This Week in Poker: June 26 – July 2

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  • Attreyee K. Ganguly July 3, 2019
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In the PokerGuru feature ‘This Week in Poker’ we bring you the weekly roundup of the biggest online scores by Indian MTT players along with the top stories from both the live and online poker circuit.

Here are this week’s top stories

The 50th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) is now in its sixth week and with the much-awaited $10,000 MAIN EVENT – World Championship less than 24 hours away, the nail-biting action of the series is reaching its crescendo. But before we get to talking about what’s to come, let’s take a look back at the week that just passed us by.

This year’s WSOP has the largest-ever Indian contingent in attendance, resulting in the best ever run by Team India at the series. This past week a jaw-dropping 46 scores were logged in by the Indian battalion at the series. However, despite Team India performing spectacularly at the 2019 WSOP, the biggest Indian scores this past week came in non-bracelet events.

Headlining the Indian cashes in Las Vegas was Ankit Ahuja, who overcame a 2,233-strong entry field in Event #75: $1,100 NLH MonsterStack at the Venetian DeepStack Championship to claim the title and top prize of $266,824 (~₹1.84 Crores) following a heads-up chop. For this, he is our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

India’s only female bracelet winner, Nikita Luther was another trailblazer last week as she final tabled the Zynga Poker WPT500 Las Vegas Main Event for the second time in three years. This time around, however, she came tantalizingly close to bagging the title, ultimately finishing runner-up for a personal-best $109,300 (~₹75.32 Lakhs).

Topping the list of Indian finishes at the WSOP was series debutant Naresh Veeravalli. The Hyderabad-based player collected his career`s first WSOP score in Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack Championship where he finished 22nd for $13,658 (~₹9.41 lakhs). The second-highest score of the past week came from two-time bracelet winner Nipun Java who ran the deepest in Event #69: $1,000 Mini Main Event placing 51st for $11,460 (~₹7.89 Lakhs).

Presently, two Indians have made the cut for Day 2 in Event #71: SALUTE TO WARRIORS – $500 No-Limit Hold’em – Aditya Systla and Sachidananda Sivakumar. Systla will be carrying the 21st biggest stack of 310,000 (62 big blinds) to Day 2, while Sivakumar will be returning with a below-average stack of 70,000 (14 big blinds).

The attention will soon shift to the most prestigious poker tournament in the world – the 2019 WSOP Main Event – that commences later tonight. Historically, the Main Event has always attracted a large number of Indians, and with the largest-ever contingent in attendance this year, it would be reasonable to expect a few deep runs from Team India.

Heading east to Jeju in South Korea, Indian challenger Sahil Chuttani was seen going hard at the 2019 PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Jeju’s ₩6,000,000 buy-in High Roller. He managed to final table the event, finishing fifth for ₩18,794,000 (~₹11.20 Lakhs).

Even the 2019 EPT Open Madrid Main Event featured an Indian contender. After running deep in the side events, Rajat Sharma picked up a 59th place finish in the Main Event, pocketing €2,870 (~₹2.23 Lakhs) in the process.

On the virtual felts, Gaurav ‘gaug17’ Sood emerged as the biggest winner after taking down PokerBaazi’s Baazi Super Sunday (BSS) SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD for ₹5.02 Lakhs. Meanwhile, RateDocter took down PokerStars India’s Sunday Special – Progressive KO ₹15 Lakhs GTD, collecting ₹2.85 Lakhs in first-place prize money.

In keeping with its trendsetting habits, PokerBaazi recently announced the second edition of the country’s biggest online poker tournament – The GameChanger 2.0. Scheduled to run from August 21-25, the event will feature four starting flights, and the same ₹2 Crore GTD – all with the buy-in reduced by half since last time. This time around, players will only have to cough up ₹5,500 to participate in the ₹2 Crore GTD event.

In other news, Pune-based poker pro Sharad Rao was appointed as PokerStars India’s first-ever live streaming ambassador. Seasoned pro Abhisek Panda announced his retirement from poker and his departure as a Team PokerBaazi pro, while MadOverPoker (MOP) shut shop.

With the WSOP now nearing the home stretch, there is still a lot to look forward to for poker fans, especially as the DPT July edition is coming up from July 31 to August 5. While in the international sphere, the WPTDeepStacks (WPTDS) Germany, Rozvadov (July 11-22), partypoker Grand Prix UK, Nottingham (July 5-7) and WSOP Circuit Russia – Sochi (July 14-28), are all coming up soon.

