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Last September, the India Poker Championship (IPC) comeback series saw its biggest buy-in event, ₹100K High Roller set a tall benchmark by logging in a massive 207-player field. It was Pranay Chawla who clinched the title to become the biggest winner at the series with a payday of ₹51.66 Lakhs.
So when the IPC High Roller returned to the Big Daddy casino on Thursday, all eyes were on the numbers that the tournament would muster. And the turnout didn’t disappoint, as the tournament breached its own previous record by registering a total of 210 entries, collecting a record ₹2.03 Crores in prize money.
The reg-infested field saw many seasoned pros and a few young mavericks in action but donning the winner’s hat at the end of it all was Anmol Srivats (cover image)! This young Bengaluru-based player is an accomplished online pro with nearly $1 Million in recorded online cashes. He has a unique style of playing and can be fearlessly aggressive on the felts – something that worked in his favor last night.
Day 2 began with 58 returning players and Srivats came in with an average stack. Still, by the time the final table got going, he had worked himself up a staggering chip lead.
Srivats lost his chip advantage several times on the final table but each time he found a way to bounce back. One of Srivat’s pivotal hands was a three-way pot that he lost with pocket queens against eventual runner-up Zarvan Tumboli and Sahil Agarwal. He became short after that hand but a quick double-up saw him climb back in contention. Shortly after that, he eliminated one of the toughest players on the final table, Sahil Agarwal, in fifth place.
Once Harshad Barve fell out in fourth place, the final three quickly locked in an ICM-deal to flatten the pay jumps with only the trophy left in play. While he’d already locked in ₹39.37 Lakhs, the biggest payday among the final three, Srivats quickly dispatched Fernandes in third place to set up his heads-up clash with Tumboli. A dominating five-to-one chip lead entering heads-up play had Srivats winning the title on the very first hand!
“It feels really great. This is my first live tournament victory and it’s is my biggest tournament score ever!” a visibly beaming Srivats later said talking about his High Roller victory. Srivats has only days ago, final-tabled two events at the Baazi Poker Tour (BPT). He had finished sixth at the ₹15K Big Bounty and fourth at the ₹20K PLO (Turbo) and these deep runs seemed to have nicely warmed him up for the IPC grind.
Talking about his strategy on the final table Srivats said, “So when I started on the final table I had a pretty big stack and my strategy was to be fairly aggressive. But on the first hand, I lost around 40% of my stack so I had to be a lot more patient in many areas.” He added, “I would have been pretty sad if I didn’t (ship it). I just wanted to play aggressively and push my chip advantage.”
Runner-up finisher Zarvan Tumboli talking about the final hand said, “If I had got a double-up there (last hand) it would have been fun to watch and I’d have surely given him a good fight. Nevertheless, I was playing for the trophy, and that’s what I wanted the most…but the next time!!”
For Tumboli who had won his career-first title at IPC in 2015 when he took down the ₹10K Freezeout title, a runner-up finish translated into a ₹30.59 Lakhs payday. “Yeah, I’m pretty happy with the way I have been playing lately. I’m also very happy with my score and the way I played today. A special mention to Raghav Bansal. He gave me a few tips in the Main Event at the BPT which I applied today.”
For the recently married Tumboli, his wife was at his rail rooting for him all along. “Yeah she’s there to support me everywhere. She’s my lifetime supporter…she just keeps pushing me…whatever my motivation is…most of it comes from her.”
The High Roller paid out the top 24 finishers with a min-cash worth ₹1.88 Lakhs and over half a million up top.
Some of the known regs who made it to Day 2 but failed to sail across the bubble were defending champion Pranay Chawla, former WSOP champion, Aditya Sushant, BPT MegaStack champion Devang Yadav, Nathan Rao, Arsh Grover, Sahil Mahboobani, Raj Kundra, Rahul Byrraju, Rajeev Kanjani, Anujkumar Kodam, Muskan Sethi, Siddharth Mundada, Red Dragon Manila High Roller champion, Ankit Ahuja, Siddhanth Kapoor and Mani Singh.
The bubble burst on Day 2 with PokerGuru Ambassador Nadeem Basha hitting the rail in 25th place. And even though Basha missed out on a cash prize, he was awarded a free sky diving package from Sky High India.
