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This Week in Poker: December 18 – 24

This Week in Poker: December 18 – 24
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  • Arpit Jain December 26, 2019
  • 5 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 along with the top stories from both the live and online poker circuit.

Here are this week’s top stories!

The holiday season is upon us, and as we are about to enter the last week of 2019, we have to put it out there, it was a groundbreaking year for Indian poker. Whether it’s live or online, the year was a grand one for Indian poker players who established themselves as an emerging poker power. While this year had several memorable highlights that we would love to recap, let us for now take a look back at the week that just passed us by.

The live tournament action was primarily focused on the western hemisphere. Putting up a standout performance, Kolkata-born two-time WSOP bracelet winner Nipun Java reached the heads-up play in the WSOPC Harrah’s Las Vegas Main Event but missed out on his chance at a second WSOPC ring to Anthony Spinella. Nonetheless, Java’s exceptional performance fetched him $118,764 (~₹84.51 Lakhs), making him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

Action in Asia was dominated by the Asia Poker League (APL) Da Nang, where APL Brand Ambassador Sumit Sapra closed out his outing with two scores – the more prominent of the two being his fifth-place finish in the Main Event for VND 477,900,000 (~₹14.68 Lakhs).

The week saw more than its fair share of big winners on the virtual felts, and once again, it was Spartan Poker that played host to the biggest events. The most anticipated event of the week – Spartan Value Series (SVS) The Millionaire Lite was taken down by ‘Fishlover’ (name withheld on player request) who took home ₹11.12 Lakhs in prize money.

In the other significant developments, fast-growing site Poker Dangal locked in its second poker league tie-up by becoming the new co-owners of the Poker Sports League (PSL) team Kolkata Kings.

The poker industry will have to wait for a legal reprieve in Gujarat with the Gujarat High Court failing to take up the hearing of poker appeals on December 19. The matter has been listed for January 8, 2020.

In other reports, the GST Council voted for a uniform tax rate of 28% on lotteries across the country. At the same time, the Commissioners’ Task Force (CTF) arrested four individuals in Vijayawada for planning a hi-tech poker scam with the help of specially designed mobile applications.

In live stop confirmations, industry giant PokerStars has come out with details of 21 live stops in 2020 that include seven events in Manila. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) confirmed another 12 events for its annual summer run next year.

Also grabbing headlines was Michigan that has become the sixth U.S state to legalize online poker.

DraftKings is acquiring sports betting supplier SBTech through a special acquisition company that will allow the DFS major to go public without following the typical IPO process.

Meanwhile, Cambodia will be pushing the kill switch on all forms of online gambling by January 1, 2020.

We also have tournament reports from APL Da Nang, WSOPC Harrah’s Las Vegas, WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, and Wynn Winter Classic Championship.

 

Online Railbird Report

Spartan Poker has firmly planted itself as the industry leader when it comes to tournaments, and last week was all about the Spartan Value Series (SVS). The SVS The Millionaire Lite ₹50 Lakhs GTD was the headline event of the week and saw ‘Fishlover’ (name withheld on player request) come out on top of a massive field of 2,966 entries to win ₹11.12 Lakhs.

Jyoti’ joey114114’ Ranjan Nayak (Spartan Poker’s Sunday SuperStack for ₹7.13 Lakhs) and Vishwanath’ vish4u2’ Borhade (Adda52’s Godfather for ₹5.74 Lakhs) round out the list of top three online winners this week.

