This Week in Poker: March 6th – March 12th

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  • Namita Ghosh March 13, 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

Another week full of thrilling poker action has come to an end, and a lot of exciting events await us, lets us take a look back at the week that was.

One of the major attractions this past week was The Indian Poker Series (TIPS) Winter Edition. Returning for a second edition, the series was an instant success. While players from several nationalities were seen in contention, especially Israeli players, Team India too put on multiple stellar performances to the delight of railbirds back home. Pulkit Goyal was the highest Indian scorer at series with his fifth-place finish in the Main Event for €31,845 (₹25 Lakhs), making him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

The Triton Poker High Roller Series Jeju which kicked off on March 2 featured six high buy-in tournaments. Canada’s Timothy Adams took down the Main Event HK$2,77,60,500. The other winners at the series were Justin Bonomo (HK$250K NLHE –Short Deck Ante Only for HK$4.6 Million), Michael Soyza (HK$500K Six-Max for HK$11.15 Million) and Jason Koon who claimed two titles in the HK$500K and HK$1M NLHE Short-Deck Ante Only events for HK$22.30 Million and HK$7.64 Million respectively.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) also featured several stops throughout the week. The LA Poker Classic (LAPC) consisted of 69 tournaments running from January 16 to March 12, at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. The WPT LAPC Main Event was one of the three events that had their six-player final tables televised at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The WPT LAPC Main Event was won by David “ODB” Baker who banked $1,015,000 for his win. The Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Championship Main Event was the second event to play out at the HyperX Esports Arena. Frank “The Tank” Stepuchin shipped the event pocketing $548,825 in prize money. The WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open will be the last event to be held at the arena and will play out later today.

While the live felts have been booming with action, the virtual felts were not far behind. Staying true to tradition, India’s most trusted poker site – PokerBaazi – offered some of the biggest payouts this week. The site’s main attraction, i.e., the Baazi Super Sunday (BSS) SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD drew in a massive 597 entries (353 unique and 244 re-entries) smashing the prize pool guarantee with ₹29.85 Lakhs collected in the prize pool. PokerBaazi regular Yogi Raj Yogiraj Singh juggernauted his way to the top and grabbed a handsome payout of ₹5.25 Lakhs.

Meanwhile, Viaan Industries’ owned online poker site, PokerRaj recently announced its foray into the international poker domain with the invite-only tournament ‘PokerRaj International –The 100 Series.’ Though the tournament was initially slated to run from March 22-23 at the Bally’s Casino in Sri Lanka, the dates have now been postponed to April 20-21 by the brand basis player feedback.

One of the biggest stories this past weekend was the TV premiere of Global Poker League (GPL) India Season 1 on Colors Infinity and Colors Infinity HD on March 9. The first two episodes saw the Team Managers of the Chennai Sharks – Vikram Kumar, Delhi Diehards – Muskan Sethi and Pune Alphas – Abhishek Rathod vetting their online qualifiers. The upcoming week (March 16) will see the remaining three Team managers – Aditya Agarwal (Kolkata Creators), Kavin Shah (Mumbai Jetsetters) and Vidwath Shetty (Bengaluru Hackers) interviewing their respective online qualifiers and culminate with the six GPL India Team`s coming together for the first time on stage.

Local poker fans also have the DPT Xpress (March 14-17, 2019) to look forward to, along with WPT Vietnam (March 14-24) and European Poker Tour (EPT) Sochi (March 20-29). In fact, several Indians are expected to be in attendance at Sochi, including PokerGuru Team Ambassadors Tathagata Sengupta, Jayjit Ray, and Kartik Ved, along with WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant, who all won EPT Sochi NLHE Main Event Qualifier on PokerStars India.

We wrap up this week’s recap with tournament action from TIPS Winter Edition, Triton Poker High Roller Series Jeju, WPT LAPC, WPTDeepStacks Jacksonville Main Event, Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Championship Main Event, WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event, WPT500 Barcelona and WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event.


Online Railbird Report

The headline Sunday event at India’s premier online poker site PokerBaazi, i.e., Baazi Super Sunday (BSS) SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD returned this Sunday attracting a massive field of 597 entries (353 unique and 244 re-entries). While the guarantee was smashed with the final prize pool hitting ₹29.85 Lakhs, soaring to the top was Yogi Raj ‘Yogiraj’ Singh who won the event for an awesome ₹5.25 Lakhs.

