8 mins Read
To play the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the biggest poker festival in the world and rub shoulders with the best and the brightest minds in the game is a dream for every poker player.
Online poker site, 9stacks has made this dream come true for 25 Indian players who punched their ticket to the dream destination through the #LFGVegas promotion. Coming from varied backgrounds, many of these qualifiers are visiting Las Vegas for the first time and for a few who have been to the city before this is the first trip for WSOP.
The 9stacks Team India is off to a good start with qualifiers Mayank Jaggi, Vivek Rughani, Pratik Kumar and Aditya Pratap Singh, all making it in-the-money in the first few events itself. Many others are still in transit and with the WSOP Main Event now underway, the next few days are expected to bring in many more exciting updates.
The #9stacksTeamIndia is a very interesting mix as the players come from all walks of life. On one hand you have professional poker players like Arsh Grover, Vivek Rughani, Mayank Jaggi, Nishant Sharma, Prateek Mishra, Pranay Kapoor, Saurabh Arora, and Aditya Pratap Singh and on the other hand, there are some equally passionate players like investment banker, Vishal Tulsyan, Dinesh Singh, Amresh Kumar (Indiatimes), Harshil Dhingra (InShorts), Amit Khanna, 9stacks cofounder Pratik Kumar, Sagar Choudhary, businessman Rishabh Jain, software engineer Nishaanth S, analytics wiz Sandeep Narayanan, for whom, playing the WSOP was until now, a distant dream.
Newbie Ravi Shankar started playing online poker on 9stacks with friends and is now on the flight to Vegas after just ONE year of playing the game! The IITian said, “I didn’t think I would make it to WSOP so soon. I mean I knew I will go there some day, but within just one year of my being in the game? I didn’t think so. The #LFGVegas tournament was my first big long-term grind as I’m so new to poker. Playing in Vegas, rubbing shoulders with the best in the business is just so surreal!”
Poker ace Mayank Jaggi who is also a #LFGVegas qualifier is off to a flying start on his debut trip to Vegas. Mayank came 6th in the Wynn Summer Classic $1,100 NLH Tournament over the weekend and cash a healthy $56,379 (~₹38.61 Lakhs).
This trip to Vegas during the WSOP will be a dream come true for Dinesh Singh who is known as “FI$H” in poker circles. Speaking about his first trip, he said, “I started playing poker 2 years ago and while I learnt the ropes quickly, and was doing quite well, hobnobbing with the who’s who of Indian poker, playing during the WSOP was something I had not quite imagined to happen so soon. I remember refusing to let a friend, who had played during the WSOP earlier, get me token WSOP merchandise because I wanted to go there and buy it for myself. I’m in Vegas now. It’s crazy and I’m so happy 9stacks came up with the #LFGVegas contest. My poker dreams have come true!”
Amresh Kumar aka Termi, another first-timer at the WSOP echoes the sentiment as well and said, “I’ve been playing poker for a while now. I used to play LIVE games and started playing small stakes (1 / 2, 5 /10) online before I moved on to 9stacks. Over the past few months of playing mid stakes regularly I’ve learnt how to maximise my wins and minimise my losses along the way, but I never thought I’d be going to Vegas! I really enjoyed participating in the #LFGVegas contest and I’m looking forward to more such promotions every year. Right now, I’m quite excited about the WSOP and I’m hoping I can win something there as well.”
It will be the second time in Las Vegas for Saurabh Arora (@newkidintown), though it is his first WSOP sojourn. Arora said, “WSOP Vegas is the greatest stage for any poker player and I am no different. The #LFGVegas contest has provided a lot of players the chance to travel to Vegas & realise their dream. I’m quite thrilled to be playing here. I have been playing a lot of tournaments lately to get myself in the zone. Let’s hope that the poker gods be kind & I use my one time to get that pretty bracelet.”
Professional poker player Vivek Rughani, who was one of the early arrivals at Las Vegas has done quite well over the last few days. This is his first time at WSOP and he simply cannot get over, “how unreal it has been to see how grand everything is especially with more than 3,000-4,000 poker players playing together in one room”. Rughani will be playing Day 1C of the WSOP Main Event.
Excitement is building up amongst players who in the words of first-timer Prateek Mishra (Bajatey Raho) are ready to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Usually one sees only professional poker players thronging the WSOP. It is refreshing to see that 9stacks is giving the platform to more and more players through the #LFGVegas contest. The emphasis is on stacking up the skills and getting better day by day. The message is clear – play regularly, practice more to get better at the game and reap rich rewards!
Couldn’t go to Vegas this time? This year, you can follow all the excitement at @9stacksGaming on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And next year, make sure you’re in the team as 9stacks is gearing up to take 100 players to WSOP 2019 as part of #9stacksTeamIndia.