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The penultimate event of the Baazi Poker Tour (BPT) comeback series, the ₹20K Big Bounty, concluded after a nearly six-hour-long final table. Claiming top honors in this event was seasoned pro Gokul Krishna (cover image)! The 37-year-old co-founder of the Emerald Poker Tour (EPT) cash game festival has numerous deep runs to his name but had never won a live title before today. This is, in fact, his first-ever live title and it came with a cash reward worth ₹5.16 Lakhs.
Krishna had entered the final table placed around the middle of the pack, holding the fifth-biggest stack. On his way to the top, he eliminated Vinayak Bajaj and Gangadhar Raaj, before meeting Rachita Salla in the heads-up play. Salla, who is a live cash game regular from Hyderabad, presently living in Chennai, was making her first-ever final table appearance. Despite her inexperience, Salla did well to make it to the heads-up stage where she ultimately lost out to the more experienced Krishna.
PokerGuru caught up with the Big Bounty champion after his win and talking about the same, Krishna said, “I have been having quite a few deep runs but was not able to close out earlier. Feels good to finally do it. Closing it in BPT is even special as Vikram [Vikram Kumar], and Navi [Navkiran Singh] are very close friends. My wife [Suni Sunder] always keeps trolling me that she has a title, and I don’t. Now she can’t do it!”
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Gangadhar Raaj – 741,000
2. Gurukumar G – 526,000
3. Yuvraj Singh – 454,000
4. Vivek Rughani – 412,000
5. Gokul Krishna – 304,000
6. Ritwik Khanna – 251,000
7. Vinayak Bajaj – 237,000
8. Sudeep Godara – 175,000
9. Rachita Salla – 138,000
10. Aayush Agarwal – 63,000
Final Table Recap
Shortest stack Aayush Agarwal was predictably the first player to be eliminated when his ran into Gurukumar G’s . The board bricked, eliminating Agarwal in tenth place.
The next player to depart was Vinayak Bajaj. He had been sitting with a short stack for a while, and after Gokul Krishna moved all-in from the small blind with , Bajaj was almost auto all-in from the big blind holding . The runout was of no help to Bajaj, ousting him in ninth place.
Finishing in eighth place was Vivek Rughani. He had moved all-in with a short-stack of 145,000 from the hijack, and both Gangadhar Raaj and Ritwik Khanna called. The flop came , Khanna jammed and Raaj called.
The and completed the board, and Khanna raked in the pot with his pocket cowboys, while Rughani was sent to the rail. Raaj too took a hit as his stack came down to 580,000.
Less than 30 minutes later, Sudeep Godara shoved all-in for 248,000 with and Raaj re-shoved with , covering Godara. The board brought sets for both players, but Raaj’s set of kings overpowered Godara, ending his run in seventh place.
The play continued for two more levels before the next elimination took place. Raaj opened, and Gurukumar G committed his entire stack to the pot with . Raaj called with . The rundown saw Raaj river a set of sixes and Gurukumar bounced out in sixth place.
It did not take too long for Yuvraj Singh to join Gurukumar at the rail. Having become the shortest stack at the table, Singh jammed with . Raaj, who was one of the more active players on the table, called yet again tabling . The pocket rockets won the pot eliminating Singh in fifth place.
Five minutes later, Ritwick Khanna moved all-in with and the lone female player at the table, Rachita Salla, called with . Salla clipped a top pair on the board , resulting in Khanna’s fourth-place exit.
Start of the final table chip leader Gangadhar Raaj had looked in dominating state throughout the day. After final tabling the ₹15K Kick-Off and picking up a score in the Main Event, Raaj was on his third deep run in the series. A frontrunner for the title at one point, Raaj did well to make it to third place. On his last hand of the tournament, his ran into Gokul Krishna’s . The board ran dry.
The heads-up began with Gokul Krishna (2,230,000) in the lead against Rachita Salla (1,070,000). Compared to the overall fast-paced nature of the event, the heads-up was relatively slower, and in the end, the more experienced Krishna came out on top.
On the final hand, Salla opened for 200,000, and Krishna moved all-in. Salla called and tabled against Krishna’s . The community cards spread out , and even with a rivered full house, Salla came in short to Krishna’s flopped quads. And just like that Gokul Krishna claimed his career-first live title, along with an impressive ₹5.16 Lakhs payday!
Final Table Results (INR)
1. Gokul Krishna – ₹5,16,000 (Includes 6 Bounties)
2. Rachita Salla – ₹3,79,200 (Includes 6 Bounties)
3. Gangadhar Raaj – ₹3,15,600 (Includes 11 Bounties)
4. Ritwick Khanna – ₹1,72,200 (Includes 2 Bounties)
5. Yuvraj Singh – ₹1,74,200 (Includes 6 Bounties)
6. Gurukumar G – ₹1,91,400 (Includes 10 Bounties)
7. Sudeep Godara – ₹95,900 (Includes 2 Bounties)
8. Vivek Rughani – ₹1,50,800 (Includes 9 Bounties)
9. Vinayak Bajaj – ₹1,05,500 (Includes 6 Bounties)
10. Aayush Agarwal – ₹43,300 (Includes 1 Bounty)
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