The notable scores of the week include –

PlayerPrize MoneyEventPoker Site
fishlover₹11.12 LakhsSVS The Millionaire Lite ₹50 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Jyoti Ranjan ‘joey114114’ Nayak₹7.13 LakhsSunday SuperStack ₹40 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
propernit ₹6.82 LakhsDestiny 12.0 ₹30 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Vishwanath ‘vish4u2’ Borhade₹5.74 LakhsGodfather ₹20 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Anmol ‘anzzzzz’ Mehta₹5.41 LakhsBSS SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Sagar ‘alwaysnutz’ Choudhury₹5.27 LakhsMega Suits ₹25 Lakhs GTD Adda52
Gal Gadot₹4.99 LakhsThe Elite 6-Max ₹25 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
BobbyAxelrod1₹4.87 LakhsUltron ₹25 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Akshay ‘sherlock52’ Nasa₹4.55 LakhsThe Summit ₹15 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
autobot93₹4.19 LakhsThe Ballers ₹15 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Ankit ‘Shippament’ Wadhawan₹3.89 LakhsMega Stack ₹20 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Arsh ‘Button_Hai_Bro’ Grover₹3.80 LakhsG.O.A ₹20 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Abhishek’ messi010010’ Gubba₹3.15 LakhsBig Slick ₹15 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Arpan ‘Vasusenaa’ Majhi₹2.96 LakhsSunday Special Progressive KO ₹15 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Akash ‘K9_A’ Shekhar₹2.90 LakhsThe Dragon ₹10 Lakhs GTD9stacks
Abhishek ‘messi010010’ Gubba₹2.74 LakhsBig Slick ₹15 Lakhs GTDAdda52
prithvi221₹2.48 LakhsMaverick ₹10 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Arjanveer ‘ballistik310’ Singh Chadha₹2.40 LakhsHighroller ₹12 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
NOTAPRO₹2.35 LakhsThe Bout ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Gaurav ‘mozzie17’ Sood₹2.33 LakhsReCharge ₹12 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
The AnnihiIator₹2.28 LakhsUppercut Progressive KO 6-Max MAGIC Edition ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Kamal ‘ksn123’ Naruka₹2.21 LakhsGoa Fest ₹8 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Sreekanth’ n0thing’ Narayan₹2.08 LakhsHitman ₹7.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Arsh ‘Button_Hai_Bro’ Grover₹1.47 LakhsGrinders#19 Thursday MonsterStack ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Sreeharsha ‘yUDdam’ Boneni₹1.47 LakhsTGIF ₹10 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
STEALTH

₹1.42 LakhsThunder @7:30 PM ₹5 Lakhs GTD9stacks
Priyank ‘Piko1432’ Kothari₹1.39 LakhsThe Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Ujjwal ‘CougarHunter69’ Narwal₹1.36 LakhsSunday Special (L) ₹7.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Apollo26₹1.32 LakhsSVS #5 Hi-Fi ₹6 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Aditya ‘adit11’ Kulkarni₹1.05 LakhsGrinder #33 Main Event ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
WhySoSick₹1.04 LakhsSVS #10 Hi-Fi PLO Special ₹4.5 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
shaandaarsingh₹1.04 LakhsMonday Hustle ₹6 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
FunkeyFox₹1.04 LakhsSVS #15 Hi-Fi ₹5 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Rony ‘bisadip176’ Chowdhury₹1.03 LakhsFriYay ₹4 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Gaurav ‘[email protected]’ Mittal₹95,806Night on Stars ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Kuldeep ‘Bacchapro’ Jorwal₹88,537Grinders #24 Friday SuperStack ₹3 Lakhs GTD ₹2,200 REPokerBaazi
KushnannaEmpire₹86,081Electric Afternoon Hi-Fi ₹4 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Ishan ‘Ishan2203’ Sharma₹72,065SVS #24 Electric Big Daddy ₹5 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
nishu271 ₹71,250Hexagram ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Sam ‘lokimon’ Anand₹71,250Hexagram ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
bluechipp ₹70,625Hexagram ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
FunkeyFox₹66,738Afternoon Hi-Fi ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD Spartan Poker
Akshat ‘doubledown’ Sharma₹63,289Afternoon Hi-Fi ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
vn2016 ₹61,478Afternoon Hi-Fi ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD Spartan Poker
StupidCommonMan₹59,463Hexagram ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Neeraj ‘SelfClaimedPros’ Kumar₹58,300Ultimate PLO ₹2 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Rohit ‘sstoned’ Kumar₹58,300Ultimate PLO ₹2 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Sikhni3₹58,300Ultimate PLO ₹2 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Pritam ‘pritamrockon’ Dhokane₹57,423BSS PLO ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Prabhat ‘shortstackguy’ Saini₹54,323Ultimate PLO ₹2 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Ragesh ‘ragesh91’ Mishra₹49,091The Classic ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Sailor431 ₹46,852Progressive KO 4 Max ₹2 Lakhs GTD PokerStars India
sakerr₹46,621SVS #23 ₹2.25 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Sandeep ‘effuno007’ Varma RS ₹44,540The Classic ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
llordankcor₹43,059SVS #4 ₹2 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
daiwik₹43,000Big Bang ₹1 Lakh GTD NLHEKhelo365
TheTeacher₹36,000Warrior Arena ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD Poker Dangal
killfish₹24,000Dangal Friday ₹1 Lakh GTDPoker Dangal
Thebaap ₹24,000Monday Texas ₹1 Lakh GTDPoker Dangal
pianca ₹22,000Sunday Bonanza ₹1 Lakh GTDPoker Dangal
cowboys₹18,000Dominator ₹50K GTD NLHEKhelo365
Buntyji ₹16,500Wow Wednesday ₹75K GTD Poker Dangal

 

Poker Dangal Becomes Co-Owners of PSL Team Kolkata Kings

In its second major poker league tie-up, Poker Dangal has become the co-owners of the Poker Sports League (PSL) team Kolkata Kings. PSL has come back for Season 3 after a long 16-month hiatus, and with this association, Poker Dangal is looking to reach out to newer audiences and gain market share.

