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This Week in Poker: April 26 – May 2

This Week in Poker: April 26 – May 2
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis May 4, 2023
  • 8 Minutes Read

In the PokerGuru feature, ‘This Week in Poker,’ we bring you the weekly roundup of the most significant online scores by Indian MTT players and the top stories from both the live and online poker circuits. Here are this week’s top stories!

As April gave way to May, the online and offline felts unfolded thrilling action! Vinayak Bajaj stood out in the online charts, earning ₹16.38 Lakhs from an incredible 16 deep runs this past week, including two final table finishes and a top finish in Adda52 Millions, making him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

This week’s other top online scorers include Nitin Rawat, Gautam Bharadwaj, Sreekanth Narayan, Ankit Wadhawan, Dhirendra Kumar, and Himanshu Arora.

The APT Taipei 2023 stole the limelight in live poker. The series began at the CTP Asia Poker Arena – Asia’s largest permanent poker room – on April 28 and has seen record-breaking participation. Team India has achieved nine scores so far, headlined by two final table finishes.

Nishant Sharma (6th for TWD $245,000 in the APT Kickoff) and Abhinav Iyer (3rd for TWD $1,755,700 in the APT Super High Roller) lead the team’s accomplishments.

Ten Indians advanced to Day 2 of the record-breaking TWD $30 Million GTD APT Main Event, with Nishant Sharma (1,064,000) and Abhinav Iyer (204,000) the only ones from advancing to Day 3 among 173 survivors, all of whom are in-the-money.

April was exciting, but May has all the makings to be even more spectacular, with a hoard of exciting MTTs and cash game promotions in the offing.

India`s biggest online festival, the India Online Poker Championship (IOPC), is scheduled to return for its 15th edition on Spartan Poker from June 1 to 18, 2023. The series features an astounding ₹47-plus Crores in guaranteed value across 142 tournaments, ₹1.50 Crore IOPC in leaderboard prizes, Game of Tickets promotion, 24/7 satellites, freerolls, trophies, and a luxurious crown for the Main Event champion.

Pocket52 has unveiled an enticing May tournament calendar with ₹5 Crores in guaranteed prize money. One of the main attractions is the ₹1.70 Crores GTD Pocket Poker Championship, which will return for its seventh edition from May 8 to 14, with the ₹35 Lakhs GTD PPC – The Bracelet as the series headliner.

PokerSaint’s Spring NLH Series offers cash game players a chance to win big throughout May from a daily cash prize pool of ₹1.70 Lakhs. To participate, simply play at any No Limit Hold’em cash table on the site with stakes between ₹0.5/₹1 and ₹50/₹100 and finish in the top six in the two daily leaderboards.

PokerDangal has announced a sizzling Summer Cash Festival in May, with a total of ₹3 Crores in guaranteed prizes. The promotions include a ₹10 Lakhs GTD Depositors Freeroll on May 21 and the ₹1 Lakh daily leaderboard race, ‘Peti A Day,‘ running from May 8 to 31. On popular demand, the IPL-themed ‘Predict & Win’ promotion has been extended until the end of the 2023 IPL on May 28.

This May, PokerMatch India has launched a series of thrilling promotions, such as the Daily Lucky Moneyfall, which invites players to join Windfall Hold’em and OFC tournaments with a minimum $1 buy-in for daily rewards. In addition, the ₹11 Lakhs GTD Mystery Bounty Super Tournament on May 5 presents a ₹3,300 buy-in and the opportunity to score massive winnings from mystery bounties and a jackpot bounty of ₹2.20 Lakhs.

Several gaming industry developments were reported, but not all were positive for stakeholders. Hearing the writ petitions of the All India Gaming Federation and gaming operators, the Madras High Court refused to grant an interim stay on Tamil Nadu’s online gambling ban. The next hearing is slated for June 2.

The gaming industry may face another ban as the Union Territory of Puducherry plans to prohibit online rummy games, following Tamil Nadu’s lead. Puducherry PWD Minister Arumugam Namassivayam confirmed the government’s intentions in a media statement.

Goa’s casino operators suffered a significant setback when the Supreme Court ordered them to pay 75% of their outstanding annual recurring fee (ARF) for the COVID-19 lockdown period to the state government. This came after the Bombay High Court rejected the operators’ plea for an ARF waiver. The Supreme Court upheld the Bombay High Court’s decision during the April 25 hearing, with the next hearing scheduled for October.

In line with the new gaming regulations issued by MeitY, the E-Gaming Federation has initiated the process of setting up Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) and hopes to have one ready by May-end. As a not-for-profit organization, EGF represents online gaming operators and seeks to consolidate the online skill-based sector.


