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This Week in Poker: November 25 – December 1

TWIP - Ratul Steves, Manish Lakhotia, Ujjwal Narwal, Ashutosh Balodhi and Guneet Kwatra
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  • Namita Ghosh December 2, 2020
  • 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 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!!”

Anand Babu Pallikona


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.

Ratul Steves


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.

Manish Lakhotia


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.

Ujjwal Narwal


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).

Ashutosh Balodhi


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.

Guneet Kwatra


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.

Ashish Ahuja


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 –

PlayerPrize MoneyEventPoker Site
Ashutosh 'Msnugget' Balodhi₹9.22 LakhsDIWALI RUSH-51 Main Event ₹50 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Anuj ‘tittooTauji’ Yadav₹7.59 LakhsThe Elite ₹35 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Paperboi₹7.02 LakhsDestiny ₹27 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Anand Babu 'OrangeZuce' Pallikona₹6.89 LakhsSunday Superstack ₹35 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Kamal ‘ksn123’ Naruka₹6.68 LakhsAdda52 Millions ₹25 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Manish 'newkidpoker' Lakhotia₹6.62 LakhsGodfather ₹25 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Kunal ‘iAlwaysHaveit’ Patni₹5.89 LakhsDiwali Rush – 38 Super Highroller ₹30 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Ratul 'riverking021' Steves₹5.85 LakhsBallers ₹22.5 Lakhs GTD Adda52
Shashank 'Iverson003' Shekhar₹4.20 LakhsThe Weekly Highroller ₹20 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Sagar ‘sagarpupul’ Choudhury₹4.20 LakhsBSS SuperStack ₹20 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Rajeev ‘onlywinner007’ Atal₹3.89 LakhsUltron ₹20 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Anand ‘OrangeZuce’ Babu Pallikona₹3.88 LakhsMega Stack ₹20 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Guneet 'GSK1515' Kwatra₹3.83 LakhsDIWALI RUSH-52 Sunday Highroller SE ₹18 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Aditya ‘a_sushant’ Sushant₹3.75 LakhsMaverick ₹15 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Ujjwal 'Mr_Robot' Narwal₹3.69 LakhsThe Summit ₹15 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Reg_Slayer₹3.38 LakhsThe Mint ₹15 Lakhs GTD 8-MaxAdda52
Vinay ‘Vinstill’ B₹2.59 LakhsThe Endeavour ₹12 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Siddharth 'skaria1' Karia₹2.57 LakhsInception ₹10 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Paperboi₹2.44 LakhsTitan Stack ₹12 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Ankit ‘d00mtr00p3r’ Wadhawan₹2.39 LakhsBig Slick ₹12.50 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Anurag ‘TheDarkKnightReturns’ Srivastava₹2.33 LakhsReCharge ₹12 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Ashish ‘chipcharity999’ Munot₹2.22 LakhsDiwali Rush-31 Uppercut SE ₹12 lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Varun ‘alreadywinner’ Nagpal₹2.21 LakhsThe Pride ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Saurav ‘sultan1999’ Dewani₹2.10 LakhsThe Crest ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Samay Singh ‘Sammybigstac’ Modi₹2.10 LakhsThe Bout ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Unleashed2519₹1.92 LakhsDiwali Rush-45 [Eliminator] ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
loosecannon₹1.88 LakhsMoney Heist ₹8.50 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Vinay ‘ContemporisT’ B₹1.83 LakhsHijack Huskies ₹7.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Ankit 'Shippament' Wadhawan₹1.66 LakhsTGIF ₹10 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
varunkandaswami₹1.65 LakhsDIWALI RUSH-24 Night on Stars SE ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
lastmountain₹1.46 LakhsMonster Stack ₹7.5 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Akshat 'akshat03' Sharma₹1.46 LakhsRunning Hot ₹5.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Kingsb30₹1.46 LakhsThe Race ₹7 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Devrat 'vickypune' Singh₹1.36 LakhsTable For 6 ₹4 Lakhs GTDAdda52
AnonymousZ1₹1.25 LakhsMonster Turbo ₹5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
sarthak2222₹1.24 LakhsBSS Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Raghav ‘Raghavv’ Siddalinga₹1.21 LakhsHurricane ₹4.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Vivek ‘Nutpeddling729’ Singh₹1.21 LakhsBSS MegaStack ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Siddharth ‘Gabandheer’ Pandey₹1.19 LakhsLa Luna ₹4 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Akshat ‘takingcuntrol’ Sharma₹1.15 LakhsDiwali Rush-40 Battle Royale ₹6 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
bhavin1234₹1.14 LakhsDIWALI RUSH-26 Big Bubble Rush ₹5 Lakhs GTD

