This Week in Poker: March 27th – April 2nd

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  • Namita Ghosh April 2, 2019
  • 7 Minutes Read

In the PokerGuru feature ‘This Week in Poker’ we bring you the weekly round-up 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

As March ended and April began, the world of poker witnessed a lot of new developments. Let us recap what transpired this past week.

The second edition of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Sochi concluded in style with the two most popular events at the stop – the ₽191,800 Main Event and the ₽371,000 EPT High Roller, crowning champions in Uri Gilboa and Rushad Iskandarov. There was a motley group of Indians present at the event comprising of PokerGuru Team Ambassadors Tathagata Sengupta, Jayjit Ray and Kartik Ved, India’s first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet champion Aditya Sushant, along with Sriharsha Doddapaneni and Anant Purohit. Doddapaneni was the only Indian to pick up a score in the Main Event, and he finished 26th for RUB 785,850 (₹8.39 Lakhs), making him our PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

Action will soon move over to Incheon in Korea with the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Korea from April 5-14, and we may find a few Indians in attendance. Moreover, the Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge (PAPC) Tallinn, which commenced on March 31, will run till April 7, while the WSOP Circuit – UK, Nottingham is scheduled to play out from April 4-13.

The virtual felts too have been buzzing with action all week long. India’s most trusted poker site, PokerBaazi recently announced Free Entry tournaments worth ₹40 Lakhs every month. What makes this promotion special is that all the winnings will be awarded in Real Cash and not Real Cash Bonus meaning that for the first time, players will be able to withdraw the money they make through these freerolls immediately.

The fight for market share among domestic online operators is intensifying, and our weekly recap has a few updates on that front as well. Venturing into the domain of poker streaming, PokerStars India launched its very own Twitch channel on March 28, with PokerStars Team pros Aditya Agarwal and Muskan Sethi, live streaming their cash games and tournament sessions. Fast-growing online poker site, 9stacks was not far behind and came up with an innovative idea of producing India’s first-ever poker rap song ‘Hustle Hai.’

The big winners on the online felts this past week were Nishaanth ‘shanni’ Shanmughasundaram and Anuj ‘brockLesnar95’ Yadav. Shanmughasundaram headlined the Baazi Super Sunday (BSS) SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD on PokerBaazi and bagged an impressive ₹5.48 Lakhs for his win. Yadav catapulted to the top of PokerStars India’s Sunday Special Progressive KO ₹25 Lakhs GTD and banked ₹4.89 Lakhs for his efforts.

The Global Poker League (GPL) India Season 1 is on the home stretch now with the Season finale to be aired on Colors Infinity on April 6. Season XVII of the World Poker Tour (WPT) also premiered on all FOX Sports Regional Networks in the U.S., on March 31 and will run every Sunday from 8-11pm local time.

In industry news, Goa’s Revenue and IT Minister Rohan Khaunte alleged that casino operators were trying to infiltrate and influence Lok Sabha elections by enrolling Casino employees into the electoral rolls.

Nonetheless, the gaming industry was mostly on the up-and-up with several endorsement and investment deals making it in the news. While Dream11 roped in seven IPL franchisees and seven top cricketers to endorse its marketing campaign during the IPL season, Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli was selected as the brand ambassador by real-money skill gaming esports startup, Mobile Premier League (MPL). Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir also found a place among the ranks of the free fantasy cricket gaming startup CricPlay as their official brand ambassador.

 

Online Railbird Report

Headlining the online scores this past weekend was Nishaanth ‘shanni’ Shanmughasundaram who bested PokerBaazi’s mainstay Sunday event, Baazi Super Sunday (BSS) SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD. He decimated a field of 635 entries (360 entries and 275 re-entries) and added ₹5.48 Lakhs to his bankroll.

