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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 circuit.
Here are this week’s top stories!
We have now entered the final month of the year, and with the pandemic still raging on, the online action continues to grab headlines, at least for the poker industry. For the first time in a while, there were no eight-figure (₹1 Crore GTD) guaranteed tournaments gracing the weekend schedule. Still, the regular weekly flagships running across the major networks kept players sufficiently busy.
There is a surprise addition at the top of last week`s charts in the relatively lesser-known Anand Babu Pallikona. Pallikona hit the motherload on Sunday after taking down Spartan Poker’s Sunday Superstack for ₹6.89 Lakhs and added another ₹3.88 Lakhs to his tally after shipping Tuesday’s Mega Stack. With a cumulative ₹10.77 Lakhs in recorded earnings, Pallikona reigned in the “PokerGuru Star of the Week” title!
This past week turned out to be a fantastic one for Team PokerGuru, with several of our ambassadors winning flagship titles while numerous others posted deep runs. PokerGuru Ambassador Ashutosh Balodhi netted the week`s single biggest score, pocketing ₹9.22 Lakhs after winning PokerStars India’s DIWALI RUSH-51 Main Event. At the same time, Balodhi’s teammates at PokerGuru Staking, Ratul Steves (Adda52’s Ballers), Ankit Wadhawan (Adda52’s Big Slick and Spartan Poker’s TGIF), Ashish Munot (PokerStars India’s Diwali Rush-45 Eliminator), Vivek Singh (PokerBaazi’s BSS MegaStack) and Ashish Ahuja (PokerStars India’s Battle Royale) added more titles to the team`s tally.
Manish Lakhotia, Ujjwal Narwal, Guneet Kwatra, Young Gun Anuj Yadav, Kamal Naruka, and Kunal Patni were the other top winners this past week.
This past week also brought a close to PokerStars India’s “Star of the Month” – November leaderboard race with the Week #4 leaderboard finding the final set of 25 qualifiers for the November Finale. Young Gun Neel Joshi topped the Week #4 standings, and all 100 qualifiers from the month will be converging for the Final that starts at 9 PM tonight.
There is some high-octane action to look forward to later this month. After a guarantee-smashing Final Table Series (FTS), Spartan Poker has announced another brand-new series, The Millionaire Series! Offering ₹5.70 Crores in guaranteed prizes, the 20-tourney series will run from December 7 to 13.
While Spartan Poker’s Millionaire Series will keep the tournament players engaged, PokerStars India’s new and improved Cash Game Leaderboards should appease the cash game lovers. The promotion offers 2x (100% increase) of the players’ current payout and is open across stakes and in both NLH and PLO formats.
Fast-growing online poker network, Pocket52 has also come out with an enticing Extra30 offer that promises a 30% deposit bonus to all players.
GGPoker Network’s popular skin Natural8 has been running Hourly Freerolls starting November 28. Players can win free entry to tournaments or from a $240 daily prize pool through these free to play tourneys.
The GGPoker Network will also be hosting the WSOP Winter Online Circuit. Running from December 13 to January 10, the series will host 18 WSOP Circuit rings.
On December 1, WSOP also opened the nominations for the Poker Hall of Fame (PHoF) Class of 2020.
In other news, the Goa administration has decided to shift the offshore casinos’ offices to the Santa Monica jetty to avoid traffic on the arterial road outside the casino pickup point.
Online Railbird Report
With the WPT Online India and the FTS in the books, online action was back to its usual weekly schedule across the top four sites, with PokerStars India’s Diwali Rush offering additional excitement.
Anand Babu Pallikona was the star performer of the week. A relatively low-key player, Pallikona earned his day under the spotlight when he outlasted a 715-entry field in Spartan Poker`s ₹35 Lakhs GTD Sunday Superstack to win ₹6.89 Lakhs. Just two days later, Pallikona dominated another 557 contestants in the ₹20 Lakhs GTD Mega Stack on the site for ₹3.88 Lakhs. With two flagship title victories in three days, Pallikona tops the weekly charts with ₹10.77 Lakhs in cumulative earnings, enough to make him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week!!”
Close on Pallikona`s coattails were PokerGuru Ambassador Ratul Steves and Manish Lakhotia.
Steves won the Ballers on Adda52 for ₹5.85 Lakhs and placed third in the Sunday Superstack for ₹3.11 Lakhs. Along with two more FT finishes, he raked in almost ₹10.75 Lakhs this past week.
Lakhotia was just as consistent and earned ₹10.56 Lakhs over a title win and five other FT scores. His biggest haul was the ₹6.62 Lakhs he won in the ₹25 Lakhs GTD Godfather. He also placed third in the ₹12.5 Lakhs GTD Big Slick for ₹1.28 Lakhs and collected another ₹93,221 from his runner-up finish in the ₹7 Lakhs GTD The Race last night.
