8 mins Read
Fresh from his win at The MoneyMaker 6.0 on PokerBaazi for a staggering amount of ₹29.65 Lakhs, Rohit Begwani (cover image) is not new to the online poker scene. The old hand is not only passionate about the mind sport but equally disciplined while playing the game. He made his mark in the Spartan Super Series (SSS) Main Event on TheSpartanPoker in March 2018. Also having final tabled the ₹55,000 Spartan Super High Roller, Begwani now joins an elite club of MoneyMaker champions, alongside Anuj Kodam (The MoneyMaker 1.0), Devesh Thapar (The MoneyMaker 2.0), Priyadarshi Rajnish (The MoneyMaker 3.0), Guruprasad Gupta (The MoneyMaker 4.0) and Varun Gupta (The MoneyMaker 5.0).
Even though Begwani has not played many live tournaments, he had entered the PokerStars LIVE Manila Super Series 4 in October 2017 and posted his maiden score on the live felts in Event#7 ₱4,400 + 660 Pot Limit Omaha where he placed 17th for $157 (₹10,818). However, he plans to start travelling more often for live tournaments soon.
The MoneyMaker champion’s first meeting with poker was over 10 years ago and the passion has only increased from then on. A Zynga poker aficionado, Begwani talks to us about his preparation for the ₹1 Crore GTD event, the interesting hands he came across along the way to the top and his future plans.
Hi Rohit! Thank you for speaking with PokerGuru and congratulations for winning The MoneyMaker on Pokerbaazi. How are you feeling? Is this your first win online?
I’m ecstatic and over the moon. This isn’t my first win online. I have won monthly leaderboards on both Pokerbaazi and Spartan when I started out. Lately, I have been playing more of cash games and OFC – so I grind only high value tourneys.
609 players participated in the event, tell us what the journey was like, making it to the final table?
My journey was swingy. Initially I built up a decent stack but as time passed I got short-stacked. My first priority was to make it to ITM and then take it one step at a time. When roughly 30 people were left, most of them being pros, I never fancied my chances of winning. Then, I won a big pot with pocket queens which gave me a very good chip lead. Once I made it to the final table, I was pumped and knew that I could win the tournament.
An interesting hand that went down during the event was on the money bubble when your Royal Flush beat out your opponent’s Four-of-a-Kind aces. Talk us through that hand. What was going through your mind?
I still can’t believe that happened! I checked the flop, but donked on the turn hoping to get some value and to my surprise he jammed and I couldn’t have been happier. At showdown, I was shocked to see his cards. Turns out the odds of this happening is 1 in 3.7 Million!
How did you prepare for The MoneyMaker?
I had been grinding smaller tourneys for a few weeks for IOPC and that really helped me stay disciplined throughout and came in useful for The MoneyMaker.
Any special plans on how you intend to spend your prize money?
No plans as such but I surely would want to take my wife and daughter on a holiday. I also plan to travel to play live tourney series.
Have you won any other major online tournaments?
I have won the SSS Main event for ₹15 Lakhs and have made to the final table at the Spartan Super High Roller (55k tourney) thrice. I came second in the PLO HR on Saturday.
Your runs on PokerBaazi seem to be fairly recent. Do you play on any other online platform?
They are not recent, in fact I discovered online poker through Baazi around 3 years ago. Lately I’ve been busy with work and haven’t been grinding online much. Besides Baazi, I also enjoy playing on Spartan Poker.
How and when were you first introduced to poker?
I was introduced to poker via Zynga over 10 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Also, I’ve played at home with my dad and brother to pass the time.
Tell us about your grinding regime. How often do you play online?
Currently, I am busy with work, so I don’t have a regime or fixed schedule. I have been playing whenever I get the time.
You participated in the PokerStars LIVE Manila Super Series 4 last year. How was that experience?
Live experience was great, it was really good feeling considering I had just started playing poker at that time.
Do you play live tournaments often? How many have you played till date?
I haven’t played live much. Just the trip to Manila, but I want to change that now.
Do you prefer online poker to the live felts? Which variant of the game do you prefer playing?
I prefer playing online as it allows me to play multiple tables at once. I love playing poker in all forms, I play NL, PLO and OFC in both Tournaments and Cash Games, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be OFC.
What was been your biggest achievement in poker yet?
It has to be this win.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for newcomers?
There is no shortcut in poker. Learn, evolve, stay humble and be patient especially in tourneys. In The MoneyMaker, I saw many people just throw it away which actually worked out good for me. As Doyle Brunson said, “It’s not the cards that you have all the time that makes you a winner or a loser.”
Any parting words or anything you would like to add?
I am just happy with the way poker is growing in India and I’m thankful to Varun Ganjoo and Navkiran Singh for having the best online platform and support team I have encountered.