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The six-day-long Baazi Poker Tour (BPT) came to a thrilling end in the wee hours of October 15, with the last BPT crown going to none other than one of the partners at the PokerBaazi LIVE poker room – Rohan Dhawan (cover image).
The title didn’t come easy for Dhawan, who fired as many as eight bullets during the re-entry period. It was a re-entry frenzy at the event that went on to register a record-breaking 156 entries by the time the late registrations were closed. Dhawan, who has been a regular in the circuit for some time now, finally broke the title jinx as he took down his first-ever live title along with ₹7.55 Lakhs in prize money.
“I feel great, obviously, since this is my first live title,” a beaming Dhawan said minutes after he defeated Ankit Jajodia heads-up. The 30-year old poker operator-player was part of the large Indian team that traveled to WSOP this summer, and he even cashed the Colossus. His previous best score was ₹4.51 Lakhs that he won for his fifth-place finish in the IPC Main Event in 2015.
Here on home turf, he was the obvious crowd favorite, and he gave his rail a good time having entered the final table with a massive chip lead. Not relinquishing his dominance till the end, Dhawan used his chip advantage strategically to exert pressure on his opponents that ultimately won him the trophy.
It has been a splendid series for the PokerBaazi team and not just for the massive turnouts but also for the numerous deep runs and accolades won by their team members in the various events. Notable results include Chirag Sodha`s fifth-place finish in the Main Event, Nikhil Jain`s eighth-place score in the High Roller, EPT co-founder Gokul Krishna taking down the Big Bounty title and Vikram ‘Lungi’ Kumar placing seventh in the PLO event behind Dhawan.
A little digging up has revealed that the BPT ₹20K PLO has entered the history books by logging in the largest field ever at a PLO event hosted in India. The previous benchmark was 133 entries logged in at the DPT in February 2017, where well-known PLO specialist Jagdeep Singh had emerged victorious and taken home 5.80 Lakhs. Needless to say, the event also generated a record prize pool in this category – a whopping ₹29.32 Lakhs!
While Dhawan walked away with the title, finishing runner-up wasn’t too bad for Jajodia either. The 26-year old poker pro has won three live titles already this year, but he informed us that this was the first time he was playing a PLO event. “This is my first live PLO tourney, and I missed the title, reaching the heads-up was a great feeling!”
The event paid out the 18 spots at least ₹38,400 and Gaurav Gala (9th for ₹75,400), Gaurav Sood (10th for ₹54,800), Prabhat Kiran Mukherjea (11th for ₹54,800), Anant Purohit (12th for ₹54,800), Siddharth Singhvi (13th for ₹45,200), Puneet Dua (14th for ₹45,200) and Deep Patel (15th for ₹45,200) were among the notable ITM finishers.
Ayush Goyal bubbled the final table, leaving in eighth place to collect a ₹1.06 Lakhs payout.
With Goyal’s exit, the seven-handed final table got going. Rohan Dhawan entered the final table commanding a dominating chip lead with 940,000 in chips while Ankit Jajodia (507,000) and Manas Kalita (378,000) were a very distant second and third in chips.
Final Table Recap
Vikram ‘Lungi’ Kumar had entered the final table fourth in chips – he held 170,000 when play began but ended up hitting the rail first. Lungi opened UTG with and was called by the small blind`s . The runout sent Kumar packing in seventh place.
Several hands later, Poker Dangal’s Karan Gandhi was eliminated in sixth place, after his all-in move with found a caller in Nishant Sharma who called with . Sharma flopped three-of-a-kind jacks, eliminating Gandhi.
Around 25 minutes later, Myron Pereira moved all-in preflop from the cutoff, and Manas Kalita came along with a call from the button. Both players tabled their cards, Pereira showing vs. Kalita’s . Pereira held pocket kings, but Kalita flopped a ten-high straight on the rundown, ending Pereira’s deep run.
It took nearly two hours for the next knockout. Ironically, it was Manas Kalita, who had eliminated Pereira, who got axed in fourth place. Kalita was also the first player Dhawan eliminated on the final table. The action began with Dhawan raising 40,000 with and Kalita potting to 170,000 with . Dhawan called to see the flop open . Kalita moved all-in for 150,000, evoking a call from Dhawan. Dhawan took down the pot with his flopped set, forcing Kalita out on his missed flush draw.
Not long after that, Dhawan sent Nishant Sharma packing. Sharma, who holds the distinction of making the deepest run from the country in the WSOP Main Event, called a raise by Dhawan preflop. The flop was checked by both, but Sharma moved all-in on the turn . Dhawan snapped it off to see the river card open the .
Sharma turned a pair, but Dhawan spiked two-pair, of aces and fours to eliminate the former!
It was around 5 am in the morning when the heads-up clash between Dhawan and Ankita Jajodia began with the former towering over his heads-up opponent with a massive 16,90,000 as against Jajodia’s 6,50,000. Dhawan put the chip advantage to good use, and all it took him were a few hands to win the tournament.
The final hand began with Dhawan potting preflop on which Jajodia repotted. Dhawan called to see the flop . Jajodia moved all-in, and Dhawan called.
The and runout saw Dhawan taking down the pot with two-pair of aces and kings beating Jajodia’s two-pair of aces and treys.
Final Table Results (INR)
1. Rohan Dhawan – ₹7.55 Lakhs
2. Ankit Jajodia – ₹5.28 Lakhs
3. Nishant Sharma – ₹3.40 Lakhs
4. Manas Kalita – ₹2.51 Lakhs
5. Myron Pereira – ₹1.88 Lakhs
6. Karan Gandhi – ₹1.51 lakhs
7. Vikram ‘Lungi’ Kumar – ₹1.25 Lakhs
Read the complete live coverage of the event here.