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World Poker Tour (WPT) India 2018 got off to a flyer with the opening ₹20,000 Kickoff No Limit Hold’em event all but decimating the previous year’s attendance record with a total 201 entries. One of India’s most talented poker players and the country’s first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Aditya Sushant (cover image), continued to add to his tally of title wins as he took down the event and pocketed a handsome ₹9.35 Lakhs in prize money.
While Sushant is a regular on the international circuit, with poker’s most coveted prize already under his belt, a WPT score and title had somehow eluded him, thus far. The Chennai pro accomplished this feat in style as he opened his WPT scorecard by winning the series-opener at the 2018 WPT India, which comes right on the heels of his Baadshah Gaming Live Tournament (BLT3) ₹35K Main Event victory in October.
Even though Sushant made the final day look easy, the competition was tough as many noteworthy players were in the running for the title. Sushant (773,000) put his aggressive style to good use, bagging the Day 1 chip lead coming into the nine-player final table. From then on, he did not vanquish his lead once and orchestrated the eliminations of six out of the nine finalists including Himanshu Kataria, Dr. Shambhu Mandal, Abhishek Garg, Ashish Kaushik, Adda52 Team Pro Kunal Patni and ultimately Abhishek Grover, who he defeated heads-up to win the title.
Of the 201 entries that were registered in the event, only 26 were allotted payouts. The runners who finished in the money included Mukesh Surana M. (11th for ₹81,300), Arjun Agarwal (12th for ₹81,300), Yathish Gowda (13th for ₹69,200), Samant Kaushal Mukund (14th for ₹69,200), Praveen Kumar Anguru (15th for ₹69,200), Sahil Mahboobani (16th for ₹57,000), Ankit Kapoor (17th for ₹57,000), Rajnish Kumar (18th for ₹57,000), Firoz Khan (19th for ₹45,600), Deepak Singh (20th for ₹45,600), Vatsalya Singh Rao (21st for ₹45,600), Gautam Sachdeva (22nd for ₹35,200), Vikas Singh (23rd for ₹35,200), Sandeep Singh (24th for ₹35,200), Nisarg RajeshKumar Thahkar (25th for ₹28,400) and Aditya Pareek (26th for ₹28400).
Sunny Krishna missed the final table by a whisker and finished 10th for ₹81,300.
1. Aditya Sushant – 773,000
2. Kunal Patni – 536,000
3. Abhishek Garg – 453,000
4. Bharat Bhushan – 451,000
5. Himanshu Kataria – 225,000
6. Dr Shambhu Mandal – 202,000
7. Ashish Kaushik – 146,000
8. Lokesh Budhiraja – 124,000
9. Abhishek Grover – 106,000
The second-shortest stack at the start of the final table, Lokesh Budhiraja got unlucky to become the first final table casualty. His pocket rockets ran into Ashish Kaushik’s . Kaushik picked up three-of-kind jacks on the flop, which then improved to quads on the river and ended Budhiraja’s run in ninth place.
Himanshu Kataria, who started off in the middle of the pack, lost quite a bit of his stack as the final table played out and was only left with three big blinds when he shoved holding . Aditya Sushant called from the big blind with and flopped a set of sixes. Failing to better his hand, Kataria exited in eighth place.
The man from Mumbai, Dr. Shambhu Mandal, was the next to depart. His were unable to hold on against Sushant’s as the latter hit a straight which knocked the doctor out of the competition in seventh place.
Finishing in sixth place was Abhishek Garg. Holding , Garg was up against Sushant who seemed to be unstoppable. The flop brought , which bettered Sushant’s to a pair of tens and sent Garg to the rail.
Following Garg to the rail was Bharat Bhushan who played exceedingly well to reach the top five but could not progress any further as he finished in fifth place.
Down to four-handed play, Ashish Kaushik jammed with pocket queens and Sushant called with . With the board not running in his favour, Kaushik busted out in fourth place.
Adda52 Team Pro Kunal Patni was the only player on the final table who had come incredible close to winning a WPT title in the past. He has finished runner-up at the WPTDeepStack Berlin Main Event in January 2018, for €96,140 (₹78.28 Lakhs). Patni had come into the final table with the second-largest stack and given his international experience, he was a serious contender for the title. With only still three players left in the game, Patni got it in good pitting his against Sushant’s . Unfortunately for the ex-banker, the latter found an on the flop which was good enough to secure him the pot and eliminate Patni in third place.
The heads-up confrontation commenced with Aditya Sushant holding twice the amount of chips as his opponent Abhishek Grover. Though Grover had started the final table as the shortest stack, he played remarkably well to reach the heads-up stage and square off against Sushant who had dominated the field all through the day. However, the final battle did not last very long since Sushant had both the chip advantage and experience on his side.
On the final hand of the event, Sushant raised to 100,000 from the button with and Grover called with to see the flop . Sushant raised to 100,000 yet again and Grover called. The turn brought , putting Sushant firmly in the lead with a full house. Grover raised it to 100,000 and Sushant called. Grover shoved all-in and Sushant called. The completed the board and Sushant claimed his maiden WPT title, along with the first-place prize money of ₹9.35 Lakhs.
1. Aditya Sushant – ₹9,35,000
2. Abhishek Grover – ₹6,49,000
3. Kunal Patni – ₹3,89,700
4. Ashish Kaushik – ₹2,37,000
5. Bharat Bhushan – ₹1,83,000
6. Abhishek Garg – ₹1,51,700
7. Dr. Shambhu Mandal – ₹1,29,300
8. Himanshu Kataria – ₹1,11,400
9. Lokesh Budhiraja – ₹93,512
Content and images courtesy: onlinepokernews.in/PokerNews India
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