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This Week in Poker: December 9 – 15

This Week in Poker
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  • Namita Ghosh December 17, 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!

Another week of December has whizzed by. While the festive cheer is already in the air, this was a firecracker week of poker that saw a host of new developments as well!

Spartan Poker’s first-ever The Millionaire Series unleashed a fury of massive guaranteed tourneys before culminating on Sunday with the ₹2 Crores GTD Millionaire Main Event. PokerGuru Ambassador Ashutosh Balodhi outran a field of 1,924 players in the flagship tourney to join the “Millionaire’s Club.” While Balodhi’s efforts earned him a personal-best ₹34.24 Lakhs, he also posted a few other impressive runs through the week to collect ₹36.91 Lakhs overall. Being the week’s top performer, Balodhi is also our “PokerGuru Star of the Week!”

Aryan Kumar, PokerGuru Ambassador Arjanveer Singh Chadha, Raghav Bansal, Young Gun Arsh Grover, former MoneyMaker champion Nitish Gupta and Mohit Hemant Savargaonkar were others who banked seven-figures through the week.

PokerGuru Ambassadors were clearly on a rampage. If Balodhi and Chadha topped the weekly charts, their fellow stable-mate Devvrat Arya spearheaded the Week #2 group of 25 qualifiers, making it to the December Finale of PokerStars India’s “Star of the Month” leaderboard race.

The one event that has truly captivated poker audiences’ attention globally is the hybrid online-live World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Running concurrently on GGPoker and WSOP.com, this prestigious tourney has already found its first champion. Argentina’s Damian Salas dominated the final table of the GGPoker-edition of the event that came to a close on December 15 at the King’s Casino and Resort in Rozvadov, pocketing a whopping $1.55 Million in the process. He will now be facing the WSOP.com Main Event winner. Joseph Hebert leads the final table that commences on December 28 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. The winner of the heads-up finale on December 30 will win the 51st WSOP Main Event bracelet and an additional $1 Million!

Moving over to the promotions launched this week, we have BLITZPOKER’s Christmas-themed “12 Days of Giveaway.” The offer went live on December 14 and promises to award prizes like brand merchandise, satellite tickets, bonus money, game bonuses, tournament tickets, and electronic gadgets daily all the way through December 26.

2020 closes out soon, but live poker tournaments are still not in sight. The opportunity is not lost on the online poker operators – and many of them have grand plans for the New Year. Industry leader Spartan Poker is coming back with the 10th edition of its India Online Poker Championship (IOPC). While the complete details are still awaited, for now, we know that the series takes place from January 14 to 31, 2021, and guarantees a whopping ₹28 Crores across 100-plus events. The IOPC will be running neck-to-neck with the inaugural Asian Poker Tour (APT) India Online Series (January 15-26) on PokerBaazi.

In more good news for the casino industry, India’s only BSE-listed gaming firm, Delta Corp, has received in-principle approval from the Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board for setting up an integrated resort at Pernem in Goa. Not only will the resort have an electronic casino, but it will also pack a punch with hotels, convention centers, a multiplex cinema, retail areas, a water park, and other attractions, affirming the government’s stance to move the casinos onshore.

The fantasy gaming sector got a shot in the arm after the NITI Aayog in a draft report strongly supported recognizing a uniform, countrywide regulation of Online Fantasy Sports Platforms (OFSP).

On the flip side, though, the horseracing sector faced a major setback after the Karnataka government withdrew the permission it gave the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) for online betting on horse racing. The state government’s move may have stemmed from the Karnataka High Court’s rejection of its stand during a PIL hearing. All the same, the sudden withdrawal has left BTC in the lurch.

The Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has asked the private TV channels to ensure they follow the recently issued ASCI guidelines on online gaming and fantasy sports advertisements.

Hitting the newswires yesterday were reports of Brazilian football star Neymar Jr rejoining PokerStars as the brand’s sporting ambassador. If Neymar is today the world’s fourth highest-paid athlete, he’s also a keen poker enthusiast and will be seen promoting PokerStars in a new advertising campaign called “All In.”


