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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!
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!!”
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.
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.
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.
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 –
|Player||Prize Money||Event||Poker Site|
|Ashutosh ‘SpewMonkey’ Balodhi||₹34.24 Lakhs||Millionaire Series - Main Event ₹2 Crores GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Arsh 'BigggTymer' Grover||₹10.44 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #12 Highroller ₹50 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Mohit ‘baked_babua’ Hemant Savargaonkar||₹10.02 Lakhs||Millionaire Series#14 ₹50 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Raghav ‘balugawhale’ Bansal||₹7.20 Lakhs||Mega Suits ₹30 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Rishab ‘rish1994’ Malik||₹6.86 Lakhs||Adda52 Millions ₹25 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Raghav ‘BalugaWhale’ Bansal||₹6.52 Lakhs||Godfather ₹25 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Ankit ‘ON_MY_MAC’ Omprakash||₹6.46 Lakhs||Millionaire Series#18 ₹40 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Siddarth ‘PeterPunter’ Singhvi||₹6.09 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #8 ₹35 Lakhs GT||Spartan Poker|
|Arjanveer Singh ‘arjan30’ Chadha||₹5.78 Lakhs||The Ballers ₹22.5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Utsav ‘ranny006’ Taneja||₹4.86 Lakhs||BSS SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Mithun 'themiths' Mahesh||₹3.82 Lakhs||Maverick ₹15 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Guneet 'guntz' Kwatra||₹3.81 Lakhs||The Weekly Highroller ₹12 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Siddhanth 'ender' Kripalani||₹3.80 Lakhs||The Summit ₹15 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Aniket ‘anteman’ Waghmare||₹3.75 Lakhs||The Mint ₹15 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|LuciferAA||₹3.68 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #11 Monster Stack ₹20 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Naresh ‘FreeFlow’ Veeravalli||₹3.38 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #15 ₹16 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Nagendra 'SorosDruckTudor' Vadlamani||₹3.36 Lakhs||Mega Stack ₹20 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Avijit 'SwangoRay' Jaiswal||₹2.70 Lakhs||Sunday Highroller ₹15 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Arpan ‘Novus’ Majhi||₹2.65 Lakhs||The Endeavour ₹12 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Aniket ‘anteman’ Waghmare||₹2.62 Lakhs||Excalibur ₹10 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Ranjeet 'Bedevilforyou' Negi||₹2.51 Lakhs||Sunday Special – Progressive KO ₹15 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Sandeep 'SandeeSingh' Singh||₹2.40 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #7 ₹12 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Kanchan ‘thandicoke’ Sharma||₹2.34 Lakhs||Big Slick ₹12 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Deepak ‘DKR007’ U||₹2.31 Lakhs||Millionaire Series#13 ₹12 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Pranav ‘GarviGujarat’ Desai||₹2.24 Lakhs||The Pride ₹10 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Abhijeet 'sexylady7766' Kumar||₹2.09 Lakhs||Highroller ₹12 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Paras 'AAKKQQJJ' Jain||₹2.01 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #10 ₹11 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Vikram 'GreenSTUFF79' Mishra||₹1.90 Lakhs||Uppercut Magic Edition ₹10 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Deep ‘ChristopherCoke’ Patel||₹1.88 Lakhs||The Big Show ₹8 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Siddharth 'champ-ak' Pandey||₹1.78 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #16 ₹10 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Peter ‘Sigmund’ Nazareth||₹1.70 Lakhs||Recharge ₹12 Lakhs GTD 8-Max||Spartan Poker|
|Vinil ‘Glv’ Kumar Yenamala||₹1.62 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #9 ₹10 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Mayank ‘$Magician$’ Makhija||₹1.48 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #19 ₹12 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Rishab 'NoChan(3' Malik||₹1.44 Lakhs||Battle Royale ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Anudeep ‘Zeroseven’ Gupta||₹1.41 Lakhs||Blockbuster ₹6 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|tournament_007||₹1.40 Lakhs||Uppercut Mini ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Abhishek ‘abhisekchem86’ Mandal||₹1.39 Lakhs||Monster Turbo ₹5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Priyank ‘Piko1432’ Kothari||₹1.33 Lakhs||BSS Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Sarvesh ‘playhereforsure13’ Sharma||₹1.26 Lakhs||Iron Man ₹8 Lakhs GTD 6-Max||Adda52|
|Saahib ‘saahib’ Bawa||₹1.24 Lakhs||Monster Turbo ₹5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Ashish ‘Imgabru’ Kumar||₹1.21 Lakhs||BSS MegaStack ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Myron ‘zzzzz369’ Pereira||₹1.20 Lakhs||Running Hot ₹5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Peyush ‘R9CKY’ Jain||₹1.17 Lakhs||La Luna ₹4 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Shashank ‘IndianRat’ Desai||₹1.17 Lakhs||Hurricane ₹4.5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|iamdecieved||₹1.16 Lakhs||Millionaire Series #17 – D’lite Day 2 ₹10 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|tanayp||₹1.16 Lakhs||Battle Royale ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|raghav1990||₹1.15 Lakhs||Big Bubble Rush ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Arjanveer 'bazzingaa' Singh Chadha||₹1.15 Lakhs||The Race ₹7 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Gaurav ‘gaug17’ Sood||₹1.03 Lakhs||Thursday 6-Max Deepstack ₹4 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Harshit ‘harshitkumar17’ Kumar||₹93,825||Flash ₹5.5 Lakhs GTD 8-Max||Spartan Poker|
