3 Minutes Read
The Indian poker scene is set to be taken over by a storm as the grand finale of the debut Match Indian Poker League (MIPL) is set to commence tomorrow in Mumbai. Among the seven teams to compete for the whopping ₹2.5 crores in prizes and representing the financial capital of the country is Team Mumbai All Stars owned by none other than the actor/producer and poker enthusiast Harman Baweja.
Baweja’s love for the mind sport has made him attend tournaments all around the globe from Goa to Las Vegas in these past few years. Along with founding three successful startups, running a well-established production company and acting, he is now looking forward to MIPL to delve further into his passion for poker. Baweja humorously describes his poker skills saying “I’m certainly a poker fish but with shark teeth.“
Baweja is all geared up for the grand finale and recently unveiled his team members who are a mix of pros specializing in different aspects of the game. Not just Baweja, his team mates are stars too as these include Nikunj Jhunjhunwala, Abhishek Jalan, Sacheen Ramchandani, Pratibha Arya, Ronak Gidwani, Anita Hassandani Reddy, Jagdeep Singh, Siddharth Anand and Keenan Tham.
Harman Baweja – Baweja`s relationship with poker spans over a decade. His passion for the game drove him to become the owner of the Mumbai All Stars as well as a player in the team. There is no keeping this guy out of the action! Baweja has crushed the domestic circuit in the past with his exploits and managed to stack up cool scores. Let’s just say Baweja aka “PokerJoker” is no small fish in the sea of Indian Poker.
Nikunj Jhunjhunwala – Jhunjhunwala is literally a cash game boss. Going by his moniker “quest_doc”, he is aesthetically a businessman by nature & a very successful poker player across all platforms. Apart from slaying high stakes cash tables, Jhunjhunwala also achieved an unthinkable feat on the felt as he shipped a main event & high roller event back-to-back in a span of just three days. He’s versatile, creative and fearless and believes that “reputation always precedes the man!”
Abhishek Jalan – Jalan needs a little or no introduction as off late he has been making a lot of news and all for the right reasons. This Varanasi-based lad is a businessman by profession and is the director of Jalan Synthetics. Jalan goes by the moniker “Bajo” and also runs a successful poker stable named AceJack, where young and fresh poker talents are nurtured to become the next big thing in the country. Jalan’s enthusiasm is clearly visible with his expressive nature during poker events conducted across India.
Sacheen Ramchandani – Ramchandani’s journey took him from the land of handcrafted wristwatches in the Alpes, to the sands of the Bahamas to Goa. This budding poker player goes by the moniker “Chiefisback” and defines the brewing fresh talent in India.
Pratibha Arya – This vivacious and charming poker player from Delhi is taking giant leaps already by crushing the highest heads-up stakes in Indian online poker. She started playing professionally seven months back after finishing her Masters in Computer Sciences. Along with a few live deep runs, she also has made a lot of online final table finishes across various websites. Not just that, she is also the first Indian woman poker player who is running a poker stable that stakes budding online players willing to learn the game. Pratibha’s excellent people reading skills and a keen eye for detail are some of her biggest strengths, which have helped her quickly learn the ropes of the game. Don’t let her online moniker “shydoll” deceive you.
Ronak Gidwani – Gidwani was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and moved to Pune for secondary education where he got introduced to the world of poker for the first time through enthusiastic friends. He took no time to learn the sport and had some early success online, playing while studying at a university in Australia. Once back in India, his natural skills promptly earned him friends and professional poker players who were willing to help and coach him. His recent addition to Abhishek Jalan’s AceJack stable pushed his ability and confidence to all new heights. He goes by the moniker “ReadBaby” and even made a runner-up finish in a PokerStars Micro Millions event.
Anita Hassandani Reddy – Our very own Mumbai girl, Reddy has had an illustrious career in Bollywood, South and other multilingual films, apart from the many successful TV shows she was a part of. This charming and beautiful girl has been the expressive face for various leading brands but what very few people know about is her poker face. Her love for the game makes this hidden gem a threat to others across the table, while she rightfully dons the poker face for All Stars!
Jagdeep Singh – Delhi based lad Singh is an IIM-Indore graduate who started pursuing poker professionally since the last four years. His nickname on the tables is “NODUS TOLLENS”and after crushing all stakes of Texas No Limit Holdem, Jagdeep moved on to become one of India’s best PLO player. His passion for numbers and an excellent understanding of human behavior are some of the reasons why he is one of the most feared poker players in the country today.
Earlier this year, Jagdeep demonstrated his skills on the global platform with his final table finish in a $1,500 WSOP mixed event. Apart from that, he is also a two-time winner of the DPT PLO championship held in Goa.He has also shipped PokerStars Hotter 44 for $13,500 apart from his many other exploits online.
Siddharth Anand – Anand aka “Maverick” is known for his amazing skills as a film director and has quite a daunting number of Bollywood hits under his belt. But that’s not all that makes this tinsel town story a wonder. Anand is also a huge poker buff and is all set to write a new tale for the Mumbai All Stars this season.
Keenan Tham – Tham aka “Kancha Cheena” is in true sense, a Hospitality kingpin but isn’t as hospitable on the poker table. The flag – bearer of Mumbai’s nightlife is as prolific and mysterious on the felt as he is in his parties. It’s all in the charm folks.
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