Online Railbird Report

Handing out the biggest paycheque this week was the showstopper tourney of Spartan Poker’s The Millionaire Series – the ₹2 Crores GTD Main Event. PokerGuru Ambassador

Ashutosh Balodhi trounced the 1,924-player field in this marquee tourney to win a personal-best ₹34.24 Lakhs. While he FT-ed another two tourneys this week, Balodhi came within touching distance of winning a second title on Sunday. He placed runner-up in the ₹12 Lakhs GTD Millionaire Series #19 to win ₹1.46 Lakhs. With an incredible ₹36.91 Lakhs in cumulative winnings through the week, Balodhi is our “PokerGuru Star of the Week!!”

Ashotosh Balodhi
Ashotosh Balodhi


The next top finishers – Aryan bob_marley Kumar (runner-up for ₹19.08 Lakhs), former MoneyMaker champion Nitish ‘buttonclicking’ Gupta (3rd for ₹13.32 Lakhs), and Ramesh ‘Dabidi_Dibide’ Pathipati (4th for ₹9.64 Lakhs) also banked hefty payouts.

PokerGuru Ambassador Arjanveer Singh Chadha was another MTT reg fueling up his bankroll this week. Chadha got started by placing third in the ₹35 Lakhs GTD Millionaire Series #8 on Wednesday for ₹3.06 Lakhs. He hit top gear by winning the ₹22.5 Lakhs GTD The Ballers for ₹5.78 Lakhs. Four other deep finishes that included winning the ₹7 Lakhs GTD The Race on Tuesday helped Chadha accumulate an impressive ₹14.85 Lakhs to his tally.

Arjanveer Singh Chadha
Arjanveer Singh Chadha


MTT crushers Raghav Bansal and Young Gun Arsh Grover were two other players in beast mode this week. Bansal won two flagship Adda52 tourneys, the ₹30 Lakhs GTD Mega Suits for ₹7.20 Lakhs, and the ₹25 Lakhs GTD Godfather for ₹6.52 Lakhs, banking ₹13.72 Lakhs from the two wins alone.

Raghav Bansal
Raghav Bansal


Grover hit the jackpot in the ₹50 Lakhs GTD Millionaire Series #12 Highroller, pocketing ₹10.44 Lakhs for the win. The MTT specialist was within striking distance of winning another high roller title in PokerStars India’s ₹15 Lakhs GTD Sunday Highroller. He eventually settled for a runner-up worth ₹3 Lakhs.

Arsh Grover
Arsh Grover


Mohit ‘baked_babua’ Hemant Savargaonkar (Millionaire Series#14 ₹50 Lakhs GTD for ₹10.02 Lakhs), Rishab ‘rish1994’ Malik (Adda52 Millions ₹25 Lakhs GTD for ₹6.86 Lakhs) and Ankit ‘ON_MY_MAC’ Omprakash (Millionaire Series#18 ₹40 Lakhs GTD for ₹6.46 Lakhs) were the other standout winners of the week.

