5 Minutes Read
A promising poker talent with a steely determination to succeed, Nadeem Basha (cover image) is a man to watch out for. This Chennai-based lad is the personification of India’s upcoming poker prowess – enterprising, aggressive and hardworking.
Alike many pros who have made a mark in the industry before him, Basha too took his first steps towards the mind sport through Zynga Poker in 2012. But it was the guidance of Team PokerStars pro Aditya Agarwal and the poker stable AceJack that saw Basha improve his game tremendously.
Although Basha hasn’t had much exposure to live games, his track record on the online felts is very consistent. A fan of Daniel Negreanu, Basha ambitiously dreams of making it big in the world’s biggest poker festival, the World Series of Poker (WSOP), just like his idol.
Read his remarkable story in his own words.
For Basha who loves to spend hours on the virtual felts, the romance with poker began with casual gaming at Zynga. Soon, he was hooked and started exploring more home games. There was no looking back as Basha wasted no time and moved up to the higher stakes.
“I have been playing poker since 2012. I started through Zynga and then home games where we used to play 1/2 ₹200 buy in. It didn’t take me long to build a bankroll and I began playing higher stakes.”
With a growing grasp over poker, Basha’s poker journey has grabbed attention. He is being staked by AceJack for almost a year now and the results reveal their own story. Now, Basha plays at 100/200 ₹20,000 buy-in events, and devotes all his time to poker. While online is certainly where he’s a master, live games are also not far behind.
“I have been playing poker full-time now. Both live and online. Hold ‘em or Omaha preferably. I shipped the Elite Super High Roller last SSS for about ₹12 Lakhs. It’s my favourite tourney, being a 6 max.”
Part of Basha’s success in the game is attributed to India’s pioneering poker professional, Aditya Agarwal, and Basha is quite a fan of ‘Intervention’. His respect and admiration for Agarwal comes across quite clearly as he speaks about his mentor.
“I am being coached by none other than Aditya Agarwal. A few months under his coaching and I can see major results in my game. It has helped me right from the basics to in depth game dynamics.”
Basha, like other poker regulars spends a minimum five to seven hours playing poker on various sites and plays live at least five days a week. Taking advantage of the high value tournaments offered on the weekends, Basha is a busy man on the weekends.
“I spend 5-7 hrs a day playing live and then online. I play live at least 5 days a week. Sundays are for online only”.
But what about his family? “It took some time, but they figured out that I have always been a gamer since childhood. It’s more like I love my profession because I am passionate about it”.
Basha, who has played live tournaments in Goa a couple of times feels that Indian poker is finally getting the space and attention it deserves and the best is yet to come.
“Poker in India is booming as we speak. The guaranteed steady increase in prize pool in MTT’s in reputed portals and the leaderboard prizes are all that we are looking for. Many many more Sundays to come.”
Though he hasn’t played in any of the popular poker leagues, they will be an important part of Indian poker, for the years to come, feels the online MTT specialist.
“I am yet to get into one. But a lot of my friends are in Global Poker League (GPL) India. Will be getting into one soon,” Basha said.
While Basha continues to dominate the online felts, he has his priorities in the right place as he understands how important it is for players to manage their finances, in order to make it to the big leagues.
“I want to build a solid bankroll with the help of AceJack and Adi. He is a beast. There is much more to learn from him. I see myself in good hands for the next couple of years. WSOP Main Event next year is my set goal for now.”
A confident Basha looks poised to grab bigger headlines in days to come, and with eyes on the biggest prize that competitive poker has to offer, the future of this passionate player seems very bright!