This Week in Poker: November 14 – 20

This Week in Poker
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  • Attreyee K. Ganguly November 22, 2018
  • 10 Minutes Read

In the PokerGuru feature ‘This Week in Poker’ we bring to 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

What a week it has been for poker! Right as the embers of the Diwali craziness died down, the stage was set ablaze by mind-boggling action at the week-long 2018 World Poker Tour (WPT) India series that played out at Casino Deltin Royale in Goa. But that wasn’t all. Virtual action on domestic sites was equally charged that saw the top echelon of domestic poker banking major scores.

Starting on November 13, the second running of WPT India witnessed a sizeable increase in participation this time around and it is now safe to say that this series was the biggest poker festival held on Indian soil. Taking centre stage in the eight-event long series was the most-sought after event at the stop i.e. the ₹55K Main Event which registered 697 entries, obliterating last year’s record. Grabbing the lion’s share of the ₹3.62 Crores prize pool was the cash game specialist, Nikunj Jhunjhunwala. He also posted his career-best live cash of ₹66.35 Lakhs, and for this, Jhunjhunwala is our “PokerGuru Star of the Week”.

Even though the second edition of the WPT India concluded on November 19, there is still much poker action to look forward to, especially the 2018 PokerStars Live Jeju Red Dragon which will take place at the Jeju Shinwha World, South Korea from November 30 to December 9. Followed by the 888poker LIVE London, London (November 22 to December 3), AJPC Asian Circuit – FESTIVAL, Incheon (December 7 to 16) and European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague (December 7 to 18).

While WPT India provided entertaining live action, the high-value online tournaments did not disappoint either. Throughout the week several events with massive guarantees were on offer for the online pros which included PokerBaazi’s The Endeavour ₹10 Lakhs GTD (‘Kamlesh9041’ for ₹2.28 Lakhs) and The Vegas ₹10 Lakhs GTD (Vinayak ‘salmanbhai’ Bajaj for ₹2.02 Lakhs), as well as PokerStars India’s Super Tuesday ₹5 Lakhs GTD (‘GSK1515’ for ₹1.05 Lakhs) and Wednesday Stars ₹5 Lakhs GTD (‘fishcake104’ for ₹91,532).

Surpassing all the online winners was India`s poker pioneer and Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal who headlined the Sunday Special – Progressive KO ₹15 Lakhs GTD event on PokerStars India and banked an impressive ₹3.65 Lakhs in first-place prize money.

The newly launched domestic poker website PokerRaj made a few announcements this past week. Following the unveiling of the schedule for the Sunday Special Nations Cup Qualifier Tournaments, the Raj Kundra-promoted site announced its first brand ambassador – Bollywood actress Anita Hassanandani. Meanwhile, India’s most trusted poker site, PokerBaazi also announced its latest promotion ‘The Game Changer’ which boasts of a ₹2 Crores GTD and is touted to be the country’s ‘Biggest Online Poker Tournament’.

Indian poker players also proved their mettle on the felts of the Asia Poker League Road Series Vol.3, held at the Pro Poker Club, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Opening Team India’s scorecard at the series was Abhishek Paul, who won the Hyper Turbo event for VND 34 Million (₹1.05 Lakhs).

However, the legal and political status of the Indian gaming industry seems to be on shaky grounds off late. From the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban offshore betting websites from soliciting Indian players, to the India Cruise Lines Association (INCLA) petitioning the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for several concessions and amendments in gaming laws and the Mumbai Police arresting 27 individuals following a raid at a video game parlour in Kolhapur, the turmoil and upheavals within the industry keep persisting.

We wrap up this week’s recap with tournament reports from WPT India 2018, APL Road Series Vol.3, 2018 partypoker Caribbean Poker Party, 2018 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open (RRPO), 2018 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship, 2018 Seneca Fall Poker Classic Main Event, Season XIV HPT Championship and WSOP Circuit Choctaw Durant.

Online Railbird Report

With over $4 Million in recorded online cashes, Team PokerStars Pro Aditya Agarwal is certainly the biggest domestic online MTT winner. This past Sunday he added yet another trailblazing win to his decade-long resume by juggernauting to the top in the Sunday Special – Progressive KO ₹15 Lakhs GTD on PokerStars India for ₹3.65 Lakhs.

Team PokerStars Pro - Aditya Agarwal
Team PokerStars Pro – Aditya Agarwal

Other notable scores of the week include –

Sriharsha ‘ivey2’ Doddapaneni won ₹3 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS SuperStack ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

Arsh ‘BigggTymeR’ Grover won ₹2.60 Lakhs for 1st place in the 9stacks ‘Sunday Stacks ₹10 Lakhs GTD’

‘Kamlesh9041’ won ₹2.28 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Endeavour ₹10 Lakhs GTD’

Vinayak ‘salmanbhai’ Bajaj won ₹2.02 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Vegas ₹10 Lakhs GTD’

Vishal ‘Bhai9’ Marwaha won ₹1.82 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘Grinders #33 Main Event ₹10 Lakhs GTD’

‘Monster’ won ₹1.25 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi‘BSS PLO ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

Rohit ‘kudos0505’ Behal won ₹1.22 lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Monster 6-Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

‘GSK1515’ won ₹1.05 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Super Tuesday ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

‘fishcake104’ won ₹91,532 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Wednesday Stars ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

Ankit ‘Bhoochal’ Saxena won ₹47,105 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘The Classic NLHE ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