Yogi Raj Singh
Yogi Raj Singh

Other notables scores of the week include –

‘momstacos’ won ₹4.53 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerStars India ‘Sunday Special Progressive KO, ₹25 Lakhs GTD’

‘ThikanaCK’ won ₹3.06 Lakhs for 1st place in 9stacks’ ‘Sunday Stacks’

Asif ‘Lucid’ Sharif won ₹1.07 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘Grinders #33 Main Event ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

‘TheHungryKid’ won ₹1.05 Lakhs for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘BSS PLO ₹5 Lakh GTD’

Pranav ‘GarviGujarat’ Desai won ₹99,232 for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘The Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

‘bangbang1999’ won ₹48,682 for 1st place in PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘Pynchon789’ won ₹32,250 for 1st place in Khelo 365 ‘Big Splash ₹75K GTD NLHE’

Hemant ‘314admiral’ Sharma won ₹26,215 for 1st place in PokerStars India ‘Sunday Storm ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘1747R’ won ₹25,372 for 1st place in PokerStars India ‘Sunday Warm-Up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’

‘ajoy94’ won ₹20,238 for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘Sunday ₹1 Lakh GTD’

‘Pynchon789’ won ₹15,180 for 1st place in Khelo 365 ‘Deep Stack ₹30K GTD NLHE’


partypoker Relaunches in the Czech Republic

Online poker brand partypoker has re-launched in the Czech Republic in partnership with the King’s Resort (Casino) in Rozvadov, the venue of the just-concluded TIPS Winter Edition.


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Zynga Poker Invaded by Bots

The problem of bot invasion has worsened in online poker site, Zynga that, in a recent conference call over its fourth quarter results and performance in 2018, recognized a widespread bot activity as one of the prime reasons pulling down its performance.


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PokerRaj Postpones PokerRaj International – The 100 Series to April 20-21

Raj Kundra-owned and Viaan Industries operated online poker site, PokerRaj has announced fresh dates for the planned ‘PokerRaj International –The 100 Series.’ Earlier scheduled to be hosted at the Bally’s Casino in Sri Lanka from March 22-23, the series will now take place from April 20-21. The company has attributed the delay to player feedback. While the series is invite-only, PokerRaj has also announced a prize pool guarantee of $250,000 (₹1,73,87,625) but clarified that the event will feature a progressive prize pool and change depending on the number of participants. Cash tables have also been introduced with a special stay and travel offer for early birds.



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Delta Corp Invests 69.70 Crores in Essel Groups Jalesh Cruises

On March 8, India’s casino and gaming giant Delta Corp acquired ₹69.70 Crores ($10 Million) worth equity shares in Jalesh Cruises Mauritius Ltd (JCML), via a purchase deal made through Gaussian Software Pvt. Ltd. The deal will come through by June 30.

Jalesh Cruises

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Goa Government Grants 6-Month Extension to Offshore Casinos For Relocation; Congress Criticizes the Decision

Amidst criticism from Congress-led opposition, the government in Goa has granted a six-month-long extension to offshore casinos to shift from River Mandovi.

Goa Casinos

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Global Poker Index & Poker Central Announce 1st Ever Global Poker Awards

Global Poker Index (GPI) operated by Mediarex Sports and Entertainment has announced the Global Poker Awards in recognition of poker excellence on and off the felts. The first-ever Global Poker Awards will be given to select people in 20 categories. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Poker Central’s popular streaming platform, PokerGO on April 5.

Global Poker AwardsrG

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Sheldon Adelson Battling Cancer

Owner of Las Vegas Sands Corp and the Venetian, Sheldon Adelson has been detected with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of blood cancer and is reportedly on medication. The poker community by large has extended sympathies to Adelson who is one of the biggest critics of online poker and online gaming.

Sheldon Adelson
Sheldon Adelson

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Casinos in Sri Lanka Hit Hard as Govt. Introduces Entry Fee, Levies Tax on Gaming Turnover & Doubles License Fee

In a setback to the fast-growing casino industry of Sri Lanka, the country’s finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced a significant fee hike for casinos as part of Sri Lanka’s annual budget. While the annual license fee to be paid by land-based casinos is to be doubled, a 15% tax on gaming turnover and entry fee of $50 (₹3,504) for tourists in casinos has been proposed.