Nishaanth Shanmughasundaram
Nishaanth Shanmughasundaram

Other notable scores of the week include –

Anuj ‘brockLesnar95’ Yadav won ₹4.89 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerStars India ‘Sunday Special Progressive KO ₹25 Lakhs GTD‘

 Shuchi ‘pescatarian’8’ Chamaria won ₹3.39 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘The Summit ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

KC Bhanu ‘Putnanja’ Prasad won ₹3.06 Lakhs for 1st place in the 9stacks ‘Sunday Stacks ₹15 Lakhs GTD

Anuj ‘brockLesnar95’ Yadav won ₹2.60 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerStars India ‘Highroller ₹7,700 NLHE ₹12 Lakhs GTD’

FaizDrStrange’ Alam won ₹1.84 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerStars India ‘Saturday Social ₹8 Lakhs GTD ‘

Ashish ’rocky3705’ Ahuja won ₹1.67 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘Value Town ‘₹10 Lakhs GTD (5RE)’

‘dybalamask’ won ₹1.12 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD (RE)’

ABdevilliers’ won ₹1.05 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘Thursday MonsterStack ₹5 Lakhs GTD (RE)

Apocalypto’ won ₹1.01 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS PLO ₹5 Lakh GTD (RE)’

Kavish Narcos’ Kukreja won ₹98,250 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS Megastack ₹5 Lakh GTD’

  ‘[email protected]won ₹49,464 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

 Mrinal [email protected] Manna won ₹49,091 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘The Classic ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

chand4295 won ₹38,164 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Storm ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

 crossbreed21 won ₹23,114 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Supersonic ₹1 Lakh GTD’

Sagar119 won ₹21,892 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Warm-Up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD ‘

msreal won ₹17,800 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘Sunday ₹1 Lakh GTD (RE)’

Read the complete story here

 

PokerBaazi Announces Redeemable Free Entry Tournaments Worth 40 Lakhs Every Month

One of the most popular poker sites in the country PokerBaazi has announced Free Entry tournaments worth ₹40 Lakhs every month, wherein players will be able to withdraw winning through these freerolls immediately. The Free Entry tournaments come with instantly redeemable winnings and two more Leaderboards that offer additional, attractive giveaways.

PokerBaazi

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PokerStars India Ventures Into Poker Streaming; 9stacks Produces India`s 1st Poker Rap Song ‘Hustle Hai’

Stepping into poker streaming in a big way, PokerStars India launched its own Twitch channel with India’s poker pioneer and first Indian PokerStars Team pro Aditya Agarwal streaming a live session. On the other hand, in a bid to engage viewers, online poker site 9stacks has released a catchy poker rap song. Produced in collaboration with the Dependent Artists, the song is titled ‘Hustle Hai’.

PokerStars India & 9stacks TWIP

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partypoker Introduces Short Deck Poker

Online poker site, partypoker introduced the popular short deck poker version on its site on March 27. Called “Six Plus Hold’em”, the short-deck poker format is played with a reduced deck of cards. All cards below a 6 are removed, leaving a 36-card deck.

Read the complete story here

 

Goa IT Minister Rohan Khaunte Charges Casinos Operators With Trying to Influence the Lok Sabha Elections

Goa’s Revenue and IT Minister Rohan Khaunte has alleged that casino operators in the state are “trying to infiltrate and influence” Lok Sabha elections by enrolling Casino employees into the electoral rolls. Khaunte who is an independent MLA from Porvorim assembly constituency near Panaji has filed a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), demanding an investigation into the alleged application of 820 non-Goan casino employees to join the electoral roll of the state.

Goa Casinos

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Fantasy Gaming Platform Dream11 Partners With 7 IPL Teams & Cricketers

India’s leading fantasy gaming company, Dream11 has roped in seven IPL franchisees and seven top cricketers to endorse its marketing campaign during the IPL season. The seven IPL teams now associated with Dream11 include Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Dream11 has also signed up cricketers AB de Villiers, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Rashid Khan and Ravichandran Ashwin. All Dream11’s product-based advertising on TV and digital platforms will showcase logos of the IPL teams and player images.

Read the complete story here

 

MPL Releases 4-Part Ad Campaign With Brand Ambassador Virat Kohli, In Talks For Funding With Go-Jek, Sequoia & Times Group

Hot on the heels of signing up Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli as brand ambassador, real-money skill gaming esports startup, Mobile Premier League (MPL) has released a four-part TV commercial with Kohli and is reportedly about to close a $30 Million (₹20.83 Crores) funding round led by Indonesian company Go-Jek, Times Internet and Sequoia Capital India.

