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October has brought with it an abundance of live poker action with two major stops running one after the other. The first of the two, the Baazi Poker Tour, only just wrapped up its comeback series on Monday, with Tuesday marking the start of the third edition of the World Poker Tour (India) onboard the floating Casino Deltin Royale in Goa.
WPT first visited India in 2017, almost immediately gaining the reputation as the top poker stop in the country! The last two years have been groundbreaking for the international tournament brand in India with each passing edition setting a new benchmark. Even though the 697-entry record set at the WPT India Main Event last year was outdone by the IPC last month, that event continues to remain the largest Main Event hosted in the country to-date with a total prize pool collection of ₹3.62 Crores.
Coming back to the opening event at the ongoing series, the two-day ₹20K Kickoff registered 161 entries last night – an almost 20% dip from the 201 entries the same event garnered in 2018. It took eight hours of play for the field to be whittled down to 11 finalists and emerging as the end of day chip leader was Vikram “Lungi” Kumar (cover image). This is back-to-back deep runs for the poker operator cum player on this Goa trip – he had finished seventh in the BPT 20K PLO on Monday and is presently the frontrunner to win the ₹8.05 Lakhs up top after bagging a dominating 605,000 stack on Day 1. His closest competitor, Himanshu Arora, will be returning on Day 2 with 360,000.
Some other notables who are in the running to win a WPT title include Vaibhav Sharma (236,000), Jaydeep Dawer (173,000), Deepak Raina (106,000) & Vineet Kumar (69,000).
End of Day 1 Chip Counts
1. Vikram Kumar – 605,000
2. Himanshu Arora – 360,000
3. Aayush G – 257,000
4. Vaibhav Sharma – 236,000
5. Aswees N – 191,000
6. Jaydeep Dawer – 173,000
7. Nirav Parekh – 136,000
8. Deepak Raina – 106,000
9. Vineet Kumar – 69,000
10. Anand Babu – 62,000
11. Guru Kumar – 22,000
Back-to-back events in Goa is undoubtedly the primary reason for the declining numbers in the opening event. Even with WPT integrating the India stop prominently in its Asia Swing, the opening event`s turnout indicates marginally lower numbers overall this edition than last time. There is some fierce competition that has opened up recently with the likes of BPT and IPC, both staging full-blown events. At the same time, there is a factor that has worked in WPT India`s favor – many players who had come to play the BPT have stayed back for WPT.
It was India’s first WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant who had taken down his first WPT title at this very event last year. He was not so lucky this time, busting well before the money line.
The top 21 places were to get paid, and the money bubble round saw a double elimination. It was a three-way preflop showdown between Himanshu Arora , Kartik Ved , and Ashish Motwani (hand unknown). The board ran out , and Arora took down the pot eliminating both Ved and Motwani in the process. Motwani was the shorter of the two at the start of the hand and went out on the money bubble while PokerGuru Ambassador Ved became the first player to finish in the money at 21st place for ₹39,400.
Some other regulars who finished in the money include Rubin Labroo (13th for ₹59,100), BPT High Roller champion Rohit Jinwal (15th for ₹59,100), PokerGuru Ambassadors Jayjit Ray (16th for ₹49,100) & Kartik Ved (21st for ₹39,400) and Harsh Dembla (19th for ₹39,400).
Complete List of ITM Finishes on Day 1
12th – Mayer Penkar – ₹69,700
13th – Rubin Labroo – ₹59,100
14th – Shankar S – ₹59,100
15th – Rohit Jinwal – ₹59,100
16th – Jayjit Ray – ₹49,100
17th – Pratik Mehta – ₹49,100
18th – Naveen Sagar – ₹49,100
19th – Harsh Dembla – ₹39,400
20th – Abhishek Chinya – ₹39,400
21st – Kartik Ved – ₹39,400
The Day 2 action resumes at 2:30 pm today!
Content and Images Courtesy: Online Poker News, India
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