Moreover, the second edition of Asian Poker Tour (APT) is well underway at the Pro Poker Club in Ho Chi Minh City since July 3 and has several Indian players in attendance.

 

Online Railbird Report

PokerBaazi’s signature Sunday tournament – BSS SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD attracted 468 entries (includes 181 re-entries) last Sunday and taking the top honors for a ₹5.02 Lakhs payday was online reg Gaurav ‘gaug17’ Sood.

Gaurav Sood
Gaurav Sood

Other notable scores of the week include –

Rahul ‘Clearsky’ Gupta won ₹3.62 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Summit ₹10 Lakhs GTD’

‘RateDocter’ won ₹2.85 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Special – Progressive KO ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

‘Amit1Sur’ won 2.35 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Bout ₹10 Lakh GTD’

Kalibaba’ won ₹1.34 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS PLO ₹5 Lakhs GTD (RE)’

Aditya ‘eatingseeds’ Degala won ₹1.24 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Monster 6 Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

Anmol ‘anzzzzz’ Mehta won ₹1.24 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS Megastack ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

‘ashking1996’ won ₹80,000 for 1st place in the Khelo 365 ‘Twister ₹2 Lakhs GTD Deepstack NLHE (Max 5 Rebuys)’

‘Incognito’ won ₹77,950 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘Weekly Super 5 ₹5 Lakhs GTD (RE)’

‘GutshotHaiBro’ won ₹66,718 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘The Classic ₹2.5 Lakhs GTD’

Yash ‘hasyY@$#116’ Shrivastava won ₹43,687 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘shanishsj’ won ₹32,250 for 1st place in the Khelo 365 ‘Big Splash ₹75K GTD NLHE (Max 5 Rebuys)’

‘bunts12’ won ₹24,341 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Supersonic ₹1 Lakh GTD’

‘thumkhi’ won ₹18,100 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘Sunday ₹1 Lakh GTD (RE)’

Madfoodie99’ won ₹17,200 for 1st place in the Khelo 365 ‘Deep Stack ₹40K GTD NLHE (Max 5 Rebuys)’

 

PokerBaazi Announces 2nd Edition of Game Changer With Halved Buy-in

Four months after its record-breaking debut, the country’s biggest multi-day online poker tournament – GameChanger – is returning on PokerBaazi once again for a second outing. The GameChanger 2.0 will be held from August 21-25 and will run four starting flights – an additional flight from last time and that too in turbo format.

At the announcement, PokerBaazi had hinted at a surprise and turns out the same was worth the wait! The site has reduced the buy-in of the tournament by half, bringing it down from the earlier ₹11,000 to ₹5,500, indicating that the site will have to do better than the 3,777 entries last time to avoid an overlay.   

GameChanger 2.0 will allow players to enter multiple flights and advance with the healthiest stack. Satellites for as low as ₹275 are running on the site. While two flights are running from Monday to Saturday, four satellites are on tap for Sundays

The first edition of the GameChanger that took place from February 21-24, was famously taken down by the Bengaluru-based Prashanth Sekar.

 

Sharad Rao Joins PokerStars India as Live Streaming Ambassador

24-year-old Sharad Rao has been roped in by PokerStars India as its first dedicated live streamer.

Sharad Rao
Sharad Rao

Read the complete story here

 

Abhisek Panda Quits Poker

Seasoned pro Abhisek Panda announcing his retirement from poker said that he was parting ways with PokerBaazi as the site`s brand ambassador. Panda stated that he hasn’t decided what he will pursue next but will be exploring a few options.

Abhisek Panda

Read the complete story here

 

MadOverPoker Suspends Operations

Online poker site MadOverPoker (MOP) has suspended operations since June 21.

MOP_TWIP_July 3

Read the complete story here

 

WSOP 2019

Team India continuing its onward march at the 50th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) posted an astounding 36 cashes in bracelet events last week. The deepest run in these was by WSOP debutant Naresh Veeravalli who banked a career-best $13,658 (~₹9.41 Lakhs) for placing 22nd in Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack Championship.

Naresh Veeravalli
Naresh Veeravalli

Read the complete story here

Trailing Veeravalli in the weeks cashes is Nipun Java who netted $11,460 (~₹7.89 Lakhs) for his 51st place finish in Event #69: $1,000 Mini Main Event.