|Boss_Sharma||₹92,186||Sixth Sense ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Tukka5400||₹90,811||UVS#12 Deep Stack - BOOST ₹4.6 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|apalece||₹86,000||Twister ₹2 Lakhs GTD||Khelo365|
|nobomi1||₹85,000||Birthday Bash Freeroll ₹5 Lakhs GTD||Pocket52|
|Nishant ‘Balaark’ Pandey||₹79,216||Night on Stars ₹5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|maheshg1811||₹78,000||Voyager ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD 8-Max||Adda52|
|Harsh ‘harsh1327’ Bubna||₹70,380||Tuesday Turbo ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Prashanth ‘Iveyleague’ Sekar||₹70,375||Wednesday MegaStack ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|PunYaLan||₹61,071||Voyager ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Utkarsh ‘Littlefish’ Mishra||₹56,300||Saturday 6-Max SuperStack ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Himanshu 'hdwivedi3452' Dwivedi||₹54,178||Classic PKO ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|AlwaysAhead||₹54,080||Monday MonsterStack ₹2 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Aussie Bot||₹47,372||Night Rider – Monster Stack ₹2.45 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Harrish ‘Realfc’ Chaudary||₹42,225||Friday 5PLO ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|yutah999||₹40,000||Mega Spalsh ₹1 Lakh GTD||Khelo365|
|Dhiru006||₹37,141||Ultimate DST 1.5 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Kiran ‘D Badshaa’ Pawar||₹36,717||Night Rider – DeeStack Turbo ₹2.2 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Dkprara01||₹36,080||Turbo ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Raksha ‘rakshajindal’ Agarwal||₹36,080||Turbo ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|Nish 'nutscracker' Majithia||₹36,075||Turbo ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|LuckyLuciano||₹32,855||UVS #4 ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|abbey4u||₹30,991||Ultrasonic ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|7heart45||₹30,926||Ultrasonic ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|JusticeLeague||₹30,000||6-Max Holdem BOOST DST ₹1 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|abhidread||₹30,000||PLO Boost Monster ₹1 Lakhs GTD||PokerBaazi|
|princem||₹30,000||6-Max Holdem BOOST DST ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerBaazi|
|abhidread||₹30,000||PLO Boost Monster ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerBaazi|
|muttonmm||₹29,486||Sunday Storm ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Rohan ‘theoldrod’ Sahni||₹28,150||PLO Boost Monster ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerBaazi|
|cerealkiller||₹28,150||6-Max Holdem BOOST DST ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerBaazi|
|anvit27||₹26,400||Dangal Friday ₹1.2 Lakhs GTD||PokerDangal|
|gladiator111||₹25,294||Nano Mint ₹1.65 Lakhs GTD||Adda52|
|Sandeep 'effuno007' Varma RS||₹24,341||Supersonic ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerStars India|
|Pratik 'pratspratik' Doshi||₹23,422||Sunday Warm-up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD||PokerStars India|
|Dkds||₹24,000||Battlefield Tuesday (WTB) ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerDangal|
|pokerkid||₹23,000||Hercules ₹1 Lakh GTD||Pocket52|
|CS2Poker||₹22,890||Bigstack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerStars India|
|WrckAGE||₹21,145||UVS #2 ₹1.1 Lakhs GTD||Spartan Poker|
|Baba_Tilteshwar||₹20,851||UVS #1 ₹1 Lakh GTD||Spartan Poker|
|mnjain||₹20,250||Wednesday PLO ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerDangal|
|GKReddy||₹18,105||Dominator ₹50K GTD||Khelo365|
|Rahul ‘andarkiaag’ Thakur||₹17,874||Bigstack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerStars India|
|Srajput451||₹17,535||Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTD||Pocket52|
|abbey4u||₹16,978||Big Stack Turbo ₹1 Lakh GTD||PokerStars India|
|Sunny ‘Russell92’ Prajapati||₹16,500||Pocket Jacks ₹75K GTD||Pocket52|
|Kiki19||₹15,750||Monday Blues ₹75K GTD||PokerDangal|
|Banerjee||₹13,800||Hitman PLO ₹30K GTD||Khelo365|
|Sandhiya1122||₹12,900||Rivered PLO ₹30K GTD||Khelo365|
|Ajit Singh ‘ace_bob’ Arora||₹12,250||Weekend Fun ₹50K GTD||PokerDangal|
|Sayyed ‘Haidar0007’ Aasim||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|CrimeMasterGoGo||₹11,500||6 Feet Under ₹25K GTD PLO Deepstack||Khelo365|
|kw1996||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|Madhai ‘Jesus’ Ghosh||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|Lootera_king||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|Jeet ‘Tanmay007’ Mondal||₹11,500||Unravel ₹50K GTD||Pocket52|
|Holpack||₹10,500||Who R U? ₹15K GTD||Khelo365|
|Reverse88||₹8,000||Grinder 2.0 NLHE ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|Automaticly||₹8,000||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|CROWNMAGIC||₹8,000||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|JOCKER1||₹7,200||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD NLHE||Khelo365|
|JonGregor||₹6,880||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|Gaurav726||₹6,800||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|KING365||₹6,800||Grinder 2.0 ₹20K GTD||Khelo365|
|Interstellar||₹6,500||Depositors Freeroll ₹25K GTD||PokerDangal|
|9892302231||₹4,600||Stop Watch ₹10K GTD||Khelo365|
|Jayinfotech||₹1,850||Weekly Freeroll ₹10K GTD||PokerDangal|
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.