Mobile Premier League

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CricPlay Onboards Gautam Gambhir as Brand Ambassador

 Free fantasy cricket gaming startup CricPlay has announced Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir as the official brand ambassador for its inaugural campaign. As part of the campaign titled ‘Ab India Khelega,’ the company is hosting T20-themed ‘Challenger Leagues’ that are essentially closed group leagues where users can compete with others on the app to win prizes.

CricPlay

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Sports Gaming UK Invests in PlaySafe Games, Parent Firm of New Gaming Portal Scoring11

Sports Gaming UK, the parent company of free-to-play betting website, India Bet invested an undisclosed amount in Scoring11’s parent firm, PlaySafe Games Pvt. Ltd. With the deal, Sports Gaming will hold 20% stake in PlaySafe Games.

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GamingMonk Raises $100,000 (70 Lakhs) From Japanese Gaming Media GameWith

Esports startup GamingMonk has raised an investment of $100,000 (~₹70 Lakhs) from Japanese gaming company, GameWith. GamingMonk plans to use the funds for team-building, product development, and brand marketing.

Read the complete story here

 

Patrik Antonius Preparing For His Upcoming Live Series & New App Launch

In addition to announcing the launch of his first-ever live poker series – ‘The Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge (PAPC)’, Patrik Antonius has also divulged that his upcoming new poker mobile app called ‘First Land of Poker (FLOP)’ will be released at his live series sometime between April 1-7.

Read the complete story here

 

WPT Season XVII Premieres on FOX Sports Regional Networks

 Season XVII of the World Poker Tour (WPT) has premiered across all FOX Sports Regional Networks in the U.S., on March 31 and will run every Sunday at 8-11 PM local time, with each episode to re-air subsequently, through the week. While the WPT is yet to disclose a full-blown schedule of the TV premiere, it has announced that the first part of Season XVII TV broadcast will comprise of 24 episodes.

World Poker Tour

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West Virginia Legalizes Online Casinos & Poker

The mountain state of West Virginia in the U.S. has legalized online casinos and online poker. The Bill tabled for the purpose, HB2934 had crossed the barriers of the House in February and the Senate in March and was just a step away from being approved after the Governor’s signature. Since Gov. Jim Justice allowed the 15 days he had to sign or veto the Act to lapse, the Bill has automatically been deemed approved.

West Virginia

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2019 EPT Sochi

Casino Sochi played host to the second edition of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Sochi from March 21 to March 30. Out of the 13 events that were a part of the series, the center of attraction was the ₽191,800 Main Event.

Running from March 24 to 29, the Main Event registered a total of 758 entries, falling slightly short of last year’s record of 861 entries. The healthy turnout helped generate a prize pool of ₽145,500,000 (₹15.38 Crores).

Representing India at the event were a battalion of six challengers, namely PokerGuru Team Ambassadors Tathagata Sengupta, Jayjit Ray and Kartik Ved, India’s first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Aditya Sushant, along with Sriharsha Doddapaneni and Anant Purohit. Barring Sengupta, all the other five challengers advanced to Day 2.

Doddapaneni was the lone Indian to survive the Day 2 onslaught as Purohit, Ray, Ved, and Sushant all busted out before the money bubble burst. Doddapaneni charged into Day 3 and even managed to upstage his tablemate Aleksandr Sheshukov in a couple of hands. However, his run eventually came to an end in 26th place for RUB 785,850 (₹8.39 Lakhs) as he became one of the last few casualties of the penultimate day. For this exceptional performance, Doddapaneni is our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

Sriharsha Doddapaneni
Sriharsha Doddapaneni

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The Main Event was ultimately won by Uri Gilboa who became the first-ever Israeli player to win an EPT Main Event title. Gilboa was also the oldest EPT champion, and he collected a career-best RUB 27,475,000 (₹2.90 Crores) for this win.

Read the complete story here

The ₽371,000 EPT High Roller was yet another popular event at the series and saw Aditya Sushant and Kartik Ved participate and qualify for Day 2. However, following a rough day at the felts, both Indian pros were eliminated before the money bubble was breached.