Nipun Java
Nipun Java

Read the complete story here

The other Indian scores for this past week are as follows:

Team India Scores (Braceket Events – Last Week)

EventPlayerFinishPrize Money
Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack ChampionshipNaresh Veeravalli22nd$13,658 - ₹9.41 Lakhs
Event #69: $1,000 Mini Main EventNipun Java51st$11,460 - ₹7.89 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emMadhav Gupta*188th$7,318 - ₹5.04 Lakhs
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSKunal Patni56th$7,219 - ₹4.97 Lakhs
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSSiddharth Karia89th$4,910 - ₹3.38 Lakhs
Event #69: $1,000 Mini Main EventKunal Punjwani 99th$4,772 - ₹3.28 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emLawrence Sanjay271st$4,424 - ₹3.05 Lakhs
Event #57: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’emAkshay Nasa & Sajal Gupta28th$3,970 - ₹2.74 Lakhs
Event #69: $1,000 Mini Main EventPaawan Bansal250th$3,125 - ₹2.15 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emAshish Ahuja432nd$3,013 - ₹2.07 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emSiddharth Mundada461st$3,013 - ₹2.07 Lakhs
Event #69: $1,000 Mini Main EventSirjan Singh320th$2,762 - ₹1.90 Lakhs
Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack ChampionshipPaawan Bansal178th$2,254 - ₹1.56 Lakhs
Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack ChampionshipDeepak Bothra214th$2,254 - ₹1.56 Lakhs
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSJaswinder “Bobbe” Suri285th$2,246 - ₹1.54 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emNaresh Veeravalli731st$2,202 - ₹1.51 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emRaghav Bansal780th$2,015 - ₹1.38 Lakhs
Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack ChampionshipGuneet Kwatra258th$1,971 - ₹1.36 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emKartik Ved853rd$1,859 - ₹1.28 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emRohan Rishi890th$1,859 - ₹1.28 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emRahul Byrraju937th$1,729 - ₹1.19 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emKunal Patni958th$1,729 - ₹1.19 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emNavkiran Singh985th$1,729 - ₹1.19 Lakhs
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSRohan Dhawan387th$1,719 - ₹1.18 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emMeherzad Munsaf1,038th$1,622 - ₹1.11 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emAkshay Nasa1,064th$1,622 - ₹1.11 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emSanjay Taneja1,073rd$1,622 - ₹1.11 Lakhs
Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack ChampionshipAman Kejriwal352nd$1,546 - ₹1.07 Lakhs
Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack ChampionshipSandeep Varma374th$1,546 - ₹1.07 Lakhs
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSSriharsha Doddapaneni430th$1,521 - ₹1.04 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emTarun Goyal1,093rd$1,500 - ₹1.03 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emKunal Punjwani1,103rd$1,500 - ₹1.03 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emMayank Jaggi1,234th$1,492 - ₹1.02 Lakhs
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emAditya Agarwal1,283rd$1,380 - ₹95,151
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emSriharsha Doddapaneni1,307th$1,349 - ₹93,013
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emYudhishter Jaswal1,310th$1,349 - ₹93,013
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emDhaval Mudgal1,420th$1,331 - ₹91,890
Event #64: $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’emGokul Parvathaneni1,493rd$1,329 - ₹91,634
Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack ChampionshipRajeev Kanjani623rd$1,058 - ₹73,240
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSShravan Chhabria704th$1,008 - ₹69,501
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSVivek Rughani763rd$1,008 - ₹69,501
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSAman Kejriwal962nd$860 - ₹59,297
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSNishant Sharma970th$804 - ₹55,436
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSKunal Punjwani1,196rd$720 - ₹49,593
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSMadhav Gupta1,288th$689 - ₹47,506
Event #61: $400 COLOSSUSAtul Nagpal1,737th$621 - ₹42,818

Two Indian contenders are presently going strong in Event #71: SALUTE TO WARRIORS – $500 No-Limit Hold’em, namely, Aditya Systla and Sachidananda Sivakumar. Systla bagged the 21st biggest stack of the day with 310,000 chips (62 big blinds), while Sivakumar amassed a below-average stack of 70,000 (14 big blinds).

Aditya Systla

Read the complete story here

With the first starting flight of the Event #73: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship just hours away, there is still a lot of electrifying poker action to watch out for at the 2019 WSOP.