Online Railbird Report

This week, 30-year-old poker pro Vinayak Bajaj from Ranchi demonstrated remarkable skill, accumulating an impressive ₹16.38 Lakhs across sixteen ITM finishes. His success includes an Adda52 Millions title, a runner-up finish, and two additional FT scores, earning him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week” title.

Vinayak Bajaj
Vinayak Bajaj


His top finishes include:

> 1st in Adda52 Millions for ₹6,68,200

> 2nd in Adda52’s Godfather for ₹3,62,500

> 4th in PokerBaazi’s BSS SuperStack for ₹1,79,520

PC#16 (PLO-5) gold medalist Nitin Rawat secured second place in this week’s online rankings, with total earnings of ₹13.67 Lakhs. He reached the final table in eight tournaments with several notable results, including a third-place finish in PokerBaazi’s (7-Max) BSS Championship and a Mega Stack title victory on Spartan Poker.

Nitin Rawat
Nitin Rawat


His top finishes include:

> 3rd in PokerBaazi’s (7-Max) BSS Championship for ₹3,27,275

> 1st in Spartan Poker’s Mega Stack for ₹2,75,765

> 3rd in Spartan Poker’s The CashMaker – Triple Chance for ₹98,331

Gautam Bharadwaj, a lesser-known player, made a splash on Monday by winning the first of ‘The Fantastic Five’ editions of The MoneyMaker on PokerBaazi. Bharadwaj’s outstanding performance earned him the title of the 32nd The MoneyMaker champion and a top prize of ₹12.37 Lakhs, securing him the #3 rank on the weekly charts.

Gautam Bharadwaj
Gautam Bharadwaj


His top finishes include:

> 1st in PokerBaazi’s The MoneyMaker for ₹12,36,928

Online reg Sreekanth Narayan placed fourth in the weekly standings with a haul of ₹11.59 Lakhs. His largest score came from triumphing over tough competition in Spartan Poker’s Sunday Superstack, defeating 2022 Player of the Year, Young Gun Anuj Yadav, heads-up!

His top finishes include:

> 1st in Spartan Poker’s Sunday Superstack for ₹7,51,000

> 4th in PokerBaazi’s The Summit for ₹1,84,523

> 8th in PokerBaazi’s The MoneyMaker for ₹1,50,600

Ankit Wadhawan is another top pro sitting in the top echelons of the weekly charts, accumulating an affluent ₹11.23 Lakhs. He put out a dominant performance on Spartan Poker, taking down the Thursday High Roller (6 Max).

Ankit Wadhawan
Ankit Wadhawan


His top finishes include:

> 1st in Spartan Poker’s Thursday High Roller (6 Max) for ₹5,50,000

> 2nd in Spartan Poker’s Deepstack Turbo (6 Max) for ₹2,54,150

> 5th in Spartan Poker’s Wednesday High Roller (6 Max) for ₹1,38,600

Dhirendra Kumar’s PLO-6 format mastery was on full display in the big buy-in PokerBaazi PLO Championship events, and he added a nifty ₹10.87 Lakhs across his weekly run.

Dhirendra Kumar
Dhirendra Kumar


His top finishes include:

> 4th in PokerBaazi’s PC#35 (PLO-6) Super HighRoller for ₹3,54,000

> 1st in PokerBaazi’s PC#31 (PLO-6) Mini Main Event for ₹3,46,865

> 1st in PokerBaazi’s PC#28 (PLO-6) for ₹1,12,484

> 3rd in PokerBaazi’s PC#42 (PLO-6) for ₹1,05,623

Himanshu Arora makes consecutive appearances on the weekly leaderboard, only this time he added ₹10.38 Lakhs. He notably championed PokerBaazi’s The Weekly HighRoller.

Himanshu Arora
Himanshu Arora


His top finishes include:

> 1st in PokerBaazi’s The Weekly HighRoller for ₹4,99,875

> 2nd in PokerBaazi’s PC#39 (PLO-6) for ₹1,79,850

The top-ranked player on the annual TLB (points) leaderboard, Mohak Kapoor, Ishita Arora, Vaibhav Sharma, Gaurav Bhandari, Saurabh Rohila, Young Gun Anuj Yadav, and Amit Kaushik were the week`s other top online scorers.


