For this week’s Champions Speak, we bring you a long-time circuit regular, someone who’s been playing the game for over a decade. Goa-resident Myron Pereira has been a familiar face at the tournament halls of the state for years, but he still insists he is a recreational player who plays the game on the side while occupied full-time in his family’s transportation business.
Pereira added another flagship title to his name this past Sunday when he ran past a stacked 148-entry field in the PokerStars India-hosted Sunday Highroller to win ₹3.25 Lakhs.
Recounting his final table run, Pereira said, “The Sunday Highroller is a very reg-infested tournament, and this Sunday as well, the final table had well-known players in the mix, including Chirag Sodha, Rajat Sharma, etc. It was a good final table, there were no short stacks, and I was lucky to win most of the flips on the final table.”
On a standout hand from the event, Pereira added, “There was an interesting hand when I was 3/3, and then I jammed small blind to Chirag Sodha’s big blind. I had king-six, and he snapped with ace-king. I got lucky as I made trip sixes, and from there, I got the chip lead, and I never looked back. Yeah, that’s one spot where I got lucky!”
The Sunday Highroller title was Pereira`s 14th tournament victory of the year. Only last month, he had championed the INCOOP Highroller for ₹5.04 Lakhs. If you look at his online scorecard, it’s evident that the 34-year-old has gotten down to serious grind mode during the pandemic. The lockdown allowed Pereira to look beyond his family`s transportation business, and he grabbed the chance with both hands. If he played 3-4 days a week earlier, poker became a daily mainstay of his routine during the pandemic.
With an increase in volume came fantastic results. Pereira struck gold relatively early in the year (February 22) when he placed second in the ₹1 Crore GTD Full House Finale for a career-best ₹14.32 Lakhs. He has already worked up over ₹2.11 Crores playing online MTTs this year and ranks #19 in the annual leaderboard standings.
An educational background in commerce and finance has been one of Pereira’s pluses. After completing his B.Com from St. Xaviers College in Mapusa, Goa, Pereira signed up at Goa University for a Master’s degree in Financial Services. He passed out in 2010, the same year he started playing poker seriously.
“I used to watch poker on Zee Sports where they used to broadcast some WPT events. I had no idea about the game, but it caught my attention, so I started reading about the game,” said Pereira about his initial fascination with poker.
Pereira started by playing poker with his friends in 2010. That`s when the first India Poker Championship edition took place in Goa. He attended the series but bricked all events he played. Undeterred, Pereira continued to learn more about poker, primarily by watching videos.
He joined his family business in 2012 and started playing online poker in 2013. “I wasn’t by any means a serious player. I just played because I loved the game.”
Being a local, Pereira made it a point to attend any live tournament happening in Goa. He even got selected in the team Pune Sharks in the first season of the Poker Sports League (PSL).
“It’s only when PSL happened in 2017 that I got into the concept of studying, using a few software’s, and analyzing my hand history,” he recounts. “While I used to enjoy playing live tournaments, I have started playing online MTTs and putting in more volume during the lockdown,” he added.
Given his time around the domestic circuit, he has seen the evolution of the Indian poker industry first-hand. Talking about the changing poker landscape, Pereira adds, “In 2010 there used to be live tournaments almost every month, that was a real boom in the country. However, TDS issues stopped live tournaments. Online poker was unheard of back then (at least for me). It was only in 2012-13 that I started playing on Spartan Poker, Adda52, and then PokerBaazi and PokerStars India. Over the years, people have definitely improved their game and their understanding.”
Sharing how he goes about improving his game, he shares, “I don’t really have any mentors, but during PSL Sharad Rao, Shashank Jain, Arjun Pasricha, Raghav Bansal, and Kartik Ved helped me. But apart from that, I usually just watch poker videos, learn from online strategies publicly available. I also use software like ICMizer, some pre-flop charts, opening ranges.”
The poker reg aspires to attend the WSOP and other international events someday. “I will definitely work towards winning the bracelet and go to international poker events. I have just visited casinos abroad while I was on holiday and never went specifically to play poker.”
Let`s give it up for Myron Pereira and his long association with the game. We hope to keep reporting on his poker exploits for many more years to come!