Poker Dangal Co-Owners
Poker Dangal Co-Owners

Read the complete report here.

 

partypoker Launches Run It Twice

partypoker finally rolled out the ‘Run It Twice’ (RIT) feature on its client on December 19. Currently, RIT is available only for Windows and Mac desktop users playing FastForward cash games, and partypoker plans to roll it out on all devices and cash tables in the coming year.

partypoker Launches Run It Twice
partypoker Launches Run It Twice

Read the complete report here.

 

Gujarat HC Hearing of Poker Appeals Moved to January 2020

The scheduled hearing of poker appeals pending at the Gujarat High Court could not take place on December 19. These appeal petitions, filed by Indian Poker Association (IPA) secretary KN Suresh and others, including Aman Chhabra, Hotel Ramada, and Dominance Games Pvt. Ltd challenges the court’s 2017 ruling that defined poker as amounting to gambling and to be banned in Gujarat. The court has rescheduled the matter to be heard on January 8, 2020.

Gujarat High Court
Gujarat High Court

Read the complete report here.

 

GST Council Fixes Flat 28% Tax Rate For Lotteries

In an unprecedented move, the GST Council headed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman voted for a uniform tax rate of 28% on lotteries across the country last week. The proposal of a uniform tax was put to the vote, where the motion was passed by 21 votes in favor and seven against it. The new rate will take effect from March 1, 2020, all over the country.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Read the complete report here.

 

4 People Arrested in Vijayawada For Planning Poker Scam

The Commissioners’ Task Force (CTF) arrested four individuals last week in Vijayawada for planning a hi-tech poker scam to loot people. The four accused – Sk Munna (42), Sk Hazarat (33), Nemaala Sanjeev (32), and Nemaala Narayana (28), had ordered specially designed mobile application, ‘CVK 500 Poker Analyzer’, secret camera mobile phone, mobile scanning watch, micro ear-in pieces, and scanned poker cards from a Delhi-based trader.

Read the complete report here.

 

APL Da Nang

One of the fastest-growing tournament brands in Asia, the Asia Poker League (APL) closed out a smashing inaugural series at the Risemount Premier Resort in Da Nang. The newly appointed APL Brand Ambassador Sumit Sapra was a prominent presence at the stop and picked up two scores that included an impressive final table finish in the Main Event. Sapra had entered the nine-handed final table placed seventh in chips, and did well to eventually finish fifth for VND 477,900,000 (~₹14.68 Lakhs)!

Sumit Sapra eliminated in 5th place at APL Da Nang Main Event
Sumit Sapra

Outlasting the 525 entries in the VND 8 Billion GTD Main Event was Vietnam’s Nguyen Minh Tuan, who walked away with a career-best VND 2,026,500,000 (~₹62.02 Lakhs) in prize money.

Nguyen Minh Tuan
Nguyen Minh Tuan

Read the complete report here.

The VND 40 Million buy-in High Roller was another marquee event at the stop that attracted 119 hopefuls across its two starting flights. Taiwan’s Wu En Ching was the last player left standing in the event and took home the top prize of VND 1,362,100,000.

Wu En Ching
Wu En Ching

Read the complete report here.