Young Gun Ujjwal Narwal was another player in spectacular form. The MTT specialist won PokerBaazi’s Thursday flagship, the ₹15 Lakhs GTD The Summit, for ₹3.69 Lakhs. He went on to final table five tourneys on Sunday, including the PokerStars India’s Diwali Rush-51 Main Event (4th for ₹2.22 Lakhs) and the Diwali Rush -52 Sunday Highroller (4th for ₹1.55 Lakhs) to earn ₹9.46 Lakhs through the week.
PokerGuru Ambassador Ashutosh Balodhi walked away with the single-biggest score of the week. Balodhi stormed past 602 contenders to champion PokerStars India’s ₹50 Lakhs GTD Diwali Rush- 51 Main Event on Sunday. Posting his second-best overall performance, Balodhi pocketed the top prize of ₹9.22 Lakhs (₹5,07,492 in prize money and ₹4,14,531 in bounties).
Guneet Kwatra championed the Diwali Rush- 52 Sunday Highroller for ₹3.83 Lakhs while placing runner-up in the Sunday Superstack for ₹4.34 Lakhs, adding ₹8.50 Lakhs to his bankroll.
PokerGuru Ambassador Ashish Ahuja added over ₹7.24 Lakhs to his tally this past week. He won the ₹5 Lakhs GTD Battle Royale for ₹1.08 Lakhs and ran deep in four other tourneys that included a third-place finish in the ₹35 Lakhs GTD The Elite for ₹3.60 Lakhs.
Young Gun Anuj ‘tittooTauji’ Yadav (The Elite ₹35 Lakhs GTD for ₹7.59 Lakhs), ‘Paperboi’ (Destiny ₹27 Lakhs GTD for ₹7.02 Lakhs) and Kamal ‘ksn123’ Naruka (Adda52 Millions ₹25 Lakhs GTD for ₹6.68 Lakhs) were the other prominent winners.
The notable winners of the week include –
|Player||Prize Money||Event||Poker Site|
|Ashutosh 'Msnugget' Balodhi||₹9.22 Lakhs||DIWALI RUSH-51 Main Event ₹50 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Anuj ‘tittooTauji’ Yadav||₹7.59 Lakhs||The Elite ₹35 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Paperboi||₹7.02 Lakhs||Destiny ₹27 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Anand Babu 'OrangeZuce' Pallikona||₹6.89 Lakhs||Sunday Superstack ₹35 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Kamal ‘ksn123’ Naruka||₹6.68 Lakhs||Adda52 Millions ₹25 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Manish 'newkidpoker' Lakhotia||₹6.62 Lakhs||Godfather ₹25 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Kunal ‘iAlwaysHaveit’ Patni||₹5.89 Lakhs||Diwali Rush – 38 Super Highroller ₹30 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Ratul 'riverking021' Steves||₹5.85 Lakhs||Ballers ₹22.5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Shashank 'Iverson003' Shekhar||₹4.20 Lakhs||The Weekly Highroller ₹20 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Sagar ‘sagarpupul’ Choudhury||₹4.20 Lakhs||BSS SuperStack ₹20 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Rajeev ‘onlywinner007’ Atal||₹3.89 Lakhs||Ultron ₹20 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Anand ‘OrangeZuce’ Babu Pallikona||₹3.88 Lakhs||Mega Stack ₹20 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Guneet 'GSK1515' Kwatra||₹3.83 Lakhs||DIWALI RUSH-52 Sunday Highroller SE ₹18 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Aditya ‘a_sushant’ Sushant||₹3.75 Lakhs||Maverick ₹15 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Ujjwal 'Mr_Robot' Narwal||₹3.69 Lakhs||The Summit ₹15 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Reg_Slayer||₹3.38 Lakhs||The Mint ₹15 Lakhs GTD 8-Max||Adda52|
|Vinay ‘Vinstill’ B||₹2.59 Lakhs||The Endeavour ₹12 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Siddharth 'skaria1' Karia||₹2.57 Lakhs||Inception ₹10 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Paperboi||₹2.44 Lakhs||Titan Stack ₹12 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Ankit ‘d00mtr00p3r’ Wadhawan||₹2.39 Lakhs||Big Slick ₹12.50 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Anurag ‘TheDarkKnightReturns’ Srivastava||₹2.33 Lakhs||ReCharge ₹12 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Ashish ‘chipcharity999’ Munot||₹2.22 Lakhs||Diwali Rush-31 Uppercut SE ₹12 lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Varun ‘alreadywinner’ Nagpal||₹2.21 Lakhs||The Pride ₹10 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Saurav ‘sultan1999’ Dewani||₹2.10 Lakhs||The Crest ₹10 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Samay Singh ‘Sammybigstac’ Modi||₹2.10 Lakhs||The Bout ₹10 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Unleashed2519||₹1.92 Lakhs||Diwali Rush-45 [Eliminator] ₹10 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|loosecannon||₹1.88 Lakhs||Money Heist ₹8.50 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Vinay ‘ContemporisT’ B||₹1.83 Lakhs||Hijack Huskies ₹7.5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Ankit 'Shippament' Wadhawan||₹1.66 Lakhs||TGIF ₹10 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|varunkandaswami||₹1.65 Lakhs||DIWALI RUSH-24 Night on Stars SE ₹10 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|lastmountain||₹1.46 Lakhs||Monster Stack ₹7.5 