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In the constantly changing landscape for online poker in the country, PokerBaazi‘s The MoneyMaker has weathered the test of time. It was the country’s first one-flight ₹1 Crore GTD tournament and has kept its rich legacy alive for almost six years since Anujkumar Kodam won the first The MoneyMaker title on October 1, 2017.
The prestigious MoneyMaker champions club found a new member, Sanjay Mohan, who won the biggest-ever 30th edition of the tournament on March 1.
The 29 previous The MoneyMaker editions have all been exceptional. Still, the 30th edition was particularly noteworthy. For the first time, PokerBaazi raised the stakes by increasing the tournament’s guarantee to ₹2 Crores, and that too, after keeping the entry buy-in unchanged at ₹11,000. Sporting an ambitious 2,000X value, the tournament registered a whopping 2,054 entries (1,184 unique players), rounding up a guarantee-breaking ₹2.05 Crores prize pool. The top 190 players received prizes.
After over ten hours of play, The MoneyMaker 30.0 concluded in a four-way deal. Mohan earned the bragging rights of becoming the 30th The MoneyMaker champion, banking a massive ₹13.26 Lakhs. He entered the tournament through a ₹1,100 satellite and spun that into a career-best score, making the victory even sweeter!
However, the four-way deal handed Srihar Bang the largest payout of ₹17.20 Lakhs for finishing third. Ashish Nailwal (second place for ₹15.08 Lakhs) and Anmol Agarwal (fourth place for ₹11.13 Lakhs) also walked away Millionaires through the four-way deal.
Hailing from Bengaluru, the freshly minted The MoneyMaker champion, Mohan, has an impressive academic background. The 38-year-old has attained three Master’s degrees. He completed his MBA in Finance from the esteemed Birla Institute of Management and an MS in Analytics from the University of Southampton. He also holds an MSC degree in Environmental Science from National Law School.
After working in the corporate sector for over ten years, he took a short six months break to pursue his passion for wildlife conservation. The global pandemic resulted in all the wildlife parks shutting down, which is when poker entered his life.
When Mohan started his poker journey a year and a half back, he enrolled with Poker Bootcamp India under PokerBaazi Team Pro Abhishek Goindi and Young Gun Shardul Parthasarathi briefly. He also trained under Siddharth Karia for almost six months and represented Goan Nuts in Poker Sports League, gaining much knowledge from his teammates.
PokerGuru had a quick chat with the latest The MoneyMaker champion to discuss his recent victory. Here are edited excerpts of the conversation.
Winning The MoneyMaker 30.0
Fresh off winning PokerBaazi’s Evening SPRINT on Tuesday, 38-year-old Mohan charged his way through the 2,054-entry field in The MoneyMaker 30.0 the next day, spinning up an ₹1,100 satellite investment into a career-best ₹13.26 Lakhs payday.
Talking about his win, Mohan said, “I mean, actually, a friend of mine had asked me the same question before, and to be honest with you, I felt good that I won a tournament like any other tournament I play, and I win. But it felt better when I figured out that 2000 players played in this tournament, and I beat them all. That was more motivating to me, and I was happier about getting first playing or playing against almost 2000 players. So that was more of a rewarding thing for me. More than the money.”
Speaking on parlaying a small satellite investment into a career-defining title victory, Mahon gushed, “It felt great. It felt good. Anyway, I was planning to fire a couple of bullets if I didn’t go through, so I kept a budget for MoneyMaker because I was looking forward to this tournament, considering it had double the guarantee than the previous time. Of course, like cracking a satty and then winning the tournament. Even ITM the tournament, winning a satty feels like an achievement. Obviously, winning takes it to a different level of satisfaction. I’m pretty glad about it.”
Mohan shared his views on the four-way deal: “To start, I am a low-to-mid stakes grinder. I hardly play such stakes. So even, like, I was happy with what I was getting. To be honest, I was looking more toward winning the title. I was happy about what I was winning. But considering the player, Srihari Bang, I was surprised he agreed to a deal because he has the edge over all of us because of his experience and skill set. So I’m thankful to him that he agreed to the deal. Moreover, he also had a massive chip lead compared to what I had. I had around 10 big blinds. He had around 30 big blinds, and the second spot had around 28 big blinds. The fourth one had around eight. So it was just a matter of flip, less skill, and more luck. So I think it was the right decision by all of us to go in for a deal because the payouts and the differences were huge. We are glad that we all agreed and are peaceful about it. So it was a win-win situation for all. And I think Srihari Bang, also considering his skill set and experience, I’m glad he agreed to the deal.”
Plans For the Prize Money
Discussing his plans for the lumpsum that he won, Mohan said, “I’m just going to start the grind again. It’s just like a new day. Today is a new day. The next day, I immediately played my usual ₹880-₹1,000 buy-ins because I’m very conservative regarding bankroll. Because I heard a lot of players, a lot of talented players with good bankroll, go bust because they don’t follow proper bankroll practices. I ran pure in the tournament, I realize I need to further improve my skill set and study further. So I’m using it as my poker bankroll, putting it back into my poker bankroll, and trying to build it more. So again, I am taking shots by playing into sattys, buying into bigger tournaments because I don’t want to do any bankroll management disasters. I would rather play more, put in more volume in the current stakes that I am playing, and also use the money to upgrade my work station, enabling me to use solvers, run sims and also enroll myself with some paid poker coaching programs and use this renewed bankroll to grind and study more.”
Experience Playing on PokerBaazi
Mohan praised the PokerBaazi platform saying, “I would like to say that PokerBaazi is my favorite platform to play. Starting from the user interface to the customer support and the software in general. I really enjoy playing on PokerBaazi. The games they offer are for all grinders – low stakes, mid stakes, high stakes – so it’s apt for everyone who can come in and play in that action. So hats off to PokerBaazi for hosting such an event and always upping the game. So thanks to them for that.”
Mohan’s victory in The MoneyMaker 30.0 has added another chapter to the prestigious tournament’s legacy.
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