Notable Winners of the Week

PlayerPrize AmountEventPoker Site
Gautam Bharadwaj₹12.37 LakhsThe MoneyMaker ₹1 Crores GTDPokerBaazi
Vishal Tulsyan₹9.42 LakhsPC# 35 (PLO-6) Super HighRoller ₹40 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Ishita Arora₹8.90 LakhsAnniversary Special-13 [Main Event] PKO ₹50 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
“dilbaghsingh”₹7.92 LakhsPC#43 (PLO-6) Main Event ₹50 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Sreekanth Narayan₹7.51 LakhsSunday SuperStack ₹30 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Vinayak Bajaj₹6.68 LakhsAdda52 Millions ₹25 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Aarchit Khadwal₹6.12 LakhsGodfather ₹25 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Ridhav Chawla₹5.70 LakhsBSS HighRoller ₹20 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Neel Joshi₹5.53 Lakhs(7-Max) BSS Championship ₹35 Lakhs GTD
Ankit Wadhawan₹5.50 LakhsThursday High Roller (6-Max) ₹20 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Prasit Chowdhury₹5.32 LakhsPC#27 (PLO-5) HighRoller ₹20 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Prem Madderla₹5.23 LakhsThe Ballers ₹20 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Rubin Labroo₹5.17 LakhsMega Suits ₹25 Lakhs GTDAdda52
“Shaarang”₹5.02 LakhsThe Elite (6-Max) ₹20 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Shravan Chhabria₹5 LakhsBSS SuperSatck ₹25 Lakhs GTD
Himanshu Arora₹5 LakhsThe Weekly HighRoller ₹12 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Apoorv Rajore₹4.72 LakhsWednesday High Roller ₹18 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Tanmay Benara₹4.12 LakhsThe Summit ₹20 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
“C.Dickens”₹3.99 LakhsTuesday High Roller (6-Max) ₹15 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
“Shaarang”₹3.81 LakhsDestiny 26.0 ₹18 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
“sha1093”₹3.77 LakhsDeepStack Turbo ₹15 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
“IND(Y@hya”₹3.64 LakhsAnniversary Special-01 [The Colosseum] ₹18 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Anant Purohit₹3.56 LakhsUltron ₹18 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
“Saiupp1987”₹3.50 LakhsThe Mint ₹14 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Dhirendra Kumar₹3.47 LakhsPC#31 (PLO-6) Mini Main Event ₹30 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Anmol Agarwal₹3.45 LakhsThe Endeavour ₹20 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
“Bakasur420”₹2.78 LakhsThe Pride ₹15 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Nitin Rawat₹2.76 LakhsMega Stack ₹15 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Mayank Maruka₹2.76 LakhsMaverick ₹15 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Abhishek Sonu₹2.75 LakhsBounty Builder HR ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Arun Sriram₹2.65 LakhsArmageddon ₹10 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Vaibhav Sharma₹2.52 LakhsAnniversary Special-05 [Uppercut] ₹12 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Ankit Jajodia₹2.20 LakhsThe Big Show ₹10 Lakhs GTD
“Mayajaal_YPBV2JNY0r"₹2.16 LakhsPocket Kings ₹12 Lakhs GTDPocket52
Anmol Narang₹2.11 LakhsThe CashMaker - Triple Chance ₹10 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Aman Parakh₹2.07 Lakhs(7-Max) SPRINT ₹12 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
“IBluffULol”₹2.06 LakhsIron Man ₹8 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Saurabh Rohila₹2.05 LakhsPC#42 (PLO-6) ₹12 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Raghav Ananth₹1.93 LakhsSunday Showdown ₹10 Lakhs GTD
Rishab Malik₹1.70 LakhsPC#41 (PLO-5) ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
“killeerbeee”₹1.50 LakhsAnniversary Special-14 [Uppercut Mini] ₹7 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Shion Hossain₹1.49 LakhsFuturistic - Triple Chance ₹8 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Adwait Pol₹1.49 LakhsAnniversary Freeroll ₹10 Lakhs AddedPokerStars India
Yogesh Yogi₹1.45 LakhsMoney Heist - Triple Chance ₹7.50 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
“YNWA1892”₹1.43 LakhsDaily Value Boost ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Praveen Rana₹1.43 LakhsDaily Value Boost ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Rohan Bhasin ₹1.38 LakhsPC#34 (PLO-5) ₹8 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Ramu Kushwaha₹1.38 LakhsPC#44 (PLO-4) AfterParty ₹8 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Ravinder Singh₹1.38 LakhsPC#30 (PLO-6) ₹8 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Pranav Khandalkar₹1.34 LakhsDaily Value Boost ₹10 Lakhs GTD
“shutterbug0003”₹1.20 LakhsPC#32 (PLO-5) ₹7 Lakhs GTD
Sanjay Mohan₹1.19 LakhsDaily Value Boost ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Avneesh Munjal₹1.19 LakhsDaily Value Boost ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Dhirendra Kumar₹1.12 LakhsPC#28 (PLO-6) ₹8 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Niteen Raj₹1.11 LakhsPocket Rockets – ₹6 Lakhs GTDPocket52
Aman Parakh1.08 LakhsPocket Bullets ₹6 Lakhs GTDPocket52
“deepchandra009”₹1.03 Lakhs(7-Max) Afternoon Boost ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
“hik18”₹1.02 LakhsPC#36 (PLO-4) ₹6 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Monam Hayat₹90K(7-Max) Afternoon Boost ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
“user1622212061”₹90KPocket Jacks ₹5 Lakhs GTDPocket52
Anmol Agarwal₹90KIMPS#23 (6-Max) ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Ravinder Singh₹88KPC#25 (PLO-6) ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Parag Shah₹85KPC#33 (PLO-6) ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Vaibhav Sharma₹80KIMPS#16 (6-Max) ₹6 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Mandar Madaye₹79K(7-Max) SPRINT ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
“Sihan”₹69K(7-Max) Afternoon Boost ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
“imhobadshah”₹66KEliminator [8-Max] ₹3.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India