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Akshat 'akshat03' Sharma||₹1.46 Lakhs||Running Hot ₹5.5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Kingsb30||₹1.46 Lakhs||The Race ₹7 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Devrat 'vickypune' Singh||₹1.36 Lakhs||Table For 6 ₹4 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|AnonymousZ1||₹1.25 Lakhs||Monster Turbo ₹5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|sarthak2222||₹1.24 Lakhs||BSS Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Raghav ‘Raghavv’ Siddalinga||₹1.21 Lakhs||Hurricane ₹4.5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Vivek ‘Nutpeddling729’ Singh||₹1.21 Lakhs||BSS MegaStack ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Siddharth ‘Gabandheer’ Pandey||₹1.19 Lakhs||La Luna ₹4 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Akshat ‘takingcuntrol’ Sharma||₹1.15 Lakhs||Diwali Rush-40 Battle Royale ₹6 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|bhavin1234||₹1.14 Lakhs||DIWALI RUSH-26 Big Bubble Rush ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Myron ‘khAAbib’ Pereira||₹1.09 Lakhs||Uppercut Mini ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Ashish ‘Spewushhhiiiii’ Ahuja||₹1.08 Lakhs||Battle Royale ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|rakshajindal||₹1.07 Lakhs||Thursday 6-Max DeepStack ₹4 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|vysh4987||₹1.04 Lakhs||House Party ₹4 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Glv||₹92,150||The Flash ₹5.50 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Arjun 'beatthefish66' Arora||₹91,840||Hexagram ₹3 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Aayush ‘aayusharya’ Arya||₹90,720||Hexagram ₹3 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Dynamand||₹86,000||Twister ₹2 Lakhs GTD||Khelo365|
|ForeverBhalu||₹70,750||Wednesday MegaStack ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Rohit ‘mrblue1205’ Malhotra||₹70,380||Tuesday Turbo ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Lara4u||₹69,909||DIWALI RUSH-50 Final Warm-up ₹3 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Sandeep 'SandeeSingh' Singh||₹67,207||Monster Stack ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Abhishek ‘nbc345’ Rathod||₹65,864||Mega Freeze ₹2.75 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|smokebutt15||₹64,786||Sixth Sense ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Yash ‘paranoid’ Dutt||₹53,600||Saturday 6-Max SuperStack ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|silentkid||₹53,600||Monday MonsterStack ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|sanjbat||₹53,544||Diwali Rush- 34 Ultrasonic 2 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|ingloriousbasterds||₹50,320||Ultimate PLO ₹2 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Amit ‘a.kihsuak’ Kaushik||₹44,804||Monster Stack ₹2.50 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Kapil 'racemonk' Arora||₹43,021||DIWALI RUSH-54 Ultrasonic ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|JonGregor||₹43,000||Mega Spalsh ₹1 Lakh GTD||Khelo365|
|Deepanjan ‘Aphula’ Das||₹42,161||Diwali Rush-48 [Ultrasonic] ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Acejpoker||₹42,000||Ragnarok ₹2 Lakhs GTD||Pocket52|
|CaptainJ13||₹41,600||BigBang ₹1 Lakhs GTD NLHE||Khelo365|
|khelosab||₹40,939||Diwali Rush-41 Ultrasonic ₹1.75 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|rakshajindal||₹40,000||6-Max MegaStack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerBaazi|
|mohitbhatia||₹38,382||Night Rider - Monster Stack 2.45 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Amit 'Stu Ungar 7694' Kaushik||₹38,328||DIWALI RUSH-27 Deep Hyper ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Seiborg09||₹37,971||Night Rider - DeepStack Turbo ₹2.20 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|MADPOKER2192||₹37,460||PBBS#34 Main Event Day 2 ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Navajith ‘navajith’ Mohanan||₹35,706||Diwali Rush-41 Bigstack Turbo ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|7heart45||₹34,586||Ultrasonic ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Shivam 'brooskyradio1' Shukla||₹32,154||DIWALI RUSH-53 Storm ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|J0ker_8008||₹31,968||Deepstack ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|vasubansal1||₹30,059||DIWALI RUSH-55 Last Chance Supersonic ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|aakash9031||₹30,000||PLO Boost Monster ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerBaazi|
|mister||₹28,800||Warrior Arena ₹1.2 Lakhs GTD||PokerDangal|
|Mohak ‘Tiltin’ Kapoor||₹28,150||6-Max Holdem BOOST DST ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerBaazi|
|JunPunTun||₹26,460||Dangal Friday ₹1.2 Lakhs GTD||PokerDangal|
