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Action has picked up pace at the 2018 World Poker Tour (WPT) India with the second event on the schedule i.e. ₹35,000 Superstack No-Limit Hold’em taking flight on Wednesday, just as the series-opener ₹25,000 Kickoff was playing down to a champion.
With 215 hopefuls jostling to carry a bag to Day 2, action was swift with only 27 among them advancing ahead to Day 2. Bagging the overnight chip lead was Akshay Nasa (cover image) who holds a massive stack of 779,000.
Nasa has been in top form this year, consistently picking big scores at major international stops. Right after his runner-up finish (₱2,822,000 -₹38,36,328) in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) National at the 2018 APPT Manila in August, Nasa took down his first-ever international title (₫144,030,000 -₹4,47,693) in the ₫ 4,400,000 NLHE Deepstack Turbo at the 2018 WPT Vietnam last month. He ended a fruitful October as a member of the winning team Pune Kings at the third season of Match Indian Poker League (Match IPL).
The event played down to the money with the 27 Day 2 survivors all assured a min ₹53,000 payday. 2017 WPT India Bounty NLH winner Sameer Tavanandi went out on the money bubble after being eliminated by Abhishek Jalan in Level 18.
Nasa, however, has his work cut out for himself, as a number of experienced pros are still in the running. Among the list of notables returning on Day 2 are circuit regulars like Abhishek Jalan (658,000), Harsh D (389,000), Team Manager of GPL India Team Pune Alphas, Abhishek Rathod (261,000), Jaideep Sajwan (256,000) and Shashank Jain (232,000).
In its inaugural run in 2017, the Superstack NLH featured a slightly smaller buy-in of ₹30,000 that attracted an attendance field of 284 entries and paid the top 31 players. Sandeep Tulsyan, who had entered the eight-handed final table as the shortest stack, scripted a complete turn-around and climbed up the rankings to emerge as the last player standing. For his win, Tulsyan took home an impressive ₹19 Lakhs.
On Wednesday evening, right as the ₹25,000 NLH Kickoff was edging towards an exciting finale, the interiors of Casino Deltin Royale came alive with the buzz of players lining up to register for the ₹35,000 Superstack NLHE Freezeout. Entries came in right till the end of Level 9 and the field grew to 215, which was noticeably smaller than the 284 players who had registered for this same event last year.
By the time Level 10 began, a brisk pace of elimination had narrowed the field down to 142 players. At the same time payouts were also announced with the prize pool crossing ₹7,115,640.
There were many big names in the field including PokerStars Team Pro Muskan Sethi, first lady of Indian poker, Shuchi Chamaria, Adda52 Team Pros Amit Jain and Kunal Patni, Raghav Bansal, Dhaval Mudgal, Jaydeep Dawer and Adda52 celebrity pro Minissha Lamba. The star-studded field also saw the likes of Vikram Kumar, Arjun Arora, Sanjay Taneja, Manoj Pentakota, Mayank Agarwal, Siddharth Singhvi, Arjjun Singh and Meherzad Munsaf in attendance, but none among them made the cut for Day 2.
Patni, Bansal, Lamba, Mudgal, Kumar and Arora hit the rail in Level 14 and so did Aditya Sushant, who jumped into the event late, shortly after winning the ₹25,000 Kickoff NLHE.
At this point, only 65 players remained with Bharat Kumar commanding the chip lead with a stack of 270,000. Still in action were Amit Jain, Shuchi Chamaria, Abhishek Jalan, Kalyan Chakravarthy, Abhishek Panda, Pradeep Sharma, Abhishek Rathod, Ashish Ahuja, Akshay Nasa, Vivek Rughani, Jayjit Ray and Bobbe Suri.
It took nearly three hours more to reach the bubble round and along the way, Chamaria, Suri, Rughani, Dawer and Chakravarthy, were all relegated to the rail.
Sameer Tavanandi, winner of 2017 WPT India Bounty NLH event had a tough day on the felts. On the last hand of the day, Tavanandi pushed his entire stack in with against Jalan’s . Though he hit a three-of-a-kind when the landed on the flop, Jalan bettered his hand to a higher set of aces when the appeared on the turn. And just like that, Tavanandiwas eliminated in 28th place on the money bubble.
Nasa rose to the top of the chips counts right towards the fag end of the evening. He chipped up through a series of crucial hands and pushed Kumar down the leaderboard to claim the chip lead with a stack of 779,000.
Close behind Nasa are Abhishek Jalan (658,000) and Harsh D. (389,000).
Madhav ‘Maddy’ Gupta (113,000) has also managed to make it to Day 2 with a short stack.
Some others who will be coming back for Day 2 action include Ankit Kapoor (230,000), Jayjit Ray (223,000) who is a mentee of poker icon Aditya Agarwal and recently won his maiden live title at the Baadshah Gaming Live Tournament third edition (BLT3) ₹75K High Roller 6-Max for ₹9 Lakhs, Sravanth Reddy (150,000), Vaibhav Sharma (148,000) and Jairam Parab (104,000).
1. Akshay Nasa – 779,000
2. Abhishek Jalan – 658,000
3. Harsh D. – 389,000
4. Ayush Garg – 382,000
5. Bharat Kumar – 361,000
6. Srinivas Naidu – 347,000
7. Anuraj Srivastav – 301,000
8. Abhishek Rathod – 261,000
9. Jaideep Sajwan – 256,000
10. Anmol Narang – 252,000
Content and images courtesy: onlinepokernews.in/PokerNews India
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