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It’s Valentine’s Day again, and like every year, romance and love are in the air! They say that love, like poker, is risky but it is also the most fun when you go “all-in”. For many poker couples of India, their passion for poker has been the bond that keeps them together. Some of them met across the poker tables, and saw the attraction kick in right there on the felts. For others, it was the passion for the game in one partner that rubbed off on the other. And for many of them, poker has been the common ground where cupid struck and love blossomed.
In this Valentine`s Day special feature we take a look at some of the prominent poker couples in the country and how poker binds them together. Arguably India’s most famous poker power couple, the husband-wife duo of Team PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal and Shuchi Chamaria are role models for other poker couples.
We also have the dashing Manish Adnani and his significant other, Kat Del Sol who first met in Sweden and soon discovered that they both share a common interest in poker. If Team PokerStars Pro Muskan Sethi and Yudhishter Singh Jaswal perfectly exemplify how opposites can attract, then Gokul Krishna and Sunitha ‘Suni’ Sunder have only seen their relationship grow with time, along with their love for the game!
Aditya Agarwal & Shuchi Chamaria
Team PokerStars pro Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal and his talented counterpart, Shuchi Chamaria are popularly known as India’s first poker couple. Agarwal is arguably India’s most accomplished online MTT-player and boasts of a poker resume unlike any other, a track record that remains unparalleled on the domestic scene with over $4 Million in online cashes. For anyone who knows ‘Adi’ as he’s popularly known, finding a life partner that matched his personality and sensibilities was a very tall task.
Little did Adi know that his would-be wife Shuchi lived a mere 100 meters away from him in Kolkata! Destiny had obviously kept them apart for 30 years but when they met, it was love at first sight; an attraction that saw them tying the knot in just one year.
Shuchi’s transition to a poker player was only natural. With one of India’s top mentors as a partner, she developed a keen interest in poker and learned the game very quickly. Today Shuchi is an accomplished player in her own right, with a string of commendable scores. She was also a part of the winning team at Match IPL Season 3 – Pune Kings, and will be heading to Ireland soon for the Nations Cup 2019 as part of Team India.
Manish Adnani & Kat Del Sol
Currently the head of Poker Operations in Deltin Royale in Goa, Manish Adnani is one of the first wave of Indian poker entrepreneurs and had launched his first poker venture Poker Planet ages ago. Cupid`s arrow pierced Adnani`s heart when he met Kat Del Sol who’s from Sweden two years back. Kat had moved to Goa from Delhi, and the couple have been inseparable since. While Adnani handles the operational end of things at the Deltin Royale poker room in Goa, Kat has energetically dabbled in poker tournaments, both online and offline. “We met thanks to poker,” Adnani reminisces, candidly putting the role that poker plays in their relationship to a percentage value of 85%!
The couple loves to travel together for poker, and so it shows in their social media updates. One of special outings they shared, according to Adnani was “DPT Express in Sikkim.”
Monaco remains their dream poker destination, and as for Valentine’s Day plans, “Sleep in late, have beer for breakfast, go back to bed. Order pizza!,” informs Adnani.
Muskan Sethi & Yudhishter Singh Jaswal
When an outgoing and bubbly Muskan Sethi met the shy and elusive Yudhishter Jaswal, there wasn’t much to talk about, except for poker. Sparks flew during the couple’s first meeting in Goa way back in 2011 and one thing led to the other. They tied the knot two years back, on January 14, 2017 and poker has been the spicy ingredient in their relationship.
“He helped me make my first real money account on PokerStars, followed by me going on Shark Cage. We discuss hands, support each other, have the same coach and study poker together,” informs Sethi proudly.
The President of India honored Sethi last year with the ‘First Ladies Award’ and she was also became the second brand ambassador for PokerStars in India. She enjoys an extensive fan following but surprisingly, it`s the media-shy Jaswal who is the real shark in the family. Jaswal however, prefers to keep his poker exploits private.
“To be honest, poker plays a really important role in our relationship and we push each other to do our best. My husband is not easy on me, he wants me to perform my best, and he always making sure that I am giving in my 100%!” Sethi reveals.
Barcelona and Las Vegas are Sethi’s favorite poker destinations. Though they’re not together this Valentine’s Day, whenever they are, they love to explore new places. “We have created so many memories, thanks to poker, and that’s amazing,” Sethi reminisces.
Gokul Krishna & Sunitha Sunder
Though Gokul Krishna and Sunitha ‘Suni’ Sunder pursue different professions – Krishna runs an agri-based company, and Sunitha is a fashion designer, they are both powerhouses when they work together. The couple has worked closely together in a few poker ventures and very recently organized the 2nd edition of the Emerald Poker Tour (EPT) Cash Game festival at Casino Bellagio in Columbo, Sri Lanka (December 2018). Krishna handled planning and execution and Sunitha deftly handled marketing and hospitality. In Krishna’s words, “Poker has bought us closer as we spend a lot of time discussing about it.”
It was when they were living in Australia that the duo discovered poker. It was Krishna who started playing first, and soon introduced Sunitha to the game as he informs, “We started playing house games with friends, and Suni took to poker like a fish to water.”
Krishna sticks to playing tournaments mostly but its cash games for Sunitha. She was the one who came up with the idea of hosting EPT.
Today Krishna and Sunitha plan almost all their vacations around poker.“Apart from Goa which is a regular pit stop, we have travelled for WSOP in Vegas, Macau and Europe for poker,” says Krishna.
Even as they don’t have big plans for Valentine’s Day, they’ve already chalked down their WSOP trip for the summer. In Krishna`s words, “being in Vegas is like a leaving a kid in a candy store! We have already chalked out the dates for this year’s WSOP and really looking forward to it.”