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We are back with another Champions Speak interview, and this time, we put the spotlight on 32-year-old Arjanveer Singh Chadha! The #PokerGuruAmbassador was one of the top-ten ranked players last year, and he seems to be doing even better this year. The MTT pro from Chandigarh jumped to #5 on the annual rankings after winning PokerStars India’s Diwali Rush – Main Event last week. He chopped the title heads-up with his PokerGuru Staking teammate Ankit Wadhawan (2nd for ₹11.60 Lakhs) to collect ₹13.32 Lakhs!
Talking about the win, Chadha said, “I was on a one-week break before Sunday, so I well rested and pumped up before the game. It started really well, and I quickly accumulated a bunch of chips and soon became the chip leader. It was going all smoothly until I lost a huge pot with the final two tables remaining. I somehow managed to hold onto the short stack and reach the Final Table. On the FT, there were around four or five stacks that were similar to mine in size. I decided to bide my time and wait for premium hands before getting involved in any pot. I then went on a heater and won five to six back-to-back flips and got myself a decent stack, and then got the chip lead back with three people remaining, after which there was no stopping me.”
Once he got heads-up with his friend Wadhawan, Chadha quickly agreed to a deal. He explained, “When it came down to the heads-up play, I decided to chop with Ankit as we are friends and also because we wanted to reduce the variance. But we had to play for the title, so we fought hard for that, and ultimately I got it!”
The Chandigarh-based pro is a BBA graduate from Symbiosis College in Pune. He is also a cricket lover who has represented Punjab in the 2005 Under-17 National Cricket championship.
Chadha’s tryst with poker began at a relatively young age, and over time, he found his true calling in the game. As a part of the PokerGuru Staking stable, he was mentored by one of the country’s foremost poker coaches, Aditya Agarwal, who has coached some of India’s biggest MTT crushers in the country. And with ₹8.60 Crores in tracked online winnings, and ₹3.07 Crores in net profits, Chadha features prominently on that list.
Sharing the details of his poker routine, Chadha said, “I usually grind four-five days a week, especially on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, while the other days it depends on how I feel on that day. Saturday is reserved as an off and for chilling with friends and family. On a regular day, I usually start my grind around 8 PM as I mostly play MTTs, which generally goes on till about 3 or 4 in the morning.”
While playing the game and self-study is essential for poker players looking to improve, surrounding yourself with the best minds in the field definitely adds a significant advantage. Chadha is flatmates with PokerGuru Ambassador Ashish Ahuja, another MTT crusher, and Super Achiever ranked #7 on the annual rankings. We had recently spoken to Ahuja for more details on his inspiring physical transformation. Commenting on that, Chadha says, “Firstly, I want to applaud Ashish for what he has accomplished in the past eight months. It is extremely difficult to achieve with respect to his fitness without compromising on the grind. I’m definitely inspired by him and plan to join him, and hopefully, you will see a different me in the next six months.”
“Ashish and I decided to take a place and grind together just before the pandemic hit. It was the best decision of our lives. Doing what we do, gets very lonely sometimes, and having like-minded people around you is really helpful. We celebrate each other’s victories and motivate each other during our downswings which are inevitable in poker,” he added.
On being quizzed about his training session and how he keeps himself on top of the game, Chadha reveals, “We have a couple of coaching sessions weekly which could either be theory-based or reviews of hand histories. Apart from that, I set aside an hour each day to review hand histories and watch training videos. This is a must-do as players are getting better by the day, and there is so much new information out there that you have to update yourself with, failing which you will lag behind. There is a famous saying, ‘Poker takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master.’ So, if you stop learning and evolving, you have already lost.”
With the 2021 WSOP underway, we couldn’t resist the temptation to ask him about his WSOP plans. “I really wanted to go to Vegas this time, but getting the visa proved to be nearly impossible. But Ashish and I, representing the Chandigarh Grinders, are planning to participate at WSOP 2022.”
As for the issues plaguing the #poker ecosystem in the country, Chadha opined, “Post the lockdown, the big dip in the GTDs was to be expected, and overlays were inevitable. Everyone is slowly getting back to their normal routines, and as such, I think it will get better, so it doesn’t bother me. As far as rake is concerned, I only play MTTs, so it doesn’t affect me as much because the MTT rake is standard. TDS, on the other hand, is a whole separate issue, which has gotten better over the last couple of years, as all sites now deduct TDS on the net profit instead of gross profit,” he said.
Sharing important advice for up-and-coming players, Chadha said, “Do not get complacent after getting a couple of wins. People overestimate their skill level after they win a couple of events and play outside their bankroll and end up going broke. Be patient, practice good BRM, keep learning, and your time will come. There is no substitute for hard work.”
Congratulations to Arjanveer Singh Chadha on the incredible feats he has achieved at the poker felts. There is much more to come, and we, for one, couldn’t be more proud of him!