WSOP 2019 Winners

The bracelet winners this past week were as follows:

EventWinnerPrize Money
Event #50: Monster Stack – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’emKainalu McCue-Unciano$1,008,850
Event #53: $800 No-Limit Hold ‘em Deepstack 8-HandedSantiago Soriano$371,203
Event #57: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’emOhad Geiger, Daniel Dayan & Barak Wisbrod$168,395
Event #58: $50,000 Poker Players ChampionshipPhillip Hui$1,099,311
Event #59: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack ChampionshipJoe Foresman$397,903
Event #60: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Or BetterAnthony Zinno$279,920
Event #61: $400 ColossusSejin Park$451,272
Event #62: $10,000 RazzScott Seiver$301,421
Event #63: $1,500 Omaha MixAnatolii Zyrin$199,838
Event #65: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Nick Schulman$463,670
Event #66: $1,500 Limit Hold'emDavid “ODB” Baker$161,139
Event #67: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Robert Campbell$385,763
Event #68: $1,000 WSOP.com ONLINE NLHE ChampionshipNicholas “Illari” Baris$303,738

 

WSOP Honors Poker Players & Commemorates Moments in it’s ‘First Fifty Honors’ Gala

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) hosted it’s ‘First Fifty Honors’ Gala and dinner on June 30. Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Moneymaker, and Doyle Brunson won the honor of ‘4 Most Important Players In WSOP History’, while Moneymaker walked away with two more honors for ‘Most Impressive WSOP Main Event Win’ and ‘Most Memorable TV Hand.’ Daniel Negreanu was another poker superstar who snagged two more awards, being voted the ‘Fan Favourite’ and ‘Best Overall WSOP Performance (Single Year). Phil Hellmuth was the unanimous ‘WSOP’s Favourite Bad Boy,’ while Justin Bonomo was voted as the ‘Most Like to Succeed (Most Bracelets 2020-2070)’ player.

Read the complete story here

 

Ankit Ahuja Wins Venetian DeepStack Championship $1.1K MonsterStack

In what turned out to become the breakout story last week, Ankit Ahuja topped the 2,233 entry field in the Venetian DeepStack Championship series’ $1,100 NLH MonsterStack event. Ahuja pocketed a career-best score of $266,824 (~₹1.84 Crores) after an even heads-up chop with Jesse Cohen. Ahuja is our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

Ankit Ahuja
Ankit Ahuja

Read the complete story here

 

Zynga Poker WPT500 Las Vegas

The Zynga Poker WPT500 Las Vegas that took place at the ARIA Resort and Casino last week turned out to be yet another special event for the Indian camp in Las Vegas. India’s only female bracelet winner Nikita Luther found herself at a WPT500 final table for the second time in three years and was looking in great shape to bring the title home. Unfortunately, Luther got unlucky in the heads-up match against Ben Farrell and settled for the runner up spot for her career-best score of $109,300 (₹75.32 Lakhs). Farrell claimed the title and banked $155,000 (~₹1.06 Crores) in prize money.

Nikita Luther
Nikita Luther

Read the complete story here

 

APPT Jeju 2019

Stirring up action in the Asian circuit last week was the inaugural 2019 PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Jeju. Winning the Main Event at the stop was 76-year old businessman Huidong Gu who collected a sum of ₩183,695,000 (~$159,100) for his finish.

Team India’s Sahil Chuttani was one of two Indians present at the series, and he posted two scores. He placed 36th place in the Main Event for 4,740,000 KRW (~₹2.82 Lakhs) and followed that up with a fifth-place finish in the ₩6,000,000 buy-in High Roller for ₩18,794,000 (₹11.20 Lakhs).

Sahil Chuttani
Sahil Chuttani

Read the complete story here

 

EPT Open Madrid

24-year-old Poland native Jakub Grzegorzek took down the 2019 EPT Open Madrid Main Event for €176,357. Grzegorzek had entered the event after winning a €162 satellite and booked a 1,100X profit on his investment!

India’s Rajat Sharma who had won a small Las Vegas package online decided to use the funds to play EPT Madrid. The trip was not bad for Sharma, who along with a few deep runs in side events, finished 59th in the Main Event for €2,870 (~₹2.23 Lakhs).

Rajat Sharma
Rajat Sharma

Read the complete story here

And with this, we conclude this week’s roundup of the latest news updates and developments from the world of poker. We will return again next week with our weekly report, stay tuned.

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