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The Indian poker community woke up to some exciting news on Tuesday, with Adda52 announcing the return of poker pro Kunal Patni to its fold, this time as its first-ever Game Ambassador. The Mumbai-based pro had served as Adda52’s brand ambassador for five years and ended that association in April last year. It makes this his second innings representing the brand.
The decision to discontinue his association with the poker operator had come amidst news that Adda52 was looking to dissolve its Pro Team. After a 15-month gap that saw the online poker operator undergo a change in leadership, Patni is back at Adda52 and ready to promote awareness about poker!
Sharing his excitement about becoming Adda52’s Game Ambassador, Kunal Patni said, “I am delighted to be back to Adda52 as a Game Ambassador. I started my poker career as a Pro with Adda52, and it feels amazing to be back home after a short break of one year. Adda52 is the largest and the best poker platform in the country by far, and it’s an honor to be representing the same as a Game Ambassador.”
Kunal Patni’s Poker Journey
Poker for Patni started as a hobby. The MBA from IIFT has worked as an investment banker for a decade and looked to poker as a recreation during that time. Over time, the passion became a profession.
One of Patni’s first live cashes was winning the HK$ 2,500 NLHE Rebuy Championship at the 2014 Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Asia Championship of Poker in Macau. That win was a turning point in Patni’s poker career as the recognition he received after the win played a pivotal role in getting onboarded by Adda52 as one of the site’s early Team Ambassadors in 2015.
Patni’s First Stint as an Adda52 Team Pro
During his time as an Adda52 team pro, Patni posted deep runs in numerous tournaments like the APPT Macau, PokerStars Live Manila Megastack 3, APT Manila, IPC, DPT, and many more. His personal-best live score came in January 2018, when he finished runner-up in the €1,500 No-Limit Hold ’em WPTDeepStacks in Berlin for $115,819.
Whoever has met Patni will attest to this; he is one of the friendliest and most well-connected players in the domestic circuit. A level-headed professional, Patni had always gone above and beyond to show solidarity, not just to Adda52 but also to the poker community.
In May last year, when Adda52 was in the eye of two rather damning controversies, Patni was on the forefront, acting as a bridge between the poker community and the brand. It would be justified to say Patni is perhaps one of the most visible and reliable ambassadors of poker, in general, not just for Adda52.
Parting Ways With Adda52
In April 2020, news came through that Patni had ended his five-year-long association with Adda52.
PokerGuru had reached out to Patni to find out more about his departure from the brand. He told us: “I have been with Adda for five years now since the beginning of the Pro Program. I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent them as a pro when I was a totally unknown person in the poker world. To share the platform with the likes of (Amit) Jain / (Aditya Sushant) Sushi and Muskan (Sethi) was surreal and a dream come true for a newcomer to the poker world. Post that, I was also fortunate enough to share this wonderful platform with amazing people like Nikita (Luther)/ Madan (Kumar) / Tarun (Goyal) and Minnisha (Lamba). I have had a wonderful journey with Adda over the last 5 years and leave with nothing but fond memories (despite all the bashing I got as an Adda pro on TPG for no fault of mine. Hahhahaha).”
Online Exploits Over the Past 15 Months
Patni’s exit from Adda52 came just at the start of the pandemic. With live poker out of the scene, Patni shifted to the online felts, and he let his results do the talking. In the last 15 months, Patni has won 28 online titles and is presently sitting atop ₹5.41 Crores in recorded online winnings (₹1.81 Crores in net profits).
During this time, Patni also captained the Poker Sports League (PSL) team, Deccan Aces, to back-to-back victories in the Virtual Poker League (VPL) and the Pocket52 PSL Season 3.
In a recent interview with PokerGuru, he had filled us in on how he has been working to improve his gameplay. “I have been keeping a positive mindset over the past year and not getting worked up too much by bad beats and coolers and tilting about it, etc. I actually got a mind coach (Karim Chelli) for myself recently, and that has helped. I have also been coached by Danish (Shaik) recently one on one. I’m no longer a part of IPP (India Poker Pros). In my mind, Danish is the best poker player in the country and a fantastic coach. And also, you know, better things are yet to come. I’ve had a decent last year. With Danish now coaching me, I expect better things in the next one year from my side.”
Role as Adda52 Game Ambassador
Patni’s return to Adda52 this time around will not be as a Team Pro but what the site has termed as Game Ambassador. Adda52 had announced a social media contest on July 12, asking people to guess which poker pro was making a comeback to the company.
Guess the Poker Pro in the comments and 2 lucky winners will win an exciting surprise!! Don’t forget to tag your friends. Hurry, Don’t miss out!
.#adda52poker #Adda52 #contest #contestgiveaway #contestgiveaway #ContestIndia #contesttime #contestalertindia #Contests pic.twitter.com/qdUDLN7FQh
— Adda52 Poker (@Adda_52) July 12, 2021
Less than 24 hours later, Adda52 revealed the mystery pro to be Kunal Patni.
It was great to receive so many correct answers on our post yesterday! So, here it is!
He is proficient, he is a poker pro and he is here! @Adda_52 welcomes onboard @kunalpatni13 as our very own game ambassador!
.#Adda52 #Adda52poker #Pokergame #poker #Pokercommunity pic.twitter.com/SIlhOaL9T5
— Adda52 Poker (@Adda_52) July 13, 2021
In a press release, the Gaussian Networks Pvt. Ltd. CEO, Shivanandan Pare (who had replaced the outgoing CEO of Adda52, Naveen Goyal, in January), introduced the Game Ambassador Program at Adda52.
“We believe this program will go a long way in evangelizing the game of Poker in India. The idea is to increase the game awareness and ensure that the game becomes part of the mainstream pop culture! We are very happy to have Kunal join us in this endeavor.”
Patni’s role as a Game Ambassador will be to increase the popularity and create awareness about poker. Given his past track record as Adda52’s Team Pro, Patni is indubitably the ideal person to promote the game of poker.