3 Minutes Read
Much was expected from the India Poker Championship (IPC) that was making its return after an interlude of over three years! After a spectacular opening on Wednesday where the ₹10K Freezeout logged in a record-smashing 437 entries, expectations were riding high on the ₹1 Lakh buy-in High Roller to set a new benchmark and what a show it turned out to be!
The High Roller has been one of the featured events on the IPC schedule since the last two editions, and here too the organizers had put up an ambitious ₹1 Crore guarantee. Smashing all past turnout records, the tournament garnered a mind-boggling 207 entries, becoming the first event in the IPC history to generate a prize pool over ₹2 Crores. While this still falls short of the 2018 WPT India Main Event record of ₹3.62 Crores in prize money, the event undoubtedly set a new record as the biggest High Roller tournament to be hosted in the country to-date.
The way things have turned out so far, the ₹35,000 buy-in Main Event that kicks off with the first of its two starting flights today could very well become the biggest tournament in the country!
The record-breaking turnout helped generate a prize pool of ₹2.03 Crores that is to be divided among the top 24 finishers. While a min-cash is worth ₹1.88 Lakhs, there is a whopping ₹51.66 Lakhs reserved for the High Roller champion!
Only 70 players of the 207-strong field survived the day’s onslaught and bagging the overnight chip lead was Praveen Dwarkanath who carries with him a stack of 1,240,000 to Day 2. Trailing him is a former IPC champion, Kanishka Samant (1,060,000), who is making back-to-back deep runs at the stop. Only yesterday he had finished eighth in the ₹10K Freezeout for ₹1.14 Lakhs and is the only other player starting Day 2 with over a million in chips.
Rounding out the top three stacks of the day is the young and talented Nishant Sharma. He has been a prominent presence at the WSOP these last two years, and he will be gunning for his first IPC title starting with a stack of 957,000 on Day 2.
While a complete list of survivors was not available at the time of publishing this report, some notables still in contention include Sam Anand (724,000), Casino Pride II operator Madhav Gupta (689,000), Jagdeep Singh (682,000) and Kanishk Upreti (600,000).
The event even attracted Bollywood and TV celebrities with the likes of Kunal Khemu, Minissha Lamba and Anita Hassanandani, all seen in action. Based on the limited live coverage, at least Khemu and Lamba were both reportedly eliminated before the day concluded.
Adding to the glamour at the event was the presence of all three Indian WSOP bracelet winners, namely, Aditya Sushant, Abhinav Iyer, and Nikita Luther. While the fate of Sushant and Iyer was not reported, Luther managed to bag a stack of 566,000 to Day 2.
Day 2 of the High Roller resumes at 3 PM with Day 1A of the Main Event kicking off three hours later at 6 PM.
The ₹1 Lakh buy-in ₹1 Crore GTD High Roller kicked off at 6 PM on Thursday and as expected the event line up featured the who`s who of the industry. The field quickly expanded, and by Level 3, 140 entries had been clocked in.
By the time registrations closed the final tally stood at a record-breaking 207 entries, making for a prize pool of ₹2.03 Crores!
After eleven 30-minute levels of play, only 70 have made their way into Day 2 and topping the charts was the former poker operator Praveen Dwarknath (1,240,000).
Some of the other top stacks progressing to Day 2 were Kanishka Samant (1,060,000), Nishant Sharma (957,000), Manish Gandhi (818,000), Sam Anand (724,000), Pulkit Goyal (702,000), Madhav Gupta (689,000), Jagdeep Singh (682,000), Kanishk Upreti (600,000) and Nikita Luther (566,000).
Among the early entrants in the High Roller were WSOP champion Aditya Sushant, Eka Vedantham, Nikunj Jhunjhunwala, Paawan Bansal, Vivek Rughani, Madhav Gupta, Nishant Sharma, and Bollywood stars Anita Hassanandani and Kunal Khemu.
A host of well-known names including Abhishek Jalan, Eka Vedantham, Abhinav Iyer, Vikram ‘Lungi’ Kumar, CEO of PokerBaazi Navkiran Singh, Ashish Munot, Raman Gujral, and India’s only female bracelet winner Nikita Luther joined the action over the next few levels.
Bollywood actor Kunal Khemu who has been attended previous IPC events, was seated on the featured table for the majority of the day. In the third level of the play, Khemu tangled with defending champion Sangeeth ‘Samoh’ Mohan over a couple of pots, each time Mohan digging into Khemu’s stack. Khemu held on to his tournament life for four more levels before he found his pocket fives outdone by Pradeep Sharma’s ace-nine that spiked an ace on the river.
Another seasoned pro Eka Vedantham busted midway through the day after he ran pocket tens into the pocket kings of Abhishek Jalan. Jalan hit a full house to knock Vedantham out.
In the sixth level of the night, 2015 IPC High Roller champion Nikunj Jhunjhunwala got involved in a massive pot with Gaurav Kathuria where he moved all-in with ace-queen versus Kathuria’s pocket aces. Jhunjhunwala, unfortunately, failed to improve and busted.
Around two levels later, former Bollywood actor Minissha Lamba was sent packing by Aditya Sushant who paired both his seven-six on the board. It just wasn’t Lamba’s day as immediately after busting she re-entered only to lose all her chips again with her ace-nine falling to 2017 WPT India Main Event champion Vikash Mantri’s pocket jacks.
One of the most interesting hands of the day saw the crowd favorite Madhav ‘Maddy’ Gupta winning a significant pot after hitting a Royal Flush. Gupta held versus Vikash Mantri’s . The board ran giving Gupta a Royal Flush on the river while dismissing Mantri.
Top 10 Chip Counts At the End of Day 1
Content & Images Courtesy: Gutshot Magazine & India Poker Championship
Keep following PokerGuru for more updates from the 2019 IPC!