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In the PokerGuru feature ‘This Week in Poker’ we bring you the weekly roundup of the biggest 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
It has been a milestone week for Indian poker! This past week saw the ‘biggest poker festival’ – 50th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) – come to an end with the $10,000 Main Event crowing a first-time champion in Hossein Ensan. While it was a momentous occasion as the German pro became only the third player in history to win $10 Million in the prestigious WSOP Main Event, it wasn’t the most exciting news for the Indian poker audience.
July 15 will forever remain a landmark day for Indian poker as on that day Young Gun Abhinav Iyer became the first Indian to claim the elusive solo WSOP gold bracelet by taking down The Closer. In 2018, Paawan Bansal had come close to achieving the goal, finishing runner-up for $378,765 (~₹2.60 Crores). Iyer charged into the final table as the chip leader and held on to his advantage till the very end. He ultimately defeated Sammy Lafleur heads-up to clinch the title, along with a personal-best score of $565,346 (~₹3.87 Crores).
While Iyer accomplished the dream of winning the bracelet, Kunal Punjwani fell short of realizing the feat, after suffering a brutal beat that resulted in his promising final table run in the $1.5K NLHE Double Stack coming to an untimely end in seventh place for $74,401 (~₹51 Lakhs).
PokerGuru Ambassador Kartik Ved has been in sublime form throughout the series. He proved to the poker fraternity that he as good a player on the lives felts as he is online by making back-to-back deep runs in the Main Event. Last year – that happened to be Ved`s first time at the WSOP – he was one of three Indian challengers, the other two being Nishant Sharma and Vivek Rughani, who made it through to Day 5 in the Main Event. Ved’s run had ended in 128th place for $57,010 (~₹39.20 Lakhs). This year not only did he make it to Day 6, but he also surpassed his previous best score at the event, finishing 51st for $173,015 (~₹1.18 Crores).
Las Vegas wasn’t the only poker destination where Indians were seen dominating the felts. Back in Asia, the sixth edition of Asian Poker Tour (APT) Vietnam that kicked off on July 3 wound down after a 12-day run on July 14. Team India was consistent in its performance and headlining the 14 scores posted by Indians was Manish Lakhotia, who after taking down the NLHE Single-Day 1 last week, added two more final table finishes to his tally to take home a cumulative ₹10.44 Lakhs in winnings. PokerGuru Ambassador Ashish Munot and Manoj Pentakota were the other top Indian scorers.
Terry Nguyen won the APT Player of the Series honor while China’s Zhou Jiaping and New Zealand’s Oliver Helm took down the flagship VND 8 Billion GTD Main Event and the VND 6 Billion GTD Championships Event respectively.
Moving over to the virtual felts we saw Chandan ‘darkfish’ Arora outlasting a packed field of 530 entries (323 unique and 207 re-entries) in PokerBaazi’s Baazi Super Sunday (BSS) SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD, for ₹5.14 Lakhs in first-place prize money. PokerGuru Ambassadors Ratul ‘luna’ Steves was another prominent winner who championed PokerBaazi’s BSS Megastack ₹5 Lakhs GTD, pocketing ₹1.20 Lakhs for his victory.
Popular online poker site, Poker Dangal, had recently hosted a cash-game centric promotion, Dangal Summer Fest. Saurabh ‘Newkidintown’ Arora topped the promotion by collecting 175,000 points playing high stakes cash games. He forfeited the grand prize of a Jeep Compass instead opting to take ₹15.75 Lakhs instead.
Now that the WSOP and APT Vietnam have both wrapped up proceedings, poker fans still have a lot to look forward to with the DPT July edition coming up from July 31 to August 5 onboard Casino Deltin Royale in Goa.
Online Railbird Report
Headlining the wins on the virtual felts this Sunday was Chandan ‘darkfish’ Arora who bested a field of 530 entries (323 unique and 207 re-entries) in the BSS SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD and defeated Ankit ‘d00mtr00p3r’ Wadhawan heads-up to earn a paycheque of ₹5.14 Lakhs.
Other notable scores of the week include –
Vikas ‘slecker’ Kumar won ₹3.73 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Summit ₹10 Lakhs GTD’
‘masteroffelts’ won ₹2.91 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Special – Progressive KO ₹15 Lakhs GTD’
Sahil ‘ImHighishove’ Mahboobani won ₹2.20 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Vegas ₹10 Lakhs GTD (RE)’
Ratul ‘luna’ Steves won ₹1.20 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS Megastack ₹5 Lakhs GTD’
‘nakbsw’ who took down the Twister ₹2 Lakhs GTD Deepstack NLHE for ₹80,000.