Team India Cashes at APL Da Nang

PlayerEvent Prize Money
Nguyen Minh Tuan VND 20 Million Main Event VND 8 Billion GTD VND 2,026,500,000
Wu En Ching VND 40 Million High Roller VND 1,362,100,000
Nguyen Hoang Linh VND 10 Million KickoffVND 739,100,000
Trung NguyenVND 15 Million Super Deep StackVND 389,500,000
Im SanggukVND 3 Million High Roller – 1 DayVND 349,200,000
Nam Phong VND 11 Million KO Bounty 2 VND 293,400,000
Im Sung GokVND 10 Million Deep StackVND 285,500,000
Nguyen Huu Duc VND 16.5 Million Freezeout VND 196,900,000
Kim Jae Hwan VND 8.8 Million NLHEVND 160,700,000
Qian Xubo VND 7.7 Million NLH Turbo 2VND 146,600,000
Li Shin HungVND 6.6 Million KO Bounty TurboVND 142,400,000
Ceesvin Abdulla VND 8 Million Deep Stack Turbo VND 124,100,000
Dinh Manh Hung VND 7.7 Million PLO VND 108,600,000
AigarsVND 8 Million 6-Max TurboVND 94,300,000
Nguyen Huu DucVND 6 Million NLHE Turbo 1VND 83,500,000
Lee Jung WookVND 5.5 Million Hyper TurboVND 79,400,000
Kwon Hyuk JinVND 5.5 Million Hyper Turbo 2VND 69,500,000
Lee Jong Wook Charity Event VND 39,600,000

PokerStars Announces 21 Live Stops For 2020

Last week, PokerStars announced details of 21 live events for 2020 headlined by EPT stops in Sochi, Monte Carlo, and Barcelona. They are major stops planned in Asia and South America as well. PokerStars intends to give away 24 Platinum Passes in all to the 2020 PokerStars Players Championship through these events. There are seven events lined up in Manila, and two Platinum Passes will be awarded through these stops.

Read the complete report here.

 

WSOP Confirms Details of 12 More Events For 2020

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has come out with details of 12 more events for its 2020 schedule, including some of the marquee events at the series. Among the confirmed events are crowd-favorites like the Millionaire Maker (June 5 – 6), Colossus (June 24 – 25), Monster Stack (June 12 – 13), Tag Team (June 22), Mini Main Event (June 29), Super Seniors (June 22), Ladies Event (June 17), Little One for One Drop (July 4 – 6), Crazy Eights (June 26 – 27) and The Closer (July 10 – 11).

Read the complete report here.

 

DraftKings to Go Public After Acquiring SBTech

Daily fantasy sports major, DraftKings, has announced that it will be acquiring sports betting supplier SBTech through a special acquisition company, Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. The move will allow DraftKings to go public without having to follow the typical IPO process.

DraftKings
DraftKings

Read the complete report here.

 

Cambodia to Ban Online Gambling by January 1, 2020

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has confirmed that all kinds of online gambling will be banned in the country by January 1, 2020. The move comes in the wake of increasing pressure from China to do so.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen

Read the complete report here.

Michigan Becomes 6th U.S State to Approve Online Poker

Michigan has become the sixth state in the U.S to legalize online poker after Governor Gretchen Whitmer`s signatory approval to House Bill 4311 last week.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Read the complete report here.

 

Nipun Java Finishes 2nd In the WSOPC Harrah’s Las Vegas Main Event

The 2019 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) headed to Harrah’s in Las Vegas on December 11. The showstopper $1,700 Main Event at the halt brought with it a big sweat for Kolkata born two-time WSOP bracelet winner Nipun Java, who missed out on his second WSOPC ring to Anthony Spinella. Java finished runner-up for $118,764 (~₹84.51 Lakhs), while Spinella collected the winner’s paycheck worth $192,199 and his first WSOPC gold ring.

WSOP bracelet winner Nipun Java
WSOP bracelet winner Nipun Java

Read the complete report here.

Meanwhile, WSOP bracelet winner Brett Apter topped a field of 86 entries to win the $2,200 NLHM High Roller title for $52,084.

WSOP bracelet winner Brett Apter
WSOP bracelet winner Brett Apter

Read the complete report here.

 

Alex Foxen Wins WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic

The final stop of WPT Season XVIII concluded last week, and the headline event at the series, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic (WPC) $10,400 Main Event logged in a record-shattering 1,035 entries.

Taking top honors at the event was Alex Foxen, who went one place better than his runner-up finish in this very event in 2017. Foxen won the title outright for $1,694,995, the WPT Trophy, a seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions. He sits at the cusp of creating history by becoming the first two-time GPI Player of the Year (PoY) and that too in successive years.

Alex Foxen
Alex Foxen

Read the complete report here.

 

Michael Rocco Wins Wynn Winter Classic Championship

30-year-old Michael Rocco came out on top in the inaugural Wynn Winter Classic $5,300 Championship Event after beating out Michael Dyer heads-up to win a career-best $540,800.

Michael Rocco
Michael Rocco

Read the complete report here.

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

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