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WSOP 2021: Shashank Jain, Abhinav Iyer, Nikita Luther, Aditya Agarwal & Nipun Java Headline 8 Indian Survivors on Day 1D of the Main Event

Shashank Jain, Abhinav Iyer, Nikita Luther, Aditya Agarwal & Nipun Java
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  • Namita Ghosh November 8, 2021
  • 8 Minutes Read

Sunday was an action-packed one at the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP), with Event #67: $10K Main Event World Championship playing out the fourth of its six starting flights. For the first time since 2012, the showstopper tourney features more than three flights, and expectations were rife that Day 1D would bring in massive participation, and the turnout certainly did not disappoint.

Making up for the modest turnouts on Days 1A, 1B, and 1C – that recorded an all-time low for the event – Day 1D pulled in a staggering 2,550 players. The number was more than the fields of the first three flights combined. Following the five 2-hour levels of action, a total of 1,939 players have advanced to Day 2ABD, and bagging the top three stacks of the day were Adedapo Ajayi (340,900), Zachary Grech (318,400), and Ugur Secilmis (260,000).

At least 10 Indians were confirmed to have entered the 10-hour long marathon, and eight of them made it across to Day 2ABD. Leading the Indian group was Shashank Jain (124,400). Former bracelet champions Abhinav Iyer (90,500) and Nikita Luther (84,500), poker maestro Aditya Agarwal (70,300), two-time bracelet champion Nipun Java (56,600), Young Gun Neel Joshi (52,200), poker coach Abhishek Goindi (39,800) and Young Gun Arsh Grover (35,400) are the other Indian pros who will be returning on Day 2ABD.

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Clearly, the Indians have done well on Day 1D. We have three bracelet champions, alongside the experienced pro and coach Aditya Agarwal, and young talents fighting to win the sought-after Main Event bracelet. Along with Dubai-based Vidur Sethi (226,200), who bagged a considerably big stack on Day 1A, there are now nine Indians to have made the cut for Day 2.

At least two more Indians, namely Kunal Patni and the first-ever WPT Vietnam Main Event champion Dhaval Mudgal, entered Day 1D but failed to make it further.

Mudgal’s tweet was indication enough that he had busted the most-awaited poker tournament at the WSOP.

Indian Survivors on Day 1D

PlayerChip Count
Shashank Jain124,400
Abhinav Iyer90,500
Nikita Luther84,500
Aditya Agarwal70,300
Nipun Java56,600
Neel Joshi52,200
Abhishek Goindi39,800
Arsh Grover35,400


Shashank Jain headlines the eight Indians who made it through Day 1D and bagged an above-average stack of 124,400. The high stakes cash game player has 15 WSOP cashes to his name, the most prominent of which is the 21st place finish at the 2014 WSOP Event #58: $1,500 NLHE Mixed Max for $12,445. Jain is yet to cash in the Main Event.

Shashank Jain


Following Jain are former bracelet champions Abhinav Iyer (90,500) and Nikita Luther (84,500). Iyer won India its first solo bracelet at the 2019 WSOP Event #84: The Closer. He also holds the bragging rights of picking up the single-biggest score by an Indian at the WSOP to date. Will Iyer overshadow his own illustrious WSOP resume by shipping the WSOP Main Event?! We are watching!!

Abhinav Iyer


Spartan Poker Team Pro Nikita Luther won her first WSOP bracelet in the 2018 WSOP $1,000 Tag Team event, where she paired up with Germany’s Guiseppe Pantaleo. Luther recorded her first WSOP cash at the 2017 edition and has collected 10 cashes collectively worth $130,049 in just a few years. Though she failed to repeat her feat in this year’s Tag Team event, Luther has significantly upped her game in recent years and will be another Indian force on Day 2ABD to look out for.

Nikita Luther
Nikita Luther


India’s poker veteran Aditya Agarwal (70,300) had a swingy ride through the day. He went short early on but won a sizable pot in Level 4 to recover most of his losses, eventually closing out the day with an above-starting stack of 70,300. The former PokerStars India Team Pro has religiously attended the annual WSOP edition for 15 years and is hands down the most experienced Indian at this year`s WSOP. The Indian with the maximum WSOP cashes to his name, Agarwal, is also the natural choice for bringing India another bracelet this year. The poker coach is now chasing an impressive ninth cash at the Main Event and is close to breaching the world record of maximum cashes at the Main Event, held by Berry Johnston. He has cashed once at the ongoing series, in Online Event #6: $666 WSOP.com Online Bracelet, where he finished 37th for $2,346.

Aditya Agarwal
Aditya Agarwal


Two-time bracelet winner Nipun Java (56,600) is another seasoned pro to make it through to Day 2, although he carried less than the 60,000 starting stack. Java, who boasts of $1,360,338 in WSOP winnings, has already cashed six times at this year`s series.

Nipun Java
Nipun Java


Young Gun Neel Joshi (52,200) is another Indian advancing to Day 2. Joshi is no stranger to winning tournaments and had come close to grabbing his career-first gold bracelet in Event #36: $1,500 FIFTY STACK No Limit Hold’em at the 2020 WSOP Online (6th for $59,878).

Neel Joshi


Poker coach and co-founder of Poker Bootcamp India, Abhishek Goindi (39,800), has already made two deep runs at the ongoing series. He finished 47th in the Colossus for $6,120 (~₹4.57 Lakhs) and followed it up with a 384th place finish in the Deepstack Championship for $1,201 (~₹89,475). Given his form and the deep structure of the Main Event, Goindi is a strong contender.

Abhishek Goindi


Arsh Grover (35,400) is another Young Gun who will be joining the Indian contingent on Day 2.

Arsh Gover


Looking at the rest of the field, three-time bracelet champion David “Bakes” Baker (247,300) features among the top stacks advancing through Day 1D. Among the other notables who managed to secure a stack are former WSOP champions James Chen (209,400), Cliff Josephy (198,600), Nick Petrangelo (180,000), Greg Mueller (176,700), Ben Yu (160,600), GGPoker Ambassador Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (121,700), Anthony Zinno (52,400), Frank Kassela (43,100) and Ari Engel (13,600).

Others like Shyam Srinivasan (206,000), Women in Poker Hall of Famers Kathy Liebert (97,300) and Maria Ho (85,700), Kitty Kuo (57,600), Jamie Kerstetter (14,300) also made the cut.

Among those eliminated through the day were two WSOP Main Event champions Joe McKeehen and Greg Raymer.

All the players who qualified from Day 1D now get two days off and return for Day 2ABD on November 9 (11 AM local time).

The Main Event has two more starting flights to go – Day 1E and Day 1F that will run on November 8 and 9, respectively. Registrations remain open on the two Day 2s as well, so we can expect the final field to expand more!

Adedapo Ajayi
Adedapo Ajayi


Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 1D

  1. Adedapo Ajayi – 340,900
  2. Zachary Grech – 318,400
  3. Ugur Secilmis – 260,000
  4. Wooram Cho – 252,100
  5. David “Bakes” Baker – 247,300
  6. Steven Cartwright – 247,200
  7. Derek Chang – 229,600
  8. Dan Shak – 229,200
  9. Corel Theuma – 227,000
  10. Timothy Mina – 226,300

Content & Images: WSOP & PokerNews

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