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While most eyes were trained on the happenings in the Main Event, the side events too were able to attract commendable attention. The ₹20,000 Shootout (6-Max) NLH, which replaced the PLO event last year, drew in 50 entries across two flights. After several hours of intense play, Pratik Goel (cover image) emerged as the champion and claimed his maiden WPT title for a winner’s payday of ₹3.87 Lakhs.
Meanwhile, the ₹100K High Roller opened to a healthy field 30 entries which eventually grew to 79 just before late registrations closed. The final player pool comprised of a total of 120 entries, falling slightly short of last’ years 128. At the end of the day, the field had been narrowed down to 74 runners.
Some notables who were seen in action included defending champion Rajnish Kumar, Team PokerStars India pro Aditya Agarwal, Kalyan Chakravarthy, Young Gun Ashish Munot, co-founder of The Indian Poker Series (TIPS) Jaydeep Dawer, Adda52 Celebrity pro Minissha Lamba and Paawan Bansal.
The first flight of the ₹20K Shootout registered 20 runners with a further 30 entries coming in through the second flight. Many notables were seen in action including Siddharth Singhvi, Rahul Marwaha, Harshit Chopra, Ankit Kapoor, Deepak Bother, Sravanth Reddy, Jaideep Sajwan and Deepak Raina.
With only player advancing from each table, the final table saw five players namely, PokerBaazi founder Navkiran Singh, Pratik Goel, Vaibhav Arora, Amar Katharani and Abhishek Rathod locked in for the final battle.
Seasoned pro Abhishek Rathod was the shortest stack on the final table. He shoved all-in with and Amar Katharani called with . The board dealt and Katharani rivered two pairs of kings and queens to crack Rathod’s pocket rockets, leading to the latter’s fifth place elimination.
Finishing in fourth place was Team Manager of MIPL winning team Pune Kings, Amar Katharani. With the board running , Katharani pitted his against Vaibhav Arora’s . Arora’s hand bettered to three-of-a-kind fives on the turn, sending Katharani to the rail.
Following Katharani’s exit, Vaibhav Arora was unable to maintain his place at the felts for long. He jammed from small blind with and Navkiran Singh called with . The community cards fanned out and missed both players. Singh’s ace-king overpowered Arora’s hand and the latter bounced out in third place.
Pratik Goel and Navkiran Singh battled for the top seat in the heads-up play.
Though Singh fought hard, it was Goel who stole the show in the end and took home his career-first WPT title for a cool ₹3.87 Lakhs payday.
1. Pratik Goel – ₹3,87,700
2. Navkiran Singh – ₹2,36,400
3. Vaibhav Arora – ₹1,41,900
4. Amar Katharani – ₹1,04,000
5. Abhishek Rathod – ₹75,600
The ₹100K High Roller was another popular event on the schedule and lured some big names to the felts resulting in a attendance field of 120 entries. The familiar faces in the fray included the likes of Samay Parikh, defending champion Rajnish Kumar, Sunny Grewal, Young Gun Ashish Munot, co-founder of The Indian Poker Series (TIPS) Jaydeep Dawer, Adda52 Celebrity pro Minissha Lamba and Srinivas Naidu, who had finished fifth in the ₹35K Superstack.
Many poker heavyweights joined the action late and these included Team PokerStars India pro Aditya Agarwal, Kalyan Chakravarthy, runner-up of WSOP 2018 The Closer Paawan Bansal, Jayjit Ray, winner of ₹25K Big Bounty Alok Birewar and Vidwath Shetty.
By the time the bags were brought out, only 74 participants were left in the field.
Many interesting hands were witnessed over the course of the day’s play.
In a hand played between Young Gun Ashish Munot and Srinivas Naidu, the player in under-the-gun (UTG) opened with 700 and Naidu called, followed by a raise to 3,700 from Munot on the button. UTG and Naidu called the 3,700 rasie to see the flop open . UTG checked and Naidu led with 3,700. Munot called along with UTG and the turn fell . All three players checked to see the river . Munot raised to 11,000, UTG folded, while Naidu called. Munot tabled to win the pot, putting a sizeable dent in Naidu’s stack.
Masha Soboleva has been quite a mover & shaker at this series. She fired bullets on all three starting flights in the Main Event but missed the target each time. She came back for an appearance in the High Roller as well, but once again busted early. Her ran into Ankit Kapoor‘s . With the board providing no help, Soboleva busted out empty-handed.
On the final hand of the day, Rohit Bhasin eliminated a player, when Bhasin’s hit a hearts flush on the turn, outdoing his opponent’s .
The end of Day 1 chip counts in the 100K High Roller were yet to be updated at the time of publishing this report.
Content and images courtesy: onlinepokernews.in/PokerNews India
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