Spartan Poker`s IOPC 15.0 Runs From June 1 to 18, Promising Over ₹47 Crores in Guaranteed Value

Mark your calendars for June 1 to 18, 2023, as the highly-anticipated India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) returns for its second and final installment this year. Spartan Poker recently unveiled the schedule for the 15th edition, guaranteeing over ₹47 Crores across 142 tournaments, making India’s largest online poker festival even bigger.

The upcoming IOPC edition will offer ₹1.50 Crore across three leaderboard races and will bring back popular features from previous IOPC editions, including the Game of Tickets, round-the-clock satellites, freerolls, trophies, and a lavish gold and diamond-studded crown for the IOPC The Crown champion.

IOPC 15.0 From June 1 to 18

Read the complete report here.


Pocket52 Offers ₹5 Crores in Guaranteed Prizes in May Tournaments, a 25% Increase From April

Pocket52 is set to impress players with its lineup of May tournaments, featuring a whopping ₹5 Crores in guaranteed prizes – a significant 25% increase from April. With the Pocket Poker Championship (PPC), weekend marquees, weekday events, daily satellites, micro-events, and freerolls, players of all levels can enjoy numerous opportunities to win big.

Pocket52 Ups the Ante with ₹5 Crores in Guaranteed Prizes in May

Read the complete report here.


PokerSaint is Distributing ₹1.70 Lakhs Daily in the Spring NLH Series to Cash Game Players From May 1-28

The Spring NLH Series from PokerSaint promises an exhilarating experience for cash game players throughout May. Running from May 1 to 28, this series offers a whopping ₹1.70 Lakhs in daily cash prizes. To participate, join any No Limit Hold’em cash table on PokerSaint with stakes between ₹0.5/₹1 and ₹50/₹100. Players compete in two 12-hour leaderboard races daily across four stake categories, aiming to amass the most VIP points in their category. The top six players in each category will receive cash rewards, but participants must meet the minimum VIP points per race to qualify.

PokerSaint - Spring NLH Series - Cover

Read the complete report here.


Heat Up Your Summer Poker Grind With PokerDangal’s Exciting May Offerings

PokerDangal has curated a fantastic lineup of promotions for May, offering a whopping ₹3 Crores in guaranteed prizes! The dedicated poker arm of Dangal Games has scheduled a fabulous ₹10 Lakhs GTD Depositors Freeroll on May 21, and the well-liked ₹1 Lakh daily leaderboard race, ‘Peti A Day,’ is set to run from May 8 to 31. Additionally, due to popular demand, the ‘Predict & Win’ promotion will continue until the end of the 2023 Indian Premier League on May 28.

PokerDangal's May Offerings Will Spice Up Your Summer Poker Grind!

Read the complete report here.


Win Daily Prizes of up to ₹4 Lakhs in PokerMatch India’s Lucky Moneyfall Event from May 1 to 14

PokerMatch India, the Indian subsidiary of Eastern Europe’s leading online gaming platform, PokerMatch, has been dropping promotions frequently. The site has the Daily Lucky Moneyfall promotion running from May 1 to May 14. Players participating in Windfall Hold’em and OFC tournaments can increase their buy-ins by 100 times or more and enjoy daily rewards.

The Daily Lucky Moneyfall promotion is available to all players, with no minimum requirements for tournament participation or wins. To participate, enter a Hold’em or OFC Windfall tournament (a three-handed SNG with a randomly drawn prize pool) with a minimum $1 buy-in and accumulate points based on the multipliers from the first 25 Windfall tournaments played each day.

PMi - Cover

Read the complete report here.


