6 mins Read
He’s humble and unassuming and plays poker with a passion that defies his age. 26-years-old Vivek Singh (cover image) is our latest PokerGuru Young Gun and, with his latest success in online tournaments, he is certainly one of the most promising rising stars in the Indian poker galaxy.
Not many people in the national poker circuit knew this young pro from Chennai, so when he started picking continuous scores, it brought him instant fame and recognition that he certainly deserves.
But don’t assume it was easy for this young lad who took a huge hit in his life but took control of the situation. Not to be cryptic, but he actually turned to poker to support his family financially! For most, poker is seen as a recreational sport or a hobby, not for Singh as it was his way to take care of his family financially when his father passed away.
Read his inspirational story in his own words here –
Poker has been Singh’s love since college, when he was introduced to the game by a bunch of friends. He got hooked instantly and was soon playing a lot of poker. But life caught up and Singh started working full-time, leaving the felts behind. Though he gave up on poker for two full years, it was destiny, and dire financial need that brought him back.
“Poker came to a halt when I was doing my job for those two years but then my dad passed away and I took control of all responsibilities. My job was not enough to support my family so I started playing cash games and the money I made from them helped me support my family financially. I quit my job and was grinding daily and hence my poker journey started”, Singh says about his turning to poker again.
He also struggled through a phase of staunch opposition from his family. His mother thought he shouldn’t play poker but now, he says, seeing his progress and realizing about the study and discipline required in playing poker, she’s come to terms with it.
“Today, I am a professional poker player and my mom completely supports me and my passion.”
Poker remains the first love and favorite sport for Singh who has been playing both online and live, grinding cash games and tournaments. He plays not less than 12-14 hours a day and has been able to maintain this routine almost daily. His day usually begins with cash tables from 3pm daily, which he continues till 7-8 pm. Following this, he starts with his MTT grind.
It has certainly not been the easiest path and Singh fully understands how difficult it is to pursue poker as a profession. But, he feels, with the recent poker boom in India, he will have no regrets.
“I think the way online poker is booming and the way huge guaranteed events are being hosted frequently, it’s only good for poker players. Online sites try to match up to each other’s offerings and that proves to be a great advantage for poker players. Now PokerStars India has also launched, so I think healthy competition between sites only results in better promotions for poker players.”
Playing in big tournaments wasn’t really a priority for Singh who was content with his cash game earnings. Though he did dabble in a few tournaments every now and then, he wasn’t putting much volume. This changed when he met Vikram Kumar and joined his stable. When Kumar entered a partnership with Abhishek Jalan’s AceJack, Singh joined the group as well, and even got the opportunity to be coached by none other than Team PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal.
“I first met Adi when I heard from Vikram that he is visiting Bengaluru for a couple of days, I couldn’t hold my excitement and went to Bengaluru just to meet him and man, one meeting with him and it kind of changed my perception and my approach to poker! He will explain even the most complicated situations in the most simplistic manner, today, all I need is one conversation with him to clear my doubts and I am ready to battle.”
To improve in poker, Singh relies on discussing hands with like-minded players who he considers better, like Aditya Sushant, Ratul Steves, Ashish Munot and Abhinav Iyer.
“Discussing hands and spots and figuring out leaks through the conversation helps a lot and I often do that. I look upto Adi a lot, he is a beast, then Sushant is also someone I consider one of the best, he has just been killing lately and have been a beast both online and live. Internationally, my favorite player will be Daniel Negreanu due to his reading abilities and the way he has evolved.”
Singh travels a lot for poker and takes a break from the games at his hometown Chennai by hopping over to Bengaluru to play cash games. His other favorite destination is Goa for domestic poker tournaments.
“I plan to play the next WPT India and even have plans to make my first international poker trip this year. I am grinding hard right now to build a bankroll and then I will probably to go a good series in Manila as its tax free there too.”
For this Young Gun, the primary goal for now is to make a good live score going ahead and winning a live title. With plans to play the next WPT India, he is also looking to make his first international poker trip later this year. We wont be surprised to see this tornado capturing the international poker horizons in the near future!