|Aqsa12||₹26,398||Diwali rush -35 supersonic ₹1.5 lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|irr786||₹25,260||Diwali Rush – 37 ₹1 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|jaypy||₹24,000||Battlefield Tuesday ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerDangal|
|Aniruddha ‘Pocketaces_’ Joshi||₹23,000||Hercules ₹1 Lakh GTD||Pocket52|
|anwar210694||₹22,890||Bigstack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerStars India|
|Kidpoker29||₹22,792||Hercules ₹1 Lakh GTD||Pocket52|
|vasubansal15||₹21,848||Afternoon on Stars ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerStars India|
|ws125||₹20,160||Wednesday PLO ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerDangal|
|manish jangid||₹18,696||Diwali Rush-39 ₹1.25 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|AAkKKs||₹18,000||Dominator ₹50K GTD NLHE||Khelo365|
|Pawan76||₹17,500||6 Feet Under ₹25K GTD||Khelo365|
|Madhai ‘Jesus’ Ghosh||₹17,250||Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTD||Pocket52|
|Nutsgood||₹16,500||Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTD||Pocket52|
|Salazar||₹16,500||Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTD||Pocket52|
|Xyz007||₹16,500||Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTD||Pocket52|
|madhav31||₹15,750||Monday Blues ₹75K GTD||PokerDangal|
|kd69||₹12,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|Hriday ‘MARRII’ Mondal||₹12,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|starboy00||₹12,250||Weekend Fun ₹50K GTD||PokerDangal|
|Rakhi123||₹12,000||Prime Time PLO ₹30K GTD||Khelo365|
|Pawan76||₹12,000||Nitro PLO ₹30K GTD||Khelo365|
|SUBHAM8||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|DNZR||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|YSoSerious||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|Hriday ‘MARRII’ Mondal||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|kd69||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|AAsKKs||₹11,340||Rivered ₹30K GTD PLO||Khelo365|
|maklas||₹10,120||Who R U? ₹15K GTD||Khelo365|
|Chancetaker||₹9,600||Point Blank ₹15K GTD||Khelo365|
|acedealer||₹8,000||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|JackSparrow||₹8,000||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD NLHE||Khelo365|
|JackSparrow||₹7,200||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|kumaraniket||₹6,825||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|JonGregor||₹6,560||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|kds007||₹6,250||Depositors Freeroll ₹25K GTD||PokerDangal|
|Bijonmajumder||₹1,850||Weekly Freeroll 10K GTD||PokerDangal|
Neel Joshi Tops the Final 25 Qualifiers For November Finale
Neel Joshi topped the final 25 qualifiers for PokerStars India’s “Star of the Month” – November leaderboard race. The 100 qualifiers will be converging for the November Finale today from 9 PM onwards.
Read the complete report here
Spartan Poker Announces ‘The Millionaire Series’ From December 7-13, ₹5.70 Crores in Prize Pool GTDs
Hot on the heels of its massively successful Final Table Series (FTS), Spartan Poker has announced an entire series dedicated to its flagship The Millionaire. The Millionaire Series will run from December 7 to 13 and feature 20 tourneys promising a whopping ₹5.70 Crores in prize pool guarantees.
Read the complete report here
PokerStars India Rolls Out Cash Game Leaderboards
PokerStars India has come out with an enticing promotion for cash game players – its new and improved Cash Game Leaderboards offering 2x (100% increase) of the players’ current payout. The month-long promotion is open across stakes and in both NLH and PLO formats. It went live on November 30 and will run until December 27.
Read the complete report here
Pocket52’s Announces Extra30 for 30% Extra Game Bonus, Revamps Loyalty Program With Pocket Vault 2.0
Pocket52 has rolled out a juicy “Extra30” promotion offering a 30% deposit bonus to all new and existing players. What`s better, players can avail the offer multiple times.
The poker network has also revamped its loyalty program to Pocket Vault 2.0, offering a whole new set of bigger and better prizes.
Read the complete report here
Natural 8 Launches Hourly Freerolls
Natural8, a popular skin on the GGPoker Network, has launched brand-new Hourly Freerolls promotions starting November 28 onwards. Players can win free entry to tournaments or from a $240 daily prize pool through these free to enter tourneys.
Read the complete report here
WSOP Winter Online Circuit to Award $100M in Prize Pools
There is a jaw-dropping $100 Million guaranteed in the WSOP Winter Online Circuit series that will be taking center stage at the GGPoker Network from December 13 to January 10. There will be 18 WSOP Circuit rings awarded at the series!
Read the complete report here
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.