8 mins Read
A Shining Star on the Indian Poker Horizon, Who is Proof That Effort Never Goes Waste!
Arsh Grover can certainly claim to be one of India’s youngest poker talents, what with an already impressive portfolio of scores, both online and live. He came into the limelight earlier this year, when he won ‘The Bigger $11, $130K GTD’ on PokerStars in Jan for $14K and continued to amass several great scores throughout the past many months. Recently, Arsh notched up another victory, when he took down the IPC Aug INR 10K Weekend Kickoff, his first live tournament title.
The 19-year old began playing poker at 11 and is self-admittedly crazily in love with game. A fact that is abundantly revealed in his answers to our questions. Arsh displays a rare maturity that goes far beyond his age and an even rarer discipline and willingness to put in hard work at a time when his peers are probably busy enjoying the fun life.
Despite being on an upswing, he is grounded and extremely aware of the need to put in sufficient practice and study. This effort has not been in vain, as Arsh now already has more than $100K in cashes on PokerStars, besides three tournament titles in this month alone.
The young player has been extremely lucky to have understanding and supporting parents, who believe in his passion. Arsh is now looking to expand his poker-boundaries with forays into the international scene. Clearly, this talented player is one of the future stars of Indian poker and will be a name to watch for in the coming days.
Read on to know more about Arsh and his poker journey!
Hi Arsh, tell us about yourself. How and when did you get going in poker and what inspired you to take up the game seriously?
Hey, first of all I’d like to thank you guys for this opportunity. I’m 19 years old and I’m from Delhi. I’m currently in 2nd Year (Kirorimal College) and I started playing when I was 11. It’s insane how much I love this game and I started taking it seriously at the age of 15-16. I was making quite decent money at that time and I realized that I could turn pro in the coming years if I put enough hard work into it. I started studying poker a lot, watching videos, reading books while grinding 12h+ everyday and when I turned 18, I decided to do it full time. I was done with school and dedicated all my time to poker. I took up the easiest course in college so I could focus on this and it turned out to be just fine I’d say!
What is your family`s reaction to you playing poker full time?
My parents are really happy and proud of the fact that I’m chasing my dreams. They’ve seen my passion for this game since I was a kid and have seen me work hard day in and day out for the past couple of years. I’m glad that they understand how it’s different from gambling and they totally support me.
The year 2015 has been great for you so far. You have become an online phenom with some great scores under your belt. Tell us about the thing/s that have helped you become a winning player.
After school I took a pretty major downswing (at the time was major for me) and I was down to a $100 bankroll in December 2014. That is when I made my $100 to $5k challenge on twoplustwo, followed good bankroll management, grinded a lot and studied hard. In the next 3 weeks, I managed to win the Bigger 11 for 14k$ and joined a poker stable.
I would say the key to my success would be the amount of hours that I put in off the felt. This is one of the major mistakes that a lot of players make. The learning curve in poker is huge and you have to keep studying and reviewing your game at a regular basis. This part of the game is often overlooked by the majority of the players.
Things that helped me become a winning player are as basic as –
* Good Bankroll Management
* 2h+ of watching videos everyday for atleast 5 days per week
* Getting coached 5h+ per week
* Doing work on my mental game regularly
* Having a study group with some great players
Coming to the live tournament scene, you recently took down the IPC Aug edition 10K kickoff event. You have written a detailed blog about the win, do you think you have an edge in domestic tournaments?
I definitely think that I have an edge in the domestic tournaments, just because of the volume that I’ve put in online. I was averaging 1,000 tournaments per month during June-July. Combine that with studying a lot regularly and I was prepared for this edition of IPC. I worked quite a lot on my live game and fixed a lot of my major live leaks which proved to be massive. Domestic fields in Goa are dominated with recreational & cash game players, who do not have enough experience playing tournaments so the edge is pretty significant.
In your blog you have mentioned about BBZStaking. Are you still a part of that group? How does that work and how many players are a part of the group?
Yes, I’m still a part of BBZStaking and they’ve helped me a lot in developing as a player over the last 8-9 Months. It’s basically divided into a low-midstakes and a high stakes stable, which have a total of around 80-100 players.
So basically, first you have to apply to join their stable and if selected players are backed and coached by them at a 50/50 profit split condition with make-up.
What are your plans on attending international tournaments this year?
I’ll be leaving for World Series of Poker Europe that is being held in Berlin in 2 weeks and depending on how that goes, I might end up going for WPT Montreal in November. I’m also looking forward to the PCA and Aussie Millions in January, but am still unsure of which ones I’ll be attending.
We know that you put in insane volume online. Can you share details on your grind machine? What is your online setup like, how many monitors and what software/s you use and HUD stats you refer to?
So my setup basically looks like –
* 2 x 24″ Dell U2414H Monitors
* Razer Mamba Mouse and Deathstalker Keyboard
* 14″ Alienware laptop which I hook up to the monitors/travel with
* Pokertracker 4/Sharkscope Desktop as HUDs
What does your online schedule look like? What are the MUST haves for you during a long online grind?
My regular day starts at around 6-8pm when I wake up, take a shower, do some errands, grab something to eat, watch a couple of training videos/Review HHs and at around 9-10pm I start my online grind. I usually play till 9-10am in the morning, have some breakfast & sleep.
Music & backup Internet is a MUST have for me during a long online grind. I would not recommend anyone who takes poker seriously to watch TV shows/movies while grinding, as it will massively hurt your winrate in the long run. I have Red Bull stocked up, but I usually only need it on Sundays, when I’m 15-16h+ into a session.
Care to share some tips for other youngsters out there trying to get staked and/or mentored to make a career out of playing poker?
I think it all comes down to how much you love the game, how bad you want it and how hard you are willing to work for it. If you’re actually willing to work hard there is plenty of content and people that you can learn from. I would say following proper bankroll management, finding a good coach and being prepared to work hard, is where someone can start at. It’s not about getting rich overnight, but being able to beat the games that you are playing consistently over the long run, while improving and moving up. That requires discipline.
We wish Arsh all the best in his endeavors and look forward to many more poker exploits from him.