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Just as the Baazi Poker Tour (BPT) closed out its phenomenally successful comeback series, the live poker action shifted from the luxurious Casino Pride 2 to Casino Deltin Royale, where the third edition of the ever-popular World Poker Tour (WPT) India commenced proceedings on October 16.
The fifth leg of the WPT Asia Pacific Season XVIII schedule, this series was off the starting blocks with the series-opener ₹20K Kickoff, registering 161 entries, which saw an approximate 20% decline from last edition’s 201 entries. Day 1 ended with 11 runners still in contention as Vikram ‘Lungi’ Kumar led the charge to Day 2. Following almost four hours of intense action, the ₹20K Kickoff finally declared a champion in Gurukumar G (cover image)!
A relatively lesser-known player, Gurukumar had only recently final tabled the BPT ₹20K Big Bounty, finishing sixth for ₹1.91 Lakhs. He played exceptionally well in the WPT series-opener, where he eliminated the likes of Vineet Kumar and eventual runner-up Ayush Garg to clinch his first-ever live title, along with a career-best ₹8.05 Lakhs in prize money!
Running alongside Day 2 of the ₹20K Kickoff was the ₹35K Superstack that registered 168 entries last night. The 29 survivors, led by Debashis Bal, will be coming back to play Day 2 today at 2 pm with the ₹25K Big Bounty starting an hour later at 3 pm.
Tomorrow, October 18 marks the start of the ₹55K Main Event that will kick off with the first of three starting flights. In 2018, the WPT India Main Event had logged in record-breaking 697 entries, and though this benchmark was surpassed by the India Poker Championship (IPC) Main Event last month, the event continues to hold the record for the largest prize pool awarded by a Main Event in the country – ₹3.62 Crores.
Final Day Chip Counts
1. Vikram Kumar – 605,000
2. Himanshu Arora – 360,000
3. Aayush Garg – 257,000
4. Vaibhav Sharma – 236,000
5. Gurukumar G – 220,000
6. Asheesh Naag – 191,000
7. Jaydeep Dawer – 173,000
8. Nirav Parekh – 136,000
9. Deepak Raina – 106,000
10. Vineet Kumar – 69,000
11. Anand Babu – 62,000
Final Day Recap
With stacks very shallow, most reported hands were 10-20 BB shoves preflop. The short-stacked Vineet Kumar was the first player to hit the rail on Day 2 when his was busted by Gurukumar G’s .
The fast pace of eliminations saw both Jaydeep Dawer (10th) and Deepak Raina (9th) hitting the rail in quick succession during level 17. Dawer was knocked out by Himanshu Arora when the former’s lost the flip to Arora’s pocket sixes, while Raina’s were bested by Anand Babu’s .
Even though he eliminated Raina, Anand Babu himself departed from the tournament in eighth place. He open-jammed with and was called by Vaibhav Sharma holding . The runout bricked and Sharma’s pocket cowboys sent Babu packing – not a bad result for Babu who had started the day as the shortest stack.
Soon enough, it was Nirav Parekh‘s turn to leave when his ran into Vikram Kumar’s which rivered a flush on the board . Parekh was ousted in seventh place.
A level later, Ahseesh Naag moved all -in from UTG with , and Ayush Garg called with . The board blanked, and Garg’s king kicker won him the pot, eliminating Naag in sixth place.
Vikram Kumar has been in good touch and even found a deep run at the BPT, where he finished seventh in the ₹20K PLO for ₹1.25 Lakhs. He was back on another final table the very next day – this time in the WPT Kickoff event chasing his second live title in Goa. Following the elimination of Parekh, Vikram went on to dismiss Himanshu Arora in fifth place. Arora shoved all-in from the button with 200,000, and Kumar called from the big blind.
The community cards brought , and Kumar spiked three-of-a-kind sevens on the river to bring an end to Arora’s blistering run.
Next to depart was rising talent Vaibhav Sharma. Sharma was in the news recently for final tabling the ₹100K High Roller at the IPC comeback series, where he finished third for ₹20.89 Lakhs. Before that, he had finished fifth in the WPT Vietnam NLH Bounty for ₫42,802,000 (₹1.31 Lakhs). He, yet again, came close to winning that elusive live title, but ultimately fell short by three spots. His were overpowered by Garg’s with the runout missing both players. Sharma went out in fourth place.
Three-handed play continued for another level before start-of-the-day chip leader Vikram Kumar was eliminated. Kumar locked horns with Garg with both players moving all-in preflop. Kumar tabled from the button and Garg called with from the small blind. The latter clipped a set of treys on the turn, leading to Kumar’s third-place exit.
The heads-up between Gurukumar G (1.505 Million) and Ayush Garg (1.110 Million) began with both players almost evenly placed. However, soon after the heads-up commenced, Gurukumar pulled ahead into a commanding lead, eventually snatching the title away from the up-and-coming player.
On the final hand, Garg shoved all-in for 475,000, and Gurukumar called.
The board brought Gurukumar a pair of nines, relegating Garg to a runner-up finish.
Final Results (INR)
Content and Images Courtesy: Online Poker News, India
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