Aditya Sushant & Kartik Ved
Aditya Sushant & Kartik Ved

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Azerbaijani player Rushad Iskandarov claimed the title and top prize of ₽7,840,000 (₹83.50 Lakhs).

Rushad Iskandarov
Rushad Iskandarov wins EPT Sochi High Roller

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Gregory Wood Takes Down HPT Lawrenceburg Main Event

The Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Lawrenceburg $1,100 Main Event was hosted at Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg from March 28 to April 1. Topping a field of 555 entries, Gregory Wood won the event for $119,101.

Gregory Wood

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Steve O’Dwyer Takes Down WPTDS Amsterdam High Roller

Outlasting 132 other contenders, Steve O’Dwyer took down the WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam €2,200 High Roller for €72,905. The series played out at the Holland Casino Amsterdam Center.

Steve O Dwyer
Steve O Dwyer wins WPTDS Amsterdam High Roller

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Martin Kabrhel Claims 5th Circuit Ring in WSOP International Circuit Rozvadov Main Event

The flagship event at the 2019 World Series of Poker International Circuit (WSOPIC) Rozvadov – the €1,700 Main Event recorded a total of 650 entries across two starting flights. Claiming the title was Martin Kabrhel who captured his fifth circuit ring along with €190,000 and a free seat in the WSOP Europe Main Event.

Martin Kabrhel
Martin Kabrhel

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Justin Liberto Wins WPTDeepStacks Maryland

Topping a field of 371 runners, Maryland-based pro Justin Liberto captured the title of the four-day-long WPTDeepStacks Maryland Main Event along with $116,363 in cash prize.

Justin Liberto
Justin Liberto

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Phillip Pope Wins WSOPC Hard Rock Tulsa Main Event

 The WSOPC Hard Rock Tulsa $1,700 Main Event recorded 533 entries across two starting flights. It was Texas resident and amateur player Phillip Pope who won the event for his first-ever WSOPC title and the winner’s payday of $215,000.

Phillip Pope
Phillip Pope

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Felix Schulze Captures WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam Main Event

The WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam €1,200 Main Event was hosted at the Holland Casino Amsterdam Center and registered a total of 507 runners. German player Felix Schulze won the event for his first-ever WPT Main Event title and €104,304 in prize money.

Felix Schulze
Felix Schulze

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 Ben Palmer Wins WPT Title in Season XVII WPT at Venetian

Season XVII World Poker Tour (WPT) kicked off at the Venetian on March 22 with a starting field of 734 entries from two flights. Florida native Ben Palmer took the event down for his first WPT title and a career-best score of $431,655. India’s Nipun Java finished in 27th place for $12,965 (₹8.94 Lakhs).

Ben Palmer
Ben Palmer

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Wonder8 Marrakech: Ali Alawadhi & Anas Tadini Win Titles

The Wonder8 Marrakech festival was hosted at the famous Casino de Marrakech in Morocco from March 29-31 with 20 events on the schedule. The highest buy-in event – the €1,350 High Roller was taken down by Ali Alawadhi for MAD 331,000 (€30,529), while the €800 buy-in Main Event that crowned a champion in Anas Tadini who pocketed MAD 298,000 (€27,470) for his efforts.

Wonder8 title holders
Ali Alawadhi & Anas Tadini

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 Soukha Kachittavong Wins 2nd Foxwoods Poker Classic Title

 Soukha Kachittavong outlasted 183 entries to win the Foxwoods Poker Classic $2,500 Championship Event for $403,273.

Soukha Kachittavong
Soukha Kachittavong

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Zhong Chen Takes Down WSOP International Circuit King’s Resort €5,300 High Roller 

€5,300 High Roller at the World Series of Poker International Circuit (WSOPIC) King’s Resort was won by Netherlands’ Zhong Chen who topped the 28-strong entry field to claim his first WSOPC gold ring and €66,500 ($74,692) in prize money.

Zhong Chen
Zhong Chen

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Steve Federspiel Takes Down MSPT Meskwaki Main Event

 Season 10 of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) was hosted at the Meskwaki Casino in Tama, Iowa and attracted 409 entries across two starting flights. The event crowned a winner in 47-year-old credit union lender Steve Federspiel who won his career-first live title, along with his best-live cash of $86,949.

 

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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