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TIPS Winter Edition

If The Indian Poker Series (TIPS) made a strong inaugural debut last year, the second outing, i.e. TIPS Winter Edition far exceeded expectations in terms of numbers, turnout and prize pools. While Israeli players dominated the felts in many events, Team India was not far behind. A huge Indian contingent was present at the series mainly because to the sheer number of online and live qualifiers that were held by organisers Jaydeep Dawer and Manish Goenka back in India through various tie-ups with online and live venues.

The Indian contingent certainly didn’t disappoint, and posted a total of 21 cashes including two title wins, three runner-up finishes and ten final-table finishes in all, making the Indian run at the series genuinely memorable.

Headlining the Indian scorecard was Pulkit Goyal who walked away from the series with the biggest paycheque of €31,845 (₹25 Lakhs) for his fifth-place finish at the Main Event, making him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week”.

Pulkit Goyal
Pulkit Goyal

Close in heels of Goyal was Jagdeep Singh who finished runner-up in the TIPS and KENTA Europe High Roller for a hefty €14,000 (₹10.99 Lakhs) following a heads-up deal with Liad Greenberg.

Gaurav Gupta (11th for €5,348 ~ ₹4.20 Lakhs) also came close to entering the final table of the Main Event but finished whiskers short. Tarun Goyal (16th for €3,841 ~ ₹3 Lakhs) and Sameer Tavanandi (22nd for €2,896 ~ ₹2.27 lakhs) were the other two big scorers at the Main Event where a total of 12 Indians earned payouts.

Jayant Yewale Wins TIPS 2 Turbo Noon Freezeout

Though Team India missed on the Main Event title, Jayant Yewale (Turbo Noon Freezeout -€700 ~ ₹55,097), Ankit Kapoor (KENTA Turbo Omaha – €2,796 ~ ₹2.20 Lakhs) more than made up for it with side event titles, while apart from Singh, Satyam Surendra Verma (Poker Classic 1 – €2,361 ~₹1.85 Lakhs) and Rahul Kumar (KENTA Turbo Omaha – €1,987 ~ ₹1.56 Lakhs) ran exceedingly well and posted runner-up finishes.


Indian Cashes At TIPS Winter Edition

EventPlayer NameFinishPrize Money
Main EventPulkit Goyal5th€31,845 (₹25 Lakhs)
TIPS & KENTA Europe High RollerJagdeep Singh2nd€14,000 (₹10.99 Lakhs)
Main EventGaurav Gupta11th€5,348 (₹4.20 Lakhs)
Main EventTarun Goyal16th€3,841 (₹3 Lakhs)
Main EventSameer Tavanandi22nd€2,896 (₹2.27 Lakhs)
KENTA Turbo OmahaAnkit Kapoor1st€2,796 (₹2.20 Lakhs)
Poker Classic 1Satyam Surendra Verma2nd€2,361(₹1.85 Lakhs)
Welcome EventHimanshu Dewan3rd€2,052 (₹1.62 Lakhs)
Main EventAvinash Tauro29th€2,079 (₹1.63 Lakhs)
KENTA Turbo Omaha Rahul Kumar2nd€1,987 (₹1.56 Lakhs)
TIPS & KENTA EUROPE High RollerAbhishek Jaiswal9th€1,763 (₹1.38 Lakhs)
Main EventSatyam Verma42nd€1,526 (₹1.20 Lakhs)
Main EventArjanveer Chadha55th€1,526 (₹1.20 Lakhs)
Main EventSanjay K.61st€1,309 (₹1.02 Lakhs)
Main EventRahul Kumar74th€1,105 (₹ 86,840)
Main EventJayant Yewale88th€1,105 (₹86,840)
KENTA Turbo OmahaVineet Kumar4th€1,001 (₹78,768)
Main EventAnkit Kapoor118th€980 (₹76,978)
Main EventSatyam Raj120th€873 (₹68,573)
Turbo Noon FreezeoJayant Yewale1st€700 (₹55,097)
Poker Classic 1Himanshu Dewan9th€347 (₹27,299


WPT, Grupo Salinas & TV Azteca to Bring WPT Assets to Latin America

The World Poker Tour (WPT) has announced a five-year strategic alliance with TV Azteca, a company of Grupo Salinas for distributing WPT’s poker content library to the Latin American audience through its free-to-air stations. TV Azteca will also develop a social poker app, and produce original Spanish language programs based on WPT’s content resources.

