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In midst of fanfare and glitter, the poker felts at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas came alive on May 29 with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2018 taking centerstage. The series will continue through July 15 and crown 78 WSOP bracelet winners in total. This year’s first WSOP bracelet event began yesterday with an event that has been a tradition to ‘thank’ their employees i.e. the 2-day $565 Casino Employees No Limit Hold ‘Em.
As was expected, the largest number of Indian challengers in history at the series led by Team PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal are all but guaranteed to be in attendance at the Mecca of Poker – Las Vegas. While a few have already touched down in Vegas many more are set to join them later this summer, before the Main Event kicks off on July 2. At PokerGuru, we shall bring daily updates from WSOP 2018.
After a never-before stellar performance in 2017 where Indians posted their first two bracelet wins and made deeper runs into the WSOP Main Event, there’s a lot of expectation from the Indian challengers who have been preparing to ride over their own past performances at the series and return home with bigger wins.
Today, we take a look at the past five years (2013 – 2017) as we bring the top 10 WSOP runs by Indians.
1. Nipun Java
Standing currently at the second position in the Hendon Mob India All Time Money List, two-time bracelet winner Nipun Java is undisputedly the top scoring Indian at WSOP. In 2017, Java won the $1,000 NLHE WSOP.com Online championship to bank a monumental $237,688 and his second shiny bracelet.
With 42 WSOP and WSOPC cashes including 2 bracelet wins and 1 ring win, Java’s total WSOP earning come to $1,096,483. Java who’s quite a planner when it comes to value hunting the good tournaments and playing a game of caution is one of the most effective poker players from Team India and may be seen outperforming his competitors this year as well.
2. Aditya Agarwal
At the 49th WSOP, many hopes are revolving around the young pioneer of Indian poker, 34-year old Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal who was the first player from India to step onto the WSOP platform 13 years back and has made his annual pilgrimage to the series every year since then.
Agarwal is one of the most front-running faces from India in international poker, and his performance at WSOP in terms of cashes stands second only to Java, with 36 cashes and total WSOP earnings standing at $484,098. The PokerStars Team pro’s highest score at WSOP was posted in WSOP 2015 in the $10,000 NLHE Main Event where he sailed through a field of 6,420 entries to grab the 71st position, raking in $96,445. By the virtue of this finish, Agarwal became the first player from India to finish in top 100 at the WSOP Main Event ever!
3. Aditya Sushant
A WSOP regular since 2014, Aditya Sushant ranks third on the Top 10 Indian Scores in WSOP. Together with Java he created history in WSOP 2017 by bringing home India’s first-ever gold bracelet after shipping the $1,000 NLHE-Tag Team Event. Along with the coveted WSOP gold bracelet, Sushant picked up $75,319 in prize money.
In 2016, Sushant collected $42,285 for 216th place finish in the $10,000 Main Event Championship. In his first year at the series itself, he picked up scores in five side events.
3. Nipun Java
With a bracelet win at the WSOP 2017 in the $1,000 Tag Team Tournament where he was to partner with someone else but landed up teaming with Sushant and made way for India’s first bracelet, Nipun Java comes back to the list with this historical win that got him a pay cheque worth $75,319. The Kolkata born resident of Los Angeles has been one of the most active Indians in the international poker felts lately and is one of the top pros in the running for more bracelets this year too.
5. Paawan Bansal
Paawan Bansal hit the WSOP felt for the first time in 2017 and in his very first appearance. Bansal went deep in the headline $10,000 NLHE Main Event Championship where he finished 124th. Bansal has been quite active both in the domestic and international felts and boasts of total live earnings of $156,287. This year, Bansal should be seen in action at several events to further expand his WSOP portfolio.
6. Rahul Byrraju
When it comes to playing high stakes, Team India has a strong performer in Rahul Byrraju. The Hyderabad pro made headlines in 2013 when he first debuted in WSOP and scored $21,326 for 20th place in the $2,500 NLHE event.
Byrraju’s biggest WSOP score however came last year at the $10,000 NLHE Main Event Championship, where he finished 102nd and cashed $53,247 propelling his overall WSOP earnings to $110,261.
7. Aditya Sushant
Aditya Sushant retains the number 7th slot in the list for his second major run in the WSOP 2017in the $1,500 NLHE event where Sushant reached his second final table and eventually finished 8th pocketing $44,255. His till-date WSOP earnings are $194,550, thanks to 14 cashes.
8. Raghav Bansal
Team India’s 2015 head turner, Raghav Bansal was the only Indian to final-table the $2,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em where he cashed $39,508 after finishing in 9th place, which was also his biggest score at WSOP 2015. Ranked 4th on the Hendon Mob India All time Money list and with overall WSOP earnings of $146,708 from 15 cashes, Bansal is expected to drive it aggressive in this year’s WSOP.
9. Vivek Rajkumar
Though he stands first on the India’s all-time Money list with total live earnings $4,427,667, Vivek Rajkumar’s participation in WSOP has only been modest. The last WSOP cash by him was in 2015 where he finished 197th in the $10,000 NLHE Main Event and walked away with $40,433. Rajkumar’s total WSOP earnings stand at $377,997 from 14 cashes.
10. Aditya Agarwal
Agarwal features again in the Top 10 Indian Scores in WSOP for his run at the WSOP 2013 where he finished 212th in the $10,000 World Championship NLHE, raking in $42,990. A player who passionately plays through the whole schedule of WSOP, Agarwal holds the distinction of being the only Indian to make it to the top 100 in the WSOP Main Event, a mark he cracked way back in 2008 that places him on the no 2 spot in this feature.
Indian participation in the WSOP has grown big time in recent years, and as the WSOP magic unfolds again, the Indian poker fraternity holds their breath to watch their performance this year!
Stay tuned on PokerGuru for daily updates from WSOP 2018.