement of the team was palpable, and the same was captured beautifully on camera.
Team Korea Books the Final Berth to Peru
The bottom five teams from Day 2 participated in the Plate Final to determine the fifth qualifier for the World Championship.
Team Standings in Asian Nations Plate Finals After 50 Hands
Team Israel started the day on a strong note. After 50 hands, Israel and Taiwan were head-to-head with half a point separating the two teams. Philippines, Hong Kong, and Japan were the bottom three teams.
Team Standings in Asian Nations Plate Finals After 100 Hands
Fifty more hands were played, and Team Israel successfully managed to extend their lead. Team Korea and Team Philippines held on to the second and third spots, respectively. Team Japan managed to improve its standing and moved into fourth place, while Team Hong Kong dropped to fifth place.
The details regarding the remaining Asian Nations Plate Finals were unavailable. However, it was Team Korea who came out on top and secured their seat at the upcoming World Championship.
Player of the Tournament
Team Korea’s Lim Yohwan was awarded the “Player of the Tournament’ honor. He had dominated the individual rankings for a majority of Day 2. While his rankings for Day 3 have not been made available, he still performed spectacularly to win the coveted award.
India’s Prateek Mishra was one of the best performers from the team and finished eighth in the individual rankings with 75,521 chips.
The Indian contingent, along with Teams Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, and Korea, have a crucial time ahead of them as they prepare for the World Championship next month in Peru.
Content & Images Courtesy: IFMatchPoker/Indian Match Hold ’em ’em Sport Confederation