Vinay ‘vinay09’ Rajpal won ₹59,997 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS PLO ₹2 Lakhs GTD (Half RE)’)
‘Sachin1055’ won ₹43,000 for 1st place in the Khelo365 ‘Mega Splash ₹1 Lakh GTD NLHE’
‘roha12344’ won ₹40,580 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’
‘zravasya’ won ₹40,000 for 1st place in the Khelo365 ‘Big Bang ₹1 Lakh GTD NLHE’
Ram ‘TheLagLawyer’ Kakkar won ₹32,524 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Warm-Up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’
‘yashos13’ won ₹24,270 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Supersonic ₹1 Lakh GTD’
‘firehawk729’ won ₹18,480 for 1st place in the Khelo365 ‘Deep Stack ₹40K GTD NLHE’
Sagar ‘sag245’ Harwani won ₹18,100 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘Sunday ₹1 Lakh GTD (RE)’
‘headsupguy2323’ won ₹15,257 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Storm ₹1 Lakh GTD’
Read the complete story here
Saurabh Arora Wins ₹15.75 Lakhs At Poker Dangal’s Dangal Summer Fest
Online poker site, Poker Dangal recently hosted a two-month-long cash-game centric promotion, Dangal Summer Fest. Topping the promotion was Saurabh ‘Newkidintown’ Arora who accumulated 175,000 points playing high stakes cash games. While a new Jeep Compass was up for grabs for the winner, Arora opted to take the ₹15.75 Lakhs cash equivalent instead.
Read the complete story here
The 50th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) closed out its record-breaking run on July 16. Running from May 29, the year’s biggest poker festival lived up to the hype and excitement that surrounded the 50th annual series. But as they say, the best is always saved for the last, and this phrase turned true for Team India as after numerous close finishes it was Young Gun Abhinav Iyer who captured the coveted solo gold bracelet on the penultimate day of the series. Bettering Paawan Bansal‘s runner-up finish in The Closer from last year, Iyer trailblazed through the final day, coming out on top with a personal-best score of $565,346 (~₹3.87 Crores). This is also the highest score by an Indian at any poker tournament in recent history!
Read the complete story here
Team India could have won two back-to-back solo gold bracelets this past week. Kunal Punjwani had entered the $1.5K NLHE Double Stack with the fourth-largest stack on the final day and was in the groove to run deep, sadly, an unfortunate brutal beat at the hands of Philip Scaletta ended his promising run in seventh place for $74,401 (~₹51 Lakhs). Kalyan Chakravarthy also final tabled the event, finishing eighth for $56,850 (~₹39 Lakhs).
Read the complete story here
Bringing this record-breaking series to a close was the $10K Main Event. The marquee event crowned a first-time champion in Germany’s Hossein Ensan who became only the third player in WSOP history to collect a payday of $10 Million or more at the Main Event. PokerGuru Ambassador Kartik Ved was the only Indian challenger who had advanced to Day 6 of the Main Event and ultimately placed 51st for a career-best score of $173,015 (~₹1.18 Crores).
Read the complete story here
A total of 29 Indian cashes were posted this past week.
Team India Scores (Bracelet Events – Last Week)
|Event #84: The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em||Abhinav Iyer||1st||$565,346 - ₹3.87 Crores|
|Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship||Kartik Ved||51st||$173,015 - ₹1.18 Crores|
|Event #82: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack||Kunal Punjwani||7th||$74,401 - ₹51 Lakhs|
|Event #82: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack||Kalyan Chakravarthy||8th||$56,850 - ₹39 Lakhs|
|Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship||Yudhishter Jaswal||261st||$43,935 - ₹30.03 Lakhs|
|Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship||Akshay Nasa||307th||$38,240 - ₹26.14 Lakhs|
|Event #82: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack||Goonjan Mall||19th||$17,063 - ₹11.69 Lakhs|
|Event #89: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em||Yasheel Doddanavar||54th||$10,382 - ₹7.14 Lakhs|
|Event #85: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed||Vikram Kumar||50th||$6,392 - ₹4.38 Lakhs|
|Event #84: The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em||Siddharth Mundada||73rd||$5,956 - ₹4.08 Lakhs|
|Event #75: $1000 +$111 Little One for One Drop||Rahul Byrraju||95th||$5,263 - ₹3.59 Lakhs|
|Event #75: $1000 +$111 Little One for One Drop||Vivek Rughani||139th||$4,521 - ₹3.09 Lakhs|
|Event #75: $1000 +$111 Little One for One Drop||Ashish Ahuja||153rd||$4,521 - ₹3.09 Lakhs|