The race to the final table was intense and many like Gaurav Sood (11th for ₹4.46 Lakhs), Vaibhav Sharma (12th for ₹4.46 Lakhs), Jai Saha (13th for ₹3.76 Lakhs), Anil Adiani (14th for ₹3.76 Lakhs), J. Raju (16th for ₹3.12 Lakhs), Ayush Garg (17th for ₹3.12 Lakhs), Sriharsha Doddapaneni (19th for ₹2.29 Lakhs), Anuj Yadav (20th for ₹2.29 Lakhs), Rajat Sharma (21st for ₹2.29 Lakhs), Apoorva Goel (22nd for ₹1.88 Lakhs) and Siddarth Singhvi (23rd for ₹1.88 Lakhs) fell short.
Goonjan Mall (10th for ₹4.46 Lakhs) ended up bubbling the final table.
Anmol Srivats entered the final table with a towering 7,755,000 in chips with Raag Fernandes (5,795,000) and Harshad Barve (38,45,000) the next top stacks. Kanishka Samant and Anish Patra were the short stacks.
Watch the live-streamed High Roller final table action below.
Final Table Chip Counts
Final Table Recap
Around an hour into final table play, Akash Shekhar made his way out in ninth place, his pocket tens losing to Sahil Agarwal’s pocket aces that further improved to a full house on the turn.
A couple of hands later, former Millionaire Legends champion Anish Patra found his pocket sevens cracked by Agarwal’s that hit a flush on the runout.
After Patra, it was Vivek Rughani hitting the rail next to take home a seventh-place payout. Rughani moved all-in for 2.1 Million from UTG with and Raag Fernandes who held moved all-in over the top from the hijack for 4.1 Million. Rughani was trailing and the runout didn’t bail him out.
Next to go was Kanishka Samant with Zarvan Tumboli doing the work. Tumboli moved all-in UTG for 2.2 Million with and big blind Samant called with . The board gave Tumboli top pair, ending Samant’s run in sixth place.
Five-handed play saw Tumboli score a massive triple-up through Agarwal and Srivats, his spiking a king on the board to outdo Srivats’ and Agarwal’s . Tumboli, who was among the shorter stacks on the final tabe, suddenly held the second-biggest stack.
Srivats who was playing fearlessly was suddenly short-stacked. Just when it looked like he was on the brink of elimination, Srivats bounced back with a big double-up. The hand in question saw Srivats’ ace-queen winning the flip against Tumboli’s pocket fours.
Short-stacked Harshad Barve also scored a double-up soon through Agarwal.
Soon, Sahil Agarwal, who’d dominated the final table early on and even eliminated two players on the final table, was unceremoniously dispatched by Srivats in fifth place. Srivats jammed from the big blind and while the rest of the table folded, Agarwal called from the small blind. Srivats’ had catching up to do against Agarwal’s but given his form it was no surprise seeing the former hit two-pair on the runout, ending Agarwal’s run.
Harshad Barve quickly followed Agarwal to the rail in fourth place after his was cracked by Tumboli’s on the board .
Down to three-handed play, Srivats, Fernandes, and Tumboli quickly locked in an ICM deal basis which the reigning chip leader Srivats locked up a payout of ₹39.37 Lakhs, Fernandes ₹37.73 Lakhs and Tumboli ₹30.59 Lakhs.
Hardly 15 minutes into the three-handed clash, the start-of-day chip leader Raag Fernandes was eliminated in third place. On the flop, Fernandes checked from the small blind and big blind Srivats bet 300K. Fernandes called. The turn saw Fernandes check but Srivats led out 2 Million and Fernandes made the call. The river completed the board and Fernandes checked his option. Srivats moved all-in and Fernandes tank-called. Srivats tabled for quads, dominating Fernandes’ [.
The heads-up play between Zarvan Tumboli and Srivats began with Srivats commanding a towering stack of 26,175,000 over Tumboli’s 5,325,000. The duel lasted only one hand. On the final hand, Srivats moved all-in from the small blind and Tumboli called with his remaining 20 big blinds.
Tumboli was looking for a double-up but the rundown confirmed Srivats as the new IPC High Roller champion!
Final Table Results (INR)
*denotes 3-way deal
Read our complete coverage of the event here.
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