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Road to PSPC Manila: India’s Naveen Valluri Ships ₱1 Million GTD Warm-up Event, Clinching Maiden Live Title & ₱353,158 (₹4.87 Lakhs)

Naveen Valluri
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis September 21, 2022
  • 4 Minutes Read

The Indian flag has been flying high in the South-Asian tournament circuit for the majority of 2022! And adding another title victory to the team`s fast-growing tally was Naveen Valluri (cover image), a 46-year-old former IT consultant based in Ottawa, who championed PokerStars’ Road to PSPC Manila series-opener ₱1 Million GTD Warm-up for a whopping ₱353,158 (₹4.87 Lakhs)! He struck an ICM deal with his heads-up opponent Jeffrey Pamplona (2nd for ₱322,842).

Valluri returned on Day 2 with a below-average stack, but by the time the final table was formed, the Indian was the second shortest in chips among the nine finalists with just 12 big blinds. However, a combination of timely bluffs and luck got Valluri back in contention, and he eliminated five players on the FT en route to winning his maiden live title.

In his post-win interview, Valluri said, “Since I made it to Day 2, I was always below the average stack, so I was just folding, folding… It was either an all-in or a fold, that was the play. Even on the final table I was the second shortest stack, then I got lucky in a few places and then got a couple of bluffs through and it all worked out.”

“I’m a very avid player on PokerStars. I like the software, but winning a live event is a big feather in my cap,” an upbeat Valluri shared.

Chirag Shah was the only other Indian to make it to Day 2, and cashed ₱13,800 (₹19,020) in 31st place.

Running alongside Day 2 of the Warm-up event was the opening flight of the ₱10 Million GTD Road to PSPC Manila Main Event. Day 1A registered 87 entries, with 14 progressing to Day 2. Singapore’s Sam En Zhi (466,500) topped the day-end chip counts, and India’s J. Raju (115,500) bagged the 11th biggest stack!


₱1 Million GTD Warm-up – Day 2

Day 2 of the series-opener had 63 survivors from a starting field of 426 getting back to the action. The Day 1A chip leader Noel Regencia (560,000) started the day with the most chips.

With 65 places paid, all returning players were already in the money, and Brazil’s Marcelo Tamura was the first player to finish in the money, cashing ₱9,300 in 65th place.

Two Indians, Chirag Shah (188,000) and Naveen Valluri (181,000) were part of the Day 2 field, and while Valluri went all the way, Shah collected ₱13,800 (₹19,020) in 31st place.

Albert Muir Jr (13th for ₱28,600), Noel Regencia (20th for ₱20,300), and Bonifacio Mondalo (33rd for ₱11,600) were some of the notables to finish in the money.

It took ten 30-minute levels on Day 2 for the starting field to whittle down to the nine-handed final table.

Japan’s Daisuke Kanai (10th for ₱33,000) bubbled the final table, and the Philippines Jeffrey Pamplona (2.16 Million) entered the FT in the chip lead.


Final Table Recap

Grace Takayama was the first final table casualty, falling at the hands of Pamplona at the start of Level 29. Takayama’s pocket jacks were cracked by Pamplona’s seven-three (suited) that turned two-pair.

Pamplona scalped his second player on the FT an orbit later, sending the short-stacked Allan Daypuyart packing in eighth place.

USA’s Jonaldo Auza hit the rail in seventh place just minutes later. He moved all-in pre-flop with pocket sixes but couldn`t get past Naveen Valluri’s cowboys.

Filipino Michael Bueza departed at the start of Level 30 in sixth place – his king-nine falling to Valluri’s king-queen.

Valluri claimed his third FT victim midway through the same level after Richard Marquez moved all-in pre-flop with ace-jack (offsuit) and the Indian player woke up with ace-queen (suited). Marquez walked out in fifth place.

Lester Timonera departed in fourth place after his seven-six (offsuit) collided with Pamplona’s king-jack (offsuit).

Three-handed play lasted midway into the next level before the short-stacked Elmer Kalaquian moved all-in from the button with queen-jack (offsuit). Valluri called from the big blind with the dominating king-queen (suited). Both players hit top pair on the queen-high flop, and Valluri improved to two pair on the river, busting Kalaquian in third place.

At the start of the heads-up play, Naveen Valluri (7.6 Million) held the advantage over Jeffrey Pamplona (5.1 Million). The duo struck an ICM deal and kept playing for the title and trophy, where Valluri eventually took down the title.

Naveen Valluri
Naveen Valluri


Final Table Results (PHP)

  1. Naveen Valluri – ₱353,158*
  2. Jeffrey Pamplona – ₱322,842*
  3. Elmer Kalaquian – ₱188,000
  4. Lester Timonera – ₱148,000
  5. Richard Marquez – ₱116,800
  6. Michael Bueza – ₱92,900
  7. Jonaldo Auza – ₱70,002
  8. Allan Daypuyart – ₱49,800
  9. Grace Takayama – ₱39,800

*denotes heads-up deal


₱10 Million GTD Road to PSPC Manila Main Event – Day 1A

The series’ star attraction, the ₱10 Million guaranteed Road to PSPC Manila Main Event, kicked off on Tuesday with Day 1A bringing in 87 entrants (76 unique entries). Only 14 made it through to Day 2.

Singapore’s Sam En Zhi (466,500) emerged as the day-end chip leader, with John Jay Magadan (385,000) and Deschenes Labrecque (358,000) carrying forward the other top stacks of the day.

Five Indians joined the first starting flight, namely J. Raju, Dhanesh Chainani, Raja Puttamsetty, Chirag Shah, and Othugadi Yesudas Nav. J. Raju was the only player to make the cut, bagging the 11th biggest stack of 115,500.

J. Raju
J. Raju


The ₱22,000 buy-in tourney has five more starting flights left to play out.

Sam En Zhi
Sam En Zhi


Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 1A

  1. Sam En Zhi – 466,500
  2. John Jay Magadan – 385,000
  3. Deschenes Labrecque – 358,000
  4. Marc Rivera – 245,500
  5. Tchong Kue Seong – 223,000
  6. Joohyun Park – 179,000
  7. Shin Wei Huang – 175,500
  8. Wilbert Agbuya – 132,500
  9. Kenji Hata – 131,000
  10. Alfredo Boligor – 120,000


Content & Images Courtesy: PokerStars

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