|Event #84: The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em||Kalyan Chakravarthy||98th||$4,401 - ₹3.01 Lakhs|
|Event #75: $1000 +$111 Little One for One Drop||Madhav Gupta||217th||$3,916 - ₹2.67 Lakhs|
|Event #82: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack||Himmat Singh||120th||$3,654 - ₹2.50 Lakhs|
|Event #81: $1,500 50th Annual Bracelet Winners Only No-Limit Hold'em||Nikita Luther||13th||$3,584 - ₹2.45 Lakhs|
|Event #84: The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em||Himmat Singh||176th||$3,500 - ₹2.39 Lakhs|
|Event #84: The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em||Shashank Jain||189th||$3,500 - ₹2.39 Lakhs|
|Event #75: $1000 +$111 Little One for One Drop||Aditya Systla||313th||$3,014 - ₹2.06 Lakhs|
|Event #75: $1000 +$111 Little One for One Drop||Ashish Kasaraneni||320th||$3,014 - ₹2.06 Lakhs|
|Event #82: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack||Karan Radia||209th||$2,911 - ₹1.99 Lakhs|
|Event #82: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack||Sachidananda Sivakumar||253rd||$2,911 - ₹1.99 Lakhs
|Event #84: The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em||Chirag Patel||239th||$2,744 - ₹1.88 Lakhs|
|Event #75: $1000 +$111 Little One for One Drop||Sanjay Sharma||373rd||$2,678 - ₹1.83 Lakhs|
|Event #84: The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em||Nishant Sharma||275th||$2,530 - ₹1.73 Lakhs|
|Event #78: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty||Minissha Lamba||64th||$2,266 - ₹1.55 Lakhs|
|Event #78: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty||Aditya Sushant||113th||$1,551 - ₹1.06 Lakhs|
|Event #78: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty||Kunal Patni||132nd||$1,469 - ₹1.05 Lakhs|
WSOP 2019 Winners
Abhinav Iyer was not the only Indian who won a bracelet this past week. Two Indian-origin players, namely, Shankar Pillai (50th Annual Bracelet Winners Only event for $71,580) & Anuj Agarwal ($10K NLHE 6-Handed Championship for $630,747) also took home gold bracelets.
|Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - World Championship||Hossein Ensan||$10,000,000|
|Event #77: $3,000 Limit Hold'em 6-Handed||Tu Dao||$133,189|
|Event #78: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty||Maximilian Klostermeier||$177,823
|Event #79: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em||Ivan Deyra||$380,090|
|Event #80: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha||Jerry Odeen||$304,793|
|Event #81: $1,500 50th Annual Bracelet Winners Only No-Limit Hold'em||Shankar Pillai||$71,580|
|Event #82: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack||Tom Koral||$530,164|
|Event #83: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller||Keith Tilston||$2,792,406|
|Event #84: The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em||Abhinav Iyer||$565,346|
|Event #85: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed||Alan Sternberg||$448,392|
|Event #86: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Championship||Anuj Agarwal||$630,747|
|Event #87: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.||Denis Strebkov||$206,173|
|Event #88: $500 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em Summer Saver||Taylor "Galactar" Paur||$149,240|
|Event #89: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em||Carl Shaw||$606,562|
|Event #90: $50,000 Final Fifty No-Limit Hold'em||Danny Tang||$1,608,406|
Chris Moneymaker & David Oppenheim Inducted in 2019 Poker Hall of Fame
Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim were unanimously voted as the 57th and 58th inductees in the Poker Hall of Fame (PHoF). The duo was voted upon by the 30 living PHoF members, along with a 21-person media panel in a line-up of 10 nominees.
Read the complete story here
APT Vietnam 2019
The sixth edition of Asian Poker Tour (APT) in Vietnam ran from July 3-14 at the Pro Poker Club in Vietnam’s Ho Chih Minh City.
While the majority of the poker community in Las Vegas, only a small group of Indians traveled to Vietnam. Like their counterparts present at the WSOP, the boys in Vietnam didn`t disappoint either and put up 14 scores on the board.
Manish Lakhotia was the standout performer from the Indian camp with three final table finishing which included the title of the NLHE Single-Day 1 that he won for VND 143,900,000 (~₹4.24 Lakhs). Lakhotia collected a cumulative ₹10.44 Lakhs at the stop. With 707 APT points, he placed 10th on the APT Player of the Series Leaderboard.
PokerGuru Ambassador Ashish Munot (Championships Event – 6th for ₹9.48 Lakhs) and Manoj Pentakota (Main Event – 12th for 4.03 Lakhs) were among the other top scorers at the stop.
