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The second of the eight events at the 2018 World Poker Tour (WPT) India has now concluded and what an event it was! While the ₹35,000 Superstack No-Limit Hold’em fell marginally short of besting its previous year’s record of 284 entries, the event still managed to pull in 215 entries that helped collect ₹71.15 Lakhs in prize money. Taking the spotlight was Abhishek Jalan (cover image) who decimated an exceptionally tough playing field to claim his first WPT title for a hefty payday of ₹17.29 Lakhs.
Founder of the poker-staking stable AceJack, Jalan has been a prominent presence in the domestic circuit. With two major wins in the City of Joy, i.e. ₹25,000 No Limit Hold’em – Main Event Battle at the Rounders Poker Championship and the ₹5,000 No Limit Hold’em – Warmup at the HiFi Tour Kolkata, Jalan’s poker expertise is unquestionable. In fact, Jalan had a stellar run at the inaugural edition of WPT India where he finished runner-up in both the ₹30,000 No Limit Hold’em – Superstack for ₹12.53 Lakhs and the ₹7,000 No Limit Hold’em – Ship It Event for ₹79,500.
Even with the presence of several high-profile players which included the likes of Raghav Bansal, Dhaval Mudgal, Jaydeep Dawer, PokerStars Team Pro Muskan Sethi, first lady of Indian poker Shuchi Chamaria, Adda52 Team Pros Amit Jain and Kunal Patni, along with Adda52 celebrity pro Minissha Lamba, Jalan still held his own and ended Day 1 on a strong note, with the second-largest stack of 658,000, trailing behind Akshay Nasa (779,000).
Following 18 eliminations on Day 2, the nine-handed final table was formed. Jalan amassed a gigantic chip lead with over 40% of the chips in play and single-handedly eliminated Shashank Jain, Ankit Kapoor, Vinay Rajpal and the eventual runner-up Pavan Jain on the final table, to win his first-ever WPT title.
All 27 runners who returned for Day 2 were assured payouts which included Vinit C Kore (11th for ₹1,49,500), Ayush Garg (12th for ₹1,49,500), Anmol Narang (13th for ₹1,28,100), Jairam Parab (14th for ₹1,28,100), Day 1 chip leader Akshay Nasa (15th for ₹1,28,000), Sravanth Reddy (16th for ₹1,06,700), Chandni Malik (17th for ₹1,06,700), Bharat Kumar Suda (18th for ₹1,06,700), Rajesh Shukla (19th for ₹85,400), Vaibhav Sharma (20th for ₹85,400), Saurabh Arora (21st for ₹85,400), Baadshah Gaming co-founder Madhav ‘Maddy’ Gupta (22nd for ₹65,800), Abhishek Rathod (23rd for ₹65,800), Yowan Patel Peeris (24th for ₹65,800), Atrij Singhal (25th for ₹53,000), Anurag Srivastava (26th for ₹53,000), Loveleen Singh (27th for ₹53,000).
Jaideep Sajwan (10th for ₹149,500) bubbled the final table.
With a total 6,000,000 chips in play, the final table action started with Abhishek Jalan as the chip leader who held a monstrous stack of 2,800,000.
A regular on the online felts, Harsh Dembla was the first of the nine finalists to depart when Srinivas Naidu’s cracked Dembla’s as Naidu flopped a pair of kings, eliminating Dembla in ninth place.
Short-stacked Shashank Jain was next to go when his ran into Jalan’s . Jain had moved all-in preflop, and Jalan called. The latter’s hand bettered to a pair of aces, enough to eliminate Jain in eighth place.
Following Jain to the rail was Krishna Kumar who busted out in seventh place.
Finishing in sixth place was the winner of the ₹75K High Roller 6-Max at the third edition of Baadshah Gaming Live Tournament (BLT3), Jayjit Ray. The Kolkata-based player, who is also the protégé of Indian poker icon Aditya Agarwal, played well but fell short of bagging his maiden WPT title. Ray jammed for 70,000 holding and was called by Ankit Kapoor who showed [xX]. The flop brought Kapoor a pair of aces, enough to eliminate Ray.
With only five players remaining, Srinivas Naidu pitted his against Vinay Rajpal’s . The flop opened and Naidu raised to 100,000, prompting Rajpal to call. The turn brought and Naidu raised to 100,000 once again. Rajpal called to see the river . Rajpal then moved all-in and Naidu called. While Naidu had hit a pair of jacks on the turn, Rajpal rivered a six-high straight to win the pot, eliminating Naidu in the process.
Down to four-handed play, Ankit Kapoor was left with only 400,000 in chips. Running out of options, Kapoor went head-to-head with Jalan, but unfortunately the former’s failed to hold up against Jalan’s on the runout . Kapoor moved on to collect the fourth-place prize money.
The youngster Vinay Rajpal fought hard to make it to the top three but eventually lost out to the more experienced Jalan. He shoved all-in preflop with against Jalan’s . The community cards fanned out , and Jalan picked up a pair of aces on the river, leading to Rajpal’s third place finish.
The heads-up battle between Abhishek Jalan and Pavan Jain was not very long. Jain moved all-in, holding and Jalan called with . The runout missed both players and after 3 hours and 45 minutes of combat, Jalan holding king-high was rewarded with his career`s first WPT title, which came accompanied with ₹17.29 Lakhs in prize money!
1. Abhishek Jalan – ₹17,29,000
2. Pavan Jain – ₹12,00,000
3. Vinay Rajpal – ₹7,29,000
4. Ankit Kapoor – ₹4,43,700
5. Srinivas Naidu – ₹3,42,600
6. Jayjit Ray – ₹2,83,900
7. Krishna Kumar M – ₹2,41,940
8. Shashank Jain – ₹2,07,000
9. Harsh Dembla – ₹1,73,000
Content and images courtesy: onlinepokernews.in/PokerNews India
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