The notable winners of the week include –

PlayerPrize MoneyEventPoker Site
Ashutosh ‘SpewMonkey’ Balodhi₹34.24 LakhsMillionaire Series - Main Event ₹2 Crores GTDSpartan Poker
Arsh 'BigggTymer' Grover₹10.44 LakhsMillionaire Series #12 Highroller ₹50 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Mohit ‘baked_babua’ Hemant Savargaonkar₹10.02 LakhsMillionaire Series#14 ₹50 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Raghav ‘balugawhale’ Bansal₹7.20 LakhsMega Suits ₹30 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Rishab ‘rish1994’ Malik₹6.86 LakhsAdda52 Millions ₹25 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Raghav ‘BalugaWhale’ Bansal₹6.52 LakhsGodfather ₹25 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Ankit ‘ON_MY_MAC’ Omprakash₹6.46 LakhsMillionaire Series#18 ₹40 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Siddarth ‘PeterPunter’ Singhvi₹6.09 LakhsMillionaire Series #8 ₹35 Lakhs GTSpartan Poker
Arjanveer Singh ‘arjan30’ Chadha₹5.78 LakhsThe Ballers ₹22.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Utsav ‘ranny006’ Taneja₹4.86 LakhsBSS SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Mithun 'themiths' Mahesh₹3.82 LakhsMaverick ₹15 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Guneet 'guntz' Kwatra₹3.81 LakhsThe Weekly Highroller ₹12 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Siddhanth 'ender' Kripalani₹3.80 LakhsThe Summit ₹15 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Aniket ‘anteman’ Waghmare₹3.75 LakhsThe Mint ₹15 Lakhs GTDAdda52
LuciferAA₹3.68 LakhsMillionaire Series #11 Monster Stack ₹20 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Naresh ‘FreeFlow’ Veeravalli₹3.38 LakhsMillionaire Series #15 ₹16 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Nagendra 'SorosDruckTudor' Vadlamani₹3.36 LakhsMega Stack ₹20 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Avijit 'SwangoRay' Jaiswal₹2.70 LakhsSunday Highroller ₹15 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Arpan ‘Novus’ Majhi₹2.65 LakhsThe Endeavour ₹12 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Aniket ‘anteman’ Waghmare₹2.62 LakhsExcalibur ₹10 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Ranjeet 'Bedevilforyou' Negi₹2.51 LakhsSunday Special – Progressive KO ₹15 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Sandeep 'SandeeSingh' Singh₹2.40 LakhsMillionaire Series #7 ₹12 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Kanchan ‘thandicoke’ Sharma₹2.34 LakhsBig Slick ₹12 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Deepak ‘DKR007’ U₹2.31 LakhsMillionaire Series#13 ₹12 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Pranav ‘GarviGujarat’ Desai₹2.24 LakhsThe Pride ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Abhijeet 'sexylady7766' Kumar₹2.09 LakhsHighroller ₹12 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Paras 'AAKKQQJJ' Jain₹2.01 LakhsMillionaire Series #10 ₹11 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Vikram 'GreenSTUFF79' Mishra₹1.90 LakhsUppercut Magic Edition ₹10 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Deep ‘ChristopherCoke’ Patel₹1.88 LakhsThe Big Show ₹8 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Siddharth 'champ-ak' Pandey₹1.78 LakhsMillionaire Series #16 ₹10 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Peter ‘Sigmund’ Nazareth₹1.70 LakhsRecharge ₹12 Lakhs GTD 8-MaxSpartan Poker
Vinil ‘Glv’ Kumar Yenamala₹1.62 LakhsMillionaire Series #9 ₹10 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Mayank ‘$Magician$’ Makhija₹1.48 LakhsMillionaire Series #19 ₹12 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Rishab 'NoChan(3' Malik₹1.44 LakhsBattle Royale ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Anudeep ‘Zeroseven’ Gupta₹1.41 LakhsBlockbuster ₹6 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
tournament_007₹1.40 LakhsUppercut Mini ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Abhishek ‘abhisekchem86’ Mandal₹1.39 LakhsMonster Turbo ₹5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Priyank ‘Piko1432’ Kothari₹1.33 LakhsBSS Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Sarvesh ‘playhereforsure13’ Sharma₹1.26 LakhsIron Man ₹8 Lakhs GTD 6-MaxAdda52
Saahib ‘saahib’ Bawa₹1.24 LakhsMonster Turbo ₹5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Ashish ‘Imgabru’ Kumar₹1.21 LakhsBSS MegaStack ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Myron ‘zzzzz369’ Pereira₹1.20 LakhsRunning Hot ₹5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Peyush ‘R9CKY’ Jain₹1.17 LakhsLa Luna ₹4 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Shashank ‘IndianRat’ Desai₹1.17 LakhsHurricane ₹4.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
iamdecieved₹1.16 LakhsMillionaire Series #17 – D’lite Day 2 ₹10 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
tanayp₹1.16 LakhsBattle Royale ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
raghav1990₹1.15 LakhsBig Bubble Rush ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Arjanveer 'bazzingaa' Singh Chadha₹1.15 LakhsThe Race ₹7 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Gaurav ‘gaug17’ Sood₹1.03 LakhsThursday 6-Max Deepstack ₹4 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Harshit ‘harshitkumar17’ Kumar₹93,825Flash ₹5.5 Lakhs GTD 8-MaxSpartan Poker
Boss_Sharma₹92,186Sixth Sense ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Tukka5400₹90,811UVS#12 Deep Stack - BOOST ₹4.6 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
apalece₹86,000Twister ₹2 Lakhs GTDKhelo365
nobomi1₹85,000Birthday Bash Freeroll ₹5 Lakhs GTDPocket52
Nishant ‘Balaark’ Pandey₹79,216Night on Stars ₹5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
maheshg1811₹78,000Voyager ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD 8-MaxAdda52
Harsh ‘harsh1327’ Bubna₹70,380Tuesday Turbo ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Prashanth ‘Iveyleague’ Sekar₹70,375Wednesday MegaStack ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
PunYaLan₹61,071Voyager ₹2.5 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Utkarsh ‘Littlefish’ Mishra₹56,300Saturday 6-Max SuperStack ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Himanshu 'hdwivedi3452' Dwivedi₹54,178Classic PKO ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
AlwaysAhead₹54,080Monday MonsterStack ₹2 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Aussie Bot ₹47,372Night Rider – Monster Stack ₹2.45 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Harrish ‘Realfc’ Chaudary₹42,225Friday 5PLO ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
yutah999₹40,000Mega Spalsh ₹1 Lakh GTDKhelo365
Dhiru006₹37,141Ultimate DST 1.5 Lakhs GTD Adda52
Kiran ‘D Badshaa’ Pawar₹36,717Night Rider – DeeStack Turbo ₹2.2 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Dkprara01₹36,080Turbo ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
Raksha ‘rakshajindal’ Agarwal ₹36,080Turbo ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD

Nish 'nutscracker' Majithia₹36,075Turbo ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
LuckyLuciano ₹32,855UVS #4 ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
abbey4u₹30,991Ultrasonic ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
7heart45₹30,926Ultrasonic ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
JusticeLeague₹30,0006-Max Holdem BOOST DST ₹1 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
abhidread₹30,000PLO Boost Monster ₹1 Lakhs GTDPokerBaazi
princem ₹30,0006-Max Holdem BOOST DST ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerBaazi
abhidread₹30,000PLO Boost Monster ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerBaazi
muttonmm₹29,486Sunday Storm ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Rohan ‘theoldrod’ Sahni₹28,150PLO Boost Monster ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerBaazi
cerealkiller₹28,1506-Max Holdem BOOST DST ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerBaazi
anvit27₹26,400Dangal Friday ₹1.2 Lakhs GTDPokerDangal
gladiator111₹25,294Nano Mint ₹1.65 Lakhs GTDAdda52
Sandeep 'effuno007' Varma RS₹24,341Supersonic ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerStars India
Pratik 'pratspratik' Doshi₹23,422Sunday Warm-up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTDPokerStars India
Dkds₹24,000Battlefield Tuesday (WTB) ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerDangal
pokerkid₹23,000Hercules ₹1 Lakh GTDPocket52
CS2Poker₹22,890Bigstack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerStars India
WrckAGE₹21,145UVS #2 ₹1.1 Lakhs GTDSpartan Poker
Baba_Tilteshwar ₹20,851UVS #1 ₹1 Lakh GTDSpartan Poker
mnjain₹20,250Wednesday PLO ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerDangal
GKReddy₹18,105Dominator ₹50K GTDKhelo365
Rahul ‘andarkiaag’ Thakur₹17,874Bigstack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerStars India
Srajput451₹17,535Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTDPocket52
abbey4u₹16,978Big Stack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTDPokerStars India
Sunny ‘Russell92’ Prajapati₹16,500Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTDPocket52
Kiki19₹15,750Monday Blues ₹75K GTDPokerDangal
Banerjee₹13,800Hitman PLO ₹30K GTDKhelo365
Sandhiya1122₹12,900Rivered PLO ₹30K GTDKhelo365
Ajit Singh ‘ace_bob’ Arora₹12,250Weekend Fun ₹50K GTDPokerDangal
Sayyed ‘Haidar0007’ Aasim₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
CrimeMasterGoGo₹11,5006 Feet Under ₹25K GTD PLO DeepstackKhelo365
kw1996₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
Madhai ‘Jesus’ Ghosh₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
Lootera_king₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
Jeet ‘Tanmay007’ Mondal₹11,500Unravel ₹50K GTDPocket52
Holpack₹10,500Who R U? ₹15K GTDKhelo365
Reverse88₹8,000Grinder 2.0 NLHE ₹20K GTDKhelo365
Automaticly₹8,000Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTDKhelo365
CROWNMAGIC₹8,000Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTDKhelo365
JOCKER1₹7,200Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD NLHEKhelo365
JonGregor₹6,880Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTDKhelo365
Gaurav726₹6,800Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTDKhelo365
KING365₹6,800Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTDKhelo365
Interstellar₹6,500Depositors Freeroll ₹25K GTDPokerDangal
9892302231₹4,600Stop Watch ₹10K GTDKhelo365
Jayinfotech₹1,850Weekly Freeroll ₹10K GTDPokerDangal