Team India Cashes at APT Vietnam
|Ashish Munot||VND 6B GTD Championships Event||6th||VND 319,830,000 - ₹9.48 Lakhs|
|Manish Lakhotia||NLHE Single-Day||1st||VND 166,510,000 - ₹4.89 Lakhs|
|Manish Lakhotia||Monster Stack #2||3rd||VND 143,900,000 - ₹4.24 Lakhs|
|Manoj Pentakota||VND 8 Billion GTD Main Event||12th||VND 136,860,000 - ₹4.05 Lakhs|
|Gaurav Sood||VND 9.9M PLO Hi||2nd||VND 110,000,000 - ₹3.24 Lakhs|
|Laksh Pal Singh||VND 6B GTD Championships Event||16th||VND 83,160,000 - ₹2.45 Lakhs|
|Rubin Labroo||VND 8 Billion GTD Main Event||37th||VND 45,840,000 - ₹1.35 Lakhs|
|Manish Lakhotia||Short Deck||4th||VND 44,600,000 - ₹1.31 Lakhs|
|Maulik Shukla||VND 9.9M NLHE #2||5th||VND 35,860,000 - ₹1.05 Lakhs|
|Deep Raina||VND 9.9M PLO Hi||5th||VND 35,200,000 - ₹1.03 Lakhs|
|Deep Raina||VND 6.6M WeLoveSport Deep Stack Turbo||5th||VND 22,580,000 - ₹66,621|
|Maulik Shukla||VND 5.5M Deep Stack Hyper Turbo #1||5th||VND 15,680,000 - ₹46,262|
|Sumit Sapra||Dafabet Head Hunter VND 2M Bounty||14th||VND 11,110,000 - ₹32,645|
|Rubin Labroo||VND 11M Monster Stack #1||3rd||VND 11,000,000 - ₹32,442|
China’s Zhou Jiaping took down the Main Event, and New Zealand’s Oliver Helm shipped the Championships Event.
Nguyen Tien Thanh aka Terry Nguyen won the APT Player of the Series title for topping the APT POS Leaderboard with 1,170 points.
APT Vietnam Winners
|VND 8 Billion GTD Main Event||Zhou Ziaping||VND 1,892,170,000|
|VND 6 Billion GTD Championships Event||Oliver Helm||VND 1,218,670,000|
|VND 11 Million Monster Stack #1||Eunho Kwon||VND 308,120,000|
|VND 54 Million High Rollers #1||Hong Kong Nguyen||VND 27,900,000|
|VND 9.9 Million Dafabet Head Hunter 2M Bounty||Vu Minh Tri||VND 153,540,000|
|VND 7.7 Million PLO Hi Single Day||Linh Duong||VND 83,900,000|
|VND 6.6 Million Deep Stack Turbo #1||Christopher Mateo||VND 132,210,000|
|VND 8.8 Million NLH Single Day #1||Manish Lakhotia||VND 166,510,000|
|VND 43 Million High Rollers Single Day 2||Hiroshi Nishiyama||VND 501,940,000|
|VND 9.9 Million NLHE #1||Dohyeon Yun||VND 196,810,000|
|VND 43 Million High Rollers Single Day #1||Nguyen Manh Hung||VND 455,470,000|
|VND 107.5 Million Super High Rollers||Jun Woo Oh||VND 886,520,000|
|VND 8.8 Million Short Deck||Lee Seok Young||VND 133,250,000|
|VND 9.9 Million PLO||Hiruma Shinnosuke||VND 124,320,000|
|VND 8.8 Million NLH Single Day Event #2||Cao Ngoc Anh||VND 176,280,000|
|VND 7.7 Million Queen Cards Super Deep Stack Turbo||Quang Nguyen||VND 137,340,000|
|VND 5.5 Million Deep Stack Hyper Turbo #1||Francis John Miller||VND 70,010,000|
|VND 9.9 Million NLHE #2||Ng Cheunk Fan||VND 134,845,000|
|High Rollers Single Day #3||Hong Kong Nguyen||VND 194,000,000|
|VND 6.6 Million WeLoveSport.com Deep Stack Turbo||Richard Marquez||VND 90,180,000|
|VND 11 Million Monster Stack #2||Christopher Mateo||VND 310,490,000|
|VND 6.6 Million Deep Stack Turbo #2||Kin Yuk Yuen||VND 90,180,000|
|VND 5.5 Deep Stack Hyper Turbo #2||Tobias Napel||VND 78,950,000|
|High Rollers Single Day #4||Terry Nguyen||VND 357,715,830|
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.