8 mins Read
Chennai-based Vikram Kumar (cover image) needs no introduction. He has been one of the most active and vocal members of the Indian poker circuit, a man who dons many hats, Kumar`s camera friendly demeanor has also made him famous for his Lungi TV Vblogs through which he brings up cool backstage moments along with fun incidents, big pots and player interviews for the poker community.
Kumar has also been the driving force behind the PokerBaazi Live poker room in Bengaluru and has been globetrotting recently hunting a major live score. Kumar created a huge buzz on social media two days back when he announced his decision to part ways with PokerBaazi pro team stating that he was taking this step to spend more time with his family and concentrate on building something new. As the man himself said, the decision was made in his room in Las Vegas after discussion and consent from PokerBaazi co-founder Navkiran Singh and PokerBaazi team mentor Jasven Saigal. Kumar wrote, “20 days of Vegas summer, have nothing much to show but at least we tried and managed to overcome home sickness. Can’t wait to be back home with family and my girls. Gave this a huge thought over the last few months and I have decided to step down as PokerBaazi team pro which gave me immense pride. To keep phase with my other responsibilities in life and also spend more time with my growing twin daughters which will go a long way in me to trying to shape them as responsible citizens .it’s tuf but u gotta do what u need to ..for one final time #pokerbaaziteampro”
Now in an exclusive interview with PokerGuru, Kumar speaks to us about his decision to step down as a PokerBaazi Team pro, his role at the PokerBaazi Live poker room in Bengaluru, WSOP experience, upcoming GPL India Season 1 and future plans. Here are the excerpts.
Hi Vikram, thank you for speaking with PokerGuru. You have been a part of the PokerBaazi pro team for more than 2 years and were one of the most vocal and active team pros. Tell us about your decision to part with the Team.
That’s true, wore the badge with lot of pride for over 2 years. In the last 8-12 months, I have been working almost like 16-18 hours if not more hours a day. Be it running my other businesses or spending time with my responsibilities and carrying out my roles at AceJack and PokerBaazi Live. So to balance and also do justice to my responsibilities as a dad, I took this decision to step down as PokerBaazi team pro and let me tell you this was not the easiest decision I have taken.
Though you are parting as a PokerBaazi Pro, you will still manage the operations at the PokerBaazi Live poker room in Bengaluru. How will this arrangement work?
It’s a very amicable decision with mutual consent that Navkiran (Singh) and Jasven (Saigal) and I took after an informal discussion in my room in Las Vegas and they were understanding and also reciprocated my sentiments to spend more time with my family. PokerBaazi Live operations will go on as usual.
When announcing your decision, you mentioned about new beginnings. Can you please shed some light about these new ventures?
Knowing me, new ventures will roll out in due course, nothing in particular that I have decided already. For now, I am going to put my legs up relax and see my little ones grow up and manage my already not so easy workload.
You are just back from your 2nd WSOP visit and this time it was much longer stay than last time. Please share the experiences from the trip.
Experience wise, it’s definitely a great learning every single time. I am very disappointing that I am yet to find even a min-cash at WSOP. Would definitely put in some study and go back as an improved player next summer
Given that this was one of the most successful WSOP for Indians, how was it railing them? How was the vibe among the Team India challengers?
The vibe was great and I was mentioning the time for Asians to leave a strong mark in WSOP like the Germans is not too far off. As we speak, Pawan Bansal is chip leading the final table of the closer and I hope and pray he manages to close out his first individual bracelet. (He eventually finished runner-up for $378,765 – ~₹2.59 Crores)
You were actively Vlogging for the LungiTV WSOP VLOGS. How did that pan out? Your views about the response for the Vblog series?
Vblogging is always fun and great always to see the response but honestly to play and multi-task especially if you have had a rough start at the tables, it’s a bit tough to manage. Will be better planned going forward and might have a crew travelling if required.
Apart from grinding, what other fun/recreational activities you indulged into? Please share some funny/epic instances from the trip.
Epic instance was in the Crazy Eights tournament when I was sitting on the wrong table for more than 90 minutes and when the rightful seat owner came, I was funny enough to send him back to the floor saying it’s an error. When he came back off course, I walked to the right table without looking at him.
Next up will be the much-awaited GPL India Season 1. What are your expectations from the inaugural season of GPL India?
It’s going to be a fun ride. I am taking no pressure but will put the best foot forward to lock PSPC Bahamas.
Please tell us your plans for the bootcamp. What will be your strategy to draft players for your Chennai Sharks team? Any hint on your 2 pro picks?
My pros will be some great young talent, one of them from Chennai itself and the other young gun is from Andhra Pradesh who lives in Delhi now.
What will be your plans for the rest of the year? Any set goals?
No plans, just put my feet up and relax a bit for the time being as it’s been a long summer and I have earned the rest.
Kumar signs off!