PokerStars India
Myron ‘khAAbib’ Pereira₹1.09 LakhsUppercut Mini ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Ashish ‘Spewushhhiiiii’ Ahuja₹1.08 LakhsBattle Royale ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
rakshajindal₹1.07 LakhsThursday 6-Max DeepStack ₹4 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
vysh4987₹1.04 LakhsHouse Party ₹4 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Glv₹92,150The Flash ₹5.50 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Arjun 'beatthefish66' Arora₹91,840Hexagram ₹3 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Aayush ‘aayusharya’ Arya₹90,720Hexagram ₹3 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Dynamand₹86,000Twister ₹2 Lakhs GTDKhelo365
ForeverBhalu₹70,750Wednesday MegaStack ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Rohit ‘mrblue1205’ Malhotra₹70,380Tuesday Turbo ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Lara4u₹69,909DIWALI RUSH-50 Final Warm-up ₹3 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Sandeep 'SandeeSingh' Singh₹67,207Monster Stack ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD
Spartan Poker
Abhishek ‘nbc345’ Rathod₹65,864Mega Freeze ₹2.75 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
smokebutt15₹64,786Sixth Sense ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Yash ‘paranoid’ Dutt₹53,600Saturday 6-Max SuperStack ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
silentkid₹53,600Monday MonsterStack ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
sanjbat₹53,544Diwali Rush- 34 Ultrasonic 2 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
ingloriousbasterds₹50,320Ultimate PLO ₹2 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Amit ‘a.kihsuak’ Kaushik₹44,804Monster Stack ₹2.50 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Kapil 'racemonk' Arora₹43,021DIWALI RUSH-54 Ultrasonic ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
JonGregor₹43,000Mega Spalsh ₹1 Lakh GTDKhelo365
Deepanjan ‘Aphula’ Das₹42,161Diwali Rush-48 [Ultrasonic] ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Acejpoker₹42,000Ragnarok ₹2 Lakhs GTDPocket52
CaptainJ13₹41,600BigBang ₹1 Lakhs GTD NLHEKhelo365
khelosab₹40,939Diwali Rush-41 Ultrasonic ₹1.75 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
rakshajindal₹40,0006-Max MegaStack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerBaazi
mohitbhatia₹38,382Night Rider - Monster Stack 2.45 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Amit 'Stu Ungar 7694' Kaushik₹38,328DIWALI RUSH-27 Deep Hyper ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Seiborg09₹37,971Night Rider - DeepStack Turbo ₹2.20 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
MADPOKER2192₹37,460PBBS#34 Main Event Day 2 ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Navajith ‘navajith’ Mohanan₹35,706Diwali Rush-41 Bigstack Turbo ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
7heart45₹34,586Ultrasonic ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Shivam 'brooskyradio1' Shukla₹32,154DIWALI RUSH-53 Storm ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
J0ker_8008₹31,968Deepstack ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
vasubansal1₹30,059DIWALI RUSH-55 Last Chance Supersonic ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
aakash9031₹30,000PLO Boost Monster ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerBaazi
mister₹28,800Warrior Arena ₹1.2 Lakhs GTDPokerDangal
Mohak ‘Tiltin’ Kapoor₹28,1506-Max Holdem BOOST DST ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerBaazi
JunPunTun₹26,460Dangal Friday ₹1.2 Lakhs GTDPokerDangal
Aqsa12₹26,398Diwali rush -35 supersonic ₹1.5 lakhs GTDPokerStars India
irr786₹25,260Diwali Rush – 37 ₹1 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
jaypy₹24,000Battlefield Tuesday ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerDangal
Aniruddha ‘Pocketaces_’ Joshi₹23,000Hercules ₹1 Lakh GTDPocket52
anwar210694₹22,890Bigstack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerStars India
Kidpoker29₹22,792Hercules ₹1 Lakh GTDPocket52
vasubansal15₹21,848Afternoon on Stars ₹1 Lakh GTD

PokerStars India
ws125₹20,160Wednesday PLO ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerDangal
manish jangid₹18,696Diwali Rush-39 ₹1.25 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
AAkKKs₹18,000Dominator ₹50K GTD NLHEKhelo365
Pawan76₹17,5006 Feet Under ₹25K GTDKhelo365
Madhai ‘Jesus’ Ghosh₹17,250Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTDPocket52
Nutsgood₹16,500Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTDPocket52
Salazar₹16,500Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTDPocket52
Xyz007₹16,500Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTDPocket52
madhav31₹15,750Monday Blues ₹75K GTDPokerDangal
kd69₹12,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
Hriday ‘MARRII’ Mondal₹12,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
starboy00₹12,250Weekend Fun ₹50K GTDPokerDangal
Rakhi123₹12,000Prime Time PLO ₹30K GTDKhelo365
Pawan76₹12,000Nitro PLO ₹30K GTDKhelo365
SUBHAM8₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
DNZR₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
YSoSerious₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
Hriday ‘MARRII’ Mondal₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
kd69₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
AAsKKs₹11,340Rivered ₹30K GTD PLOKhelo365
maklas₹10,120Who R U? ₹15K GTDKhelo365
Chancetaker₹9,600Point Blank ₹15K GTDKhelo365
acedealer₹8,000Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTDKhelo365
JackSparrow₹8,000Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD NLHEKhelo365
JackSparrow₹7,200Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTDKhelo365
kumaraniket₹6,825Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTDKhelo365
JonGregor₹6,560Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTDKhelo365
kds007₹6,250Depositors Freeroll ₹25K GTDPokerDangal
Bijonmajumder₹1,850Weekly Freeroll 10K GTDPokerDangal


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.

Neel Joshi


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.

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