6 mins Read
He was on track for becoming an engineer from MIT Manipal, but destiny had other plans for Rohit Mishra! Taking a detour from the realm of a conventional profession that would have seen him leading a regular life of an engineer, the 24-year-old has entered the world of poker. With the support of his family, and the tutelage he was lucky to obtain from Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal, Mishra has taken confident strides of turning his passion for poker into his profession.
The talented, young poker player has repeatedly proved his mettle through his top-notch performances and impressive wins on the virtual felts. His solid gameplay and hard work has certainly paid off as can be evidenced by consistent results that continue to headline our weekly reports.
This engineer-turned-poker savant spoke to PokerGuru about his foray into poker, the guidance he received from Agarwal, his remarkable current form and his relationship with staking stable AceJack.
Born and raised in Jamshedpur, Mishra had moved to Manipal to pursue engineering at the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT). That is where he got his first glimpse of poker. The first-year student was returning to his room when he came across some of his batchmates playing poker.
“That was the first time I got introduced to poker and played the small buy-in game. I instantly got hooked and couldn’t wait to play more the next day.”
Sadly, his batchmates did not share his instant attraction to the game and not finding regular players to compete with, Mishra had to hunt for a different way to satisfy his growing interest in the game. He started looking into online poker.
“I couldn’t wait to play more so I started searching about poker online and came across Adda52. I instantly decided to deposit a small amount and started playing. I was completely addicted to the game and spent the entire semester playing poker, so much so that I never attended my classes which led to my short attendance.”
As the second year of college rolled in, Mishra moved on from his hostel and started rooming with some of his seniors. Luckily for him, these seniors were recreational poker players and Mishra was glad to join them whenever he could, even though they got the best of him at times.
Eventually, he realised that poker had become a passion for him. A passion that surpassed his earlier ambition of pursuing engineering. He decided to chase his dream of making it in the field of poker and realised he needed to talk to his family.
“One day, I was alone in my room and called up my mom and told her that I have decided not to pursue engineering anymore. To my surprise, she was fine with it and asked me to come back home.”
On returning home, Mishra discussed his love for poker at length with his mother and expressed his desire to switch careers from engineering to poker. She was supportive of his decision. His father, on the other hand, was accepting of the change in his vocation, but was pragmatic.
“My dad was very clear that, if you want to do it then give it one chance and he wasn’t going to give me money for it.”
With his family on his side, Mishra began to make his presence known on the virtual felts and started playing on several domestic sites. In one of the online tournaments he played, Mishra found out about the Spin & Go games offered by PokerStars.
“One day, I was heads-up in a domestic tournament where my opponent told me through chat about a stable for Spin & Go’s on PokerStars. I was interested immediately and contacted them to join the stable and started grinding them, which went on for months until I got bored of playing the same thing.”
Following his success on the online felts, he joined the poker-staking stable AceJack, where he started playing cash and online tournaments. It was through AceJack that he met his poker idol and eventual mentor Aditya Agarwal.
“I had heard about Adi a lot, but the first time I met him was actually quite epic. As I was randomly browsing PokerStars’ website one day and was checking the list of Team Pros when I suddenly came across Aditya Agarwal’s name. I was overjoyed to see that there was an Indian player on the PokerStars’ team.”
Although exhilarated to be mentored by an icon of Indian poker, his expectations regarding the mentoring sessions were a bit different from the reality.
“The first session was not how I expected (I realise now that I was wrong). I had thought that he would share everything in the very first session. Over the course of the next 2-3 sessions, I realized how it is a process and needs continuous study.”
Mishra has seen both the highs and the lows of internet poker, speaking about his experiences he said, “It hasn’t been easy and I have been through phases where my makeup was quite huge but then shipping big events and consistent scoring helped me overcome the gap. It’s a still a long way to go for me.”
He also shared his views on how the guaranteed tournaments that domestic sites offer is beneficial for poker players.
“Sites are competing with each other and it’s the players that are reaping the rewards. I also believe that the poker leagues coming to India are game changers. Leagues like GPL India and their broadcast on mainstream TV channels is sure to give poker a much-needed boost.”
So, for now, Rohit Mishra plans to keep playing solid, putting in volume, building his bankroll and just keep moving up in stakes.