WPT & Allied Esports

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Poker King Cup 2019 Postponed Indefinitely at 11th Hour

Scheduled for March 15-21 and to be hosted at Venetian Macau, the Poker King Cup 2019 has been postponed indefinitely. The event organizers cited unforeseen circumstances as being the reason behind the last-minute delay and announced it on the Poker King Club site.

Poker King Cup

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Triton Poker High Roller Series Jeju

The Triton Poker High Roller Series Jeju made a comeback to Jeju in South Korea on March 2 with six high buy-in tournaments.

Opening the action was the HK$250K NLHE –Short Deck Ante Only that was taken down by Justin Bonomo for HK$4.6 Million ($586,114). Malaysia’s high roller specialist Michael Soyza then went on to win his maiden Triton title along with his career-best score of HK$11.15 Million ($1.45 Million) in the third event i.e. HK$500K Six-Max.

Michael Soyza
Michael Soyza

While Jason Koon claimed two titles in the HK$500K and HK$1M NLHE Short-Deck Ante Only events, capping off the series was the Main Event that crowned a winner in Canada’s Timothy Adams. Adams topped 38 entries and struck a heads-up deal with Bryn Kenney to take home the biggest cheque at the stop worth HK$2,77,60,500 ($3.54 Million). It was also Adams best career score to date.

Timothy Adams
Timothy Adams

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Triton High Roller Series Jeju Winners

Event NamePlayer NamePrize Money
HK$250K NLHE-Short Deck Ante OnlyJustin BonomoHK$4,600,000
HK$500 NLHE Short Deck Ante OnlyDevan TangHK$9,730,000
HK$500 NLHE -6-HandedMichael SoyzaHK$11,150,000
HK$1M NLHE- Short Deck Ante OnlyJason KoonHK$22,300,000
Main EventTimothy AdamHK$27,760,500
HK1M NLHE Triton RefreshJason KoonHK$7,640,160



The World Poker Tour (WPT) LA Poker Classic (LAPC) ran a roster full of 69 tournaments from January 16 to March 12, at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. Many big names from the U.S. attended the series. Right after poker couple Rainer Kempe and Maria Ho took down a $25K High Roller event each, Darren Elias was seen in the hunt for the title in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event.

David Baker
David Baker

The Main Event attracted 546 entries, generating $5,169,270 in prize pool. However, pushing Elias to a third-place finish, David ‘ODB’ Baker surged ahead and claimed the Main Event for his third WPT title. Baker also pocketed $1,015,000 in prize money.

Read the complete story here


Vitor Coelho Wins WPTDeepStacks Jacksonville Main Event

The four-day-long WPTDeepStacks Jacksonville Main Event crowned a champion in restaurant owner turned poker player Vitor Coelho who claimed his first WPTDeepStacks title along with $120,419 in first-place prize money.

Vitor Coelho
Vitor Coelho

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Frank “The Tank” Stepuchin Wins Career-First WPT Title in Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Championship Main Event

Frank “The Tank” Stepuchin outlasted 253 entries to capture his career-first WPT title in the Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Championship Main Event, along with $548,825 in first-place prize money.

Frank Stepuchin
Frank Stepuchin

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Erkut Yilmaz Captures 2nd WPT Title in WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event 

The World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event attracted 280 entries generating $1,302,000 in the prize pool. Erkut Yilmaz topped the field to claim his second WPT title, along with a winner’s payday of $303,920. Indian-origin Ajay Chabra finished third for $130,345 (₹90,65,429).

Erkut Yilmaz & Ajay Chhabra
Erkut Yilmaz & Ajay Chabra

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Lukasz Fraczek Clinches Maiden WPT Title in WPT500 Barcelona For €215,000 ($242,797)

Poland’s Lukasz Fraczek emerged as the winner in WPT500 Barcelona event and collected his career-best score of €215,000 ($242,797) with this win.

Lukasz Fraczek
Lukasz Fraczek

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Elik Vodovoz Takes Down WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Hammond Main Event

Besting a field of 1,050 entries, 72-year old Elik Vodovoz took down the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Horseshoe Hammond $1,700 buy-in Main Event. Along with $294,290 in prize money, Vodovoz has also won a free entry into the WSOP Global Casino Championship, to be hosted at the Harrah’s Cherokee in August.

Elik Vodovoz
Elik Vodovoz Wins WSOPC Horseshoe Hammond Main Event

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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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