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WPT Prime India: Rajeesh Rajpopat & Nikhil Jalan Book Maiden WPT Victory in ₹30K Teams NLH Freezeout (₹4.58 Lakhs)

Rajesh Rajpopat & Nikhil Jalan win WPT Prime India Teams NLH Freezeout
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  • Namita Ghosh April 15, 2023
  • 4 Minutes Read

The World Poker Tour Prime India, being hosted onboard the floating Casino Deltin Royale in Goa, handed out two WPT trophies on Friday, April 14. A few hours after Vineet Kumar took down the ₹40K PLO, the ₹30K Teams NLH Freezeout wound up proceedings, with the team of Rajesh Rajpopat and Nikhil Jalan emerging victorious.

The duo was among 43 teams who entered the tournament, which is a new addition to the WPT India schedule. Entering the final table as the second-biggest stacks, they made a dash to the finish line, defeating Clinton Tavares and Pratyush Ladha heads-up. In addition to punching their names as first-time WPT trophy winners, Rajpopat and Jalan collectively won ₹4.58 Lakhs in prize money.

Rajpopat is a seasoned hand in the live tournament circuit, having won his first live title in the ₹16.50K NLHE Super Knockout at the 2015 IPC for ₹1.58 Lakhs. He has had a close brush to winning the WPT trophy before when he came agonizingly close to taking down the 2017 WPT India High Roller. He lost the title heads-up to Rajnish Singh and bagged away a career-best ₹24.49 Lakhs as the runner-up.

Rajpopat`s tournament scorecard has three other final table scores from the Deltin Poker Tournament, including the 2017 July DPT Main Event (4th for ₹8.32 Lakhs), the 2018 July DPT ₹15K Bounty (8th for ₹51,233), and 2022 April DPT ₹15K Bounty (2nd for ₹3.91 Lakhs). With the WPT Prime India Teams NLH victory, the former Adda52 Mega Suits winner, Rajpopat, clinched his career-first WPT title, breaking an eight-year-long live title drought.

Jalan, who last cashed the WPT India ₹30K NLH SuperStack (18th for ₹85,000) in November 2017, and famously won PokerHigh’s flagship Remonetizer in March 2017, posted his first-ever live tournament victory.

The Teams NLH Freezeout had a unique concept with two players on each team. One of them started playing from Level 1 with 7,500 chips. If the player busted, their partner resumed with the same starting stack. On the final table, team members were swapped every round, and at three-handed play, both team members converged to play together, right down to the final hand.

The single-day tournament had a turbo-paced structure with 20-minute levels. Late registrations were left open until the end of Level 7. With 43 teams coming in, the tournament collected a prize pool of ₹11,73,900, and the top six teams got paid.

WPT Prime India 2023 Teams NLH Freezeout Final Table
WPT Prime India 2023 Teams NLH Freezeout Final Table


Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Rohit Chauhan and Stalin Manoharan – 120,000
  2. Rajesh Rajpopat and Nikhil Jalan – 99,000
  3. Harsha Reddy and Hemant Kumar – 90,000
  4. Rajeev Sachdeva and Siddharth Jolly – 83,000
  5. Harsh Tanna and Niyut Shah – 61,000
  6. Navaneeth Anantharaman – Prateek Uppal – 58,000
  7. Sandeep Sharma and Abhishek R – 55,000
  8. Clinton Tavares and Pratyush – 53,000
  9. Aditya Sareen and Shane Hodges – 23,000


Final Table Recap

The final table saw its first elimination in Level 15, with the eventual winners, Nikhil Jalan-Rajeesh Rajpopat taking out the short-stacked Aditya SareenShane Hodges. Looking to double-up, Sareen-Hodges jammed with . Jalan-Rajpopat called with and hit the winning flush on the board .

Next up, Rajeev SachdevaSiddharth Jolly was shown the door in eighth place. Their ace-queen hit top pair on board, but their opponents spiked a better two-pair.

Harsh Tanna-Niyut Shah had the most unfortunate departure, missing the payouts by whiskers. The team hit the rail in seventh place, falling on the money bubble.

Navneet Anantharaman-Prateek Uppal min-cashed the tournament in sixth place. The duo moved all-in for 45,000, and Rajpopat-Jalan called them off.


Rajpopat-Jalan .

Anantharaman-Uppal were drawing thin, and to make matters worse, Rajpopat-Jalan hit a set on the board , trimming the final table to five teams.

Clinton Tavares-Pratyush Ladha then routed Abhishek R-Sandeep Sharma in fifth place when their two pair of aces and fives dominated the latter`s queen-ten.

Stalin Manoharan-Rohit Chauhan were dispatched in fourth place after their failed to improve against Clinton Tavares-Pratyush Ladha’s on the runout .

With the team of Harsha Reddy-Hemanth Kumar falling in third place, it was down to the heads-up round.

The heads-up between Rajesh Rajpopat –Nikhil Jalan and Clinton Tavares–Pratyush Ladha was short-lived. On the final hand, Tavares-Ladh moved all in with . The eventual champions made the call, showing . It was off to the races, and luckily for Rajpopat-Jalan, the board panned out , bringing them the winning two-pair of aces and kings, earning them the prestigious WPT trophy!

Rajesh Rajpopat & Nikhil Jalan
Rajesh Rajpopat & Nikhil Jalan


Final Table Results (INR)

  1. Rajesh Rajpopat – Nikhil Jalan – ₹4,58,000
  2. Clinton Tavares – Pratyush Ladha – ₹2,70,000
  3. Harsha Reddy – Hemanth Kumar – ₹1,64,000
  4. Stalin Manoharan – Rohit Chauhan – ₹1,17,000
  5. Sandeep Sharma – Abhishek R – ₹93,900
  6. Navaneeth Anantharaman – Prateek Uppal – ₹71,000


Images & Live Coverage Information Courtesy: Gaming News 247

Keep following PokerGuru for more updates from the WPT Prime India 2023!

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