PokerGuru Ambassador Devvrat Arya Leads the 2nd Group of 25 Qualifiers in PokerStars India’s “Star of the Month” – December Race

PokerStars India’s “Star of the Month” – December leaderboard race completed Week#2 on Sunday with a new batch of 25 qualifiers heading for the Finale. Leading the charge was PokerGuru Ambassador Devvrat Arya, who scored in four qualifying events through the week to collect 702 TLB points.

Read the complete report here


Spartan Poker Announces ₹28 Crores GTD IOPC From January 14 – 31

Spartan Poker will be starting the New Year with a bang! The tournament-centric brand has announced the 10th edition of its flagship India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) series.

The series will hand out a ginormous ₹28+ Crores in prize money across 100-plus events in its 18-day run from January 14 to 31, 2021.

Spartan Poker announces 10th IOPC Edition


BLITZPOKER Launches Christmas-Themed “12 Days of Giveaway”

Dan Bilzerian’s official poker room, BLITZPOKER, part of the Quadnet Poker Network, has rolled out a Christmas-themed “12 Days of Giveaway” promotion. Live on the site since December 14, the site will be handing out brand merchandise, satellite tickets, bonus money, game bonuses, tournament tickets, and electronic gadgets every day till December 26.

BLITZ Poker announces 12 Days of Giveaway

Read the complete report here


2020 WSOP Main Event Updates

The hybrid online/live 2020 WSOP $10,000 Main Event is closer to crowning the 51st World Champion. On Tuesday, the final table of the GGPoker-leg of the event played out live at King’s Casino and Resort in Rozvadov. While Brazil’s Brunno Botteon started out as the chip leader, Argentina’s Damian Salas whisked the title away from the former in the heads-up play to win the top prize of $1.55 Million.

Damian Salas
Damian Salas


Read the complete report here

Over at the WSOP.com leg of the event hosted for players in New Jersey and Nevada, a record field of 705 players generated a whopping $6.76 Million prize pool. Only 71 players made it to Day 2 that played down to the nine-handed final table. Joseph “kolebear” Hebert (13,052,534) sits with the chip lead currently, with three-time bracelet champion and Day 1 chip leader Upeshka De Silva (2,151,969), also making it in the final nine.

The final table will play out live at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on December 28. The eventual champion will face Salas heads-up on December 30 for the World Championship bracelet and an additional $1 Million added by GGPoker and WSOP!

Joseph Hebert
Joseph Hebert


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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