PokerMatch India’s ₹11 Lakhs GTD Mystery Bounty Super Tournament on May 5 Comes With a ₹2.20 Lakhs Jackpot Bounty

PokerMatch India is taking its tournament offerings up a notch with the ₹11 Lakhs GTD Mystery Bounty Super Tournament on Friday, May 5, at 11:30 PM (IST). With a ₹3,300 buy-in, you stand a chance to win big from the guaranteed prize pool. The unique aspect of this tournament is the Mystery Bounty prizes – you receive Mystery Bounty cards for every opponent you eliminate, earning random rewards ranging from ₹1,100 to the jackpot ₹2.20 Lakhs. With up to eight entries allowed, you can maximize your chances of staying in the competition and accumulating more Mystery Bounty cards.

PokerMatch India Mystery Bounty

Read the complete report here.


APT Taipei 2023 Updates

The APT Taipei 2023, which started on April 28 at the state-of-the-art CTP Asia Poker Arena – the largest permanent poker room in Asia – is shaping up to be a groundbreaking series. In the first six days, Indian participants achieved nine scores, including two final table finishes.

Gamezy Poker Pro Nishant Sharma kicked off India’s campaign with a solid performance in the series opener, TWD $2 Million GTD APT Kickoff, placing sixth for TWD $245,000.

Nishant Sharma
Nishant Sharma


Spartan Poker Team Pro Zarvan Tumboli began India’s series journey, finishing 45th for TWD $23,900, while J Raju secured 18th place, cashing TWD $49,100. Taiwan’s Chia Yun Wu claimed the APT Kickoff title and TWD $1,254,100 after defeating compatriot Yan Chen Jiang, who finished second for TWD $764,100.

Zarvan Tumboli
Zarvan Tumboli


Read the complete report here.

Abhinav Iyer made a strong showing in the TWD $5 Million GTD APT Super High Roller, finishing third for TWD $1,755,700. Ankit Ahuja also cashed in the event, placing 15th for TWD $262,200. Sam Lam emerged as the APT Super High Roller champion, winning the largest and richest APT Super High Roller ever with a 117-entry field. Lam earned the prestigious flagship New Era APT lion trophy and a massive TWD $3,997,400 first prize.

Abhinav Iyer
Abhinav Iyer


Kartik Ved (11th for TWD $78,600) and Deepak Bothra (76th for TWD $18,100) cashed the TWD $3 Million Mystery Bounty Hunter. Thailand’s Kiwanont Sukhum topped the record-breaking 670-entry field, securing a career-best TWD $1,173,100 and his second APT title.

Read the complete report here.

The TWD $30 Million GTD APT Main Event started on May Day and set a new turnout record mid-way through Flight B on May 2. With late registrations open until the start of Day 2, the final entry count touched a staggering 1,434 – making it the largest in APT history.

Among the 562 players who qualified for Day 2 were 10 Indians, including Zarvan Tumboli (204,100), Nishant Sharma (97,000), J Raju (91,800), Ankit Ahuja (87,900), Jasven Saigal (87,800), Kartik Ved (73,200), Abhinav Iyer (71,100), Deepak Bothra (55,600), Raja Sekhar Puttamsetty (53,200), and Sumit Sapra (48,400).

Only Nishant Sharma (1,064,000) and Abhinav Iyer (240,000) have qualified for Day 3, with Sharma reported to be among the chip leaders among the 173 remaining players.

The top 201 finishers will earn at least TWD $78,300, and the eventual champion will take home a life-changing TWD $11,210,400 and the glorious APT trophy!


Team India Scores at APT Taipei 2023 (May 3)

RankPlayerEventPrize Amount
3rdAbhinav IyerTWD $5 Million GTD APT Super High RollerTWD $1,755,700
15thAnkit AhujaTWD $5 Million GTD APT Super High RollerTWD $262,200
6thNishant SharmaTWD $2 Million GTD APT KickoffTWD $245,000
11thKartik VedTWD $3 Million Mystery Bounty HunterTWD $78,600
18thJ RajuTWD $2 Million GTD APT KickoffTWD $49,100
19thJasven SaigalTWD $15K Event #28: Turbo – 8 MaxTWD $31,600
45thZarvan TumboliTWD $2 Million GTD APT KickoffTWD $23,900
76thDeepak BothraTWD $3 Million Mystery Bounty HunterTWD $18,100
14thZarvan TumboliTWD $5K Event #27: NLH – Super Hold’em (3 Hole Cards) – TurboTWD $11,900


With this, we conclude this week’s roundup of the latest news updates and developments from the poker world. We will return again next week with another weekly report. Stay tuned.

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