Ashish ‘Spewushhhiiiii’ Ahuja won ₹42,996 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘tuhinanshu’ won ₹38,516 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Storm ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘BranStark’ won ₹36,221 for 1st place in the MadOverPoker ‘Dyamite’

Neel Ajit ‘Legolas33’ Joshi won ₹33,000 for 1st place in the PokerRaj ‘Nations Cup Qualifier ₹1 Lakh GTD’

Rakesh ‘Rainbow’ Ranjan won ₹32,000 for 1st place in the MadOverPoker ‘Grenade’

‘bhasm@sur1’ won ₹30,426 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Supersonic ₹1.25 Lakhs GTD’

Vishal ‘Vishalb22’ Bajaj won ₹27,263 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Warm-Up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’

‘Rishav1995’ won ₹26,640 for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘Grinders#32 6-Max ₹1 Lakh GTD’

Himadri ‘Black Cat’ Pal won ₹18,952 for 1st place in the MadOverPoker ‘NightCrawler’

PokerBaazi Announces India`s Biggest Online Poker Tournament – ‘The Game Changer’ With 2 Crores GTD

Much to the rejoice of online poker players, India’s most trusted poker site PokerBaazi announced its brand new tournament aptly named – The Game Changer which guarantees a mind boggling ₹2 Crores in guarantee. The winner of the event is guaranteed to walk away with ₹50 Lakhs!

PokerBaazi Game Changer

Read the complete story here.

PokerRaj Ropes in Anita Hassanandani as Brand Ambassador & Announces Nations Cup Qualifiers

Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty Kundra promoted online poker site PokerRaj made two major announcements this past week. First the site roped in Bollywood and TV actor Anita Hassanandani as its “queen” and first brand ambassador. Hassanandani has always been vocal about her love for poker and was also a part of Harman Baweja owned Mumbai All-Stars that won MIPL Season 1.

PokerRaj Brand Ambassador - Anita Hassanandani
PokerRaj Brand Ambassador – Anita Hassanandani

Read the complete story here.

PokerRaj also announced a special series – Nations Cup Tournament qualifiers that will be held every Sunday at 9:30 till January 6. With a modest buy-in of ₹990 and a guaranteed prize pool of ₹1 Lakh, the winner of each qualifier will win a seat into the Nations Cup Finale, scheduled for January 13.

PokerRaj Nations Cup

Read the complete story here.

WPT India 2018

The second edition of the World Poker Tour (WPT) India 2018 got off to a flyer on November 13, with most of the events eclipsing the previous year’s record. Hosted onboard the luxurious Casino Deltin Royale, the week-long series witnessed some jaw-dropping action and electrifying runs. Many big names were seen in the fray, with several of them cashing in multiple events including Akshay Nasa, MadOverPoker pro Zarvan Tumboli and Rajnish Kumar.

The showstopper of 2018 WPT India was the ₹55K Main Event which drew in a massive field of 697 entries, generating a prize pool of ₹3,62,49,576. The Main Event overshadowed the attendance record set at the 2017 WPT India Main Event. Topping this huge field was Mumbai-based player Nikunj Jhunjhunwala, who won his career-first WPT title, which was accompanied by a best live cash of ₹66.35 Lakhs, making him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week”.

Winner of 2018 WPT India Main Event - Nikunj Jhunjhunwala
Winner of 2018 WPT India Main Event – Nikunj Jhunjhunwala

Read the complete story here.

Another popular event at the series was the ₹100K High Roller which was taken down by Kalyan Chakravarthy, who outlasted 120 entries to become the new WPT India High Roller champion.

Winner of 2018 WPT India 100K HighRoller - Kalyan Chakravarthy
Winner of 2018 WPT India 100K HighRoller – Kalyan Chakravarthy

Read the complete story here.

Abhishek Jalan took the spotlight in the ₹35K Superstack decimated an exceptionally tough playing field to claim his first WPT title for ₹17.29 Lakhs.

Winner of 2018 WPT India ₹35K Superstack - Abhishek Jalan
Winner of 2018 WPT India ₹35K Superstack – Abhishek Jalan

Read the complete story here.

India’s first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Aditya Sushant added a WPT title to his tally as he took down the 201-strong entry field and pocketed a handsome ₹9.35 Lakhs in prize money.

Winner of 2018 WPT India ₹20K Kickoff - Aditya Sushant
Winner of 2018 WPT India ₹20K Kickoff – Aditya Sushant

Read the complete story here.

The Main Event ran from November 16 to 19, and in the time frame several side events ran alongside the star attraction. The first of these events was the ₹25K Big Bounty NLH which pulled in 276 entries. Outmanoeuvring the aggressive field was Alok Birewar, who bagged his career-first WPT title for ₹7.80 Lakhs in prize money. The fast-paced ₹7K Ship IT NLH was taken down by Sacheen Ramchandani for ₹2.35 Lakhs and the ₹20K Shootout crowned a winner in Pratik Goel for ₹3.87 Lakhs.

The last event of the series was the ₹20K Megastack Turbo. Dominating a field of 99 entries, New Delhi-based pro Siddarth Singhvi emerged as the champion and clinched his maiden WPT title and ₹5.71 Lakhs in prize money.

Winner of 2018 WPT India ₹20K Megastack Turbo - Siddarth Singhvi
Winner of 2018 WPT India ₹20K Megastack Turbo – Siddarth Singhvi

Read the complete story here.

2018 WPT India Winners:

Winner of 2018 WPT India

Abhishek Paul Wins APL Road Series Vol.3 Hyper Turbo Event

The Asia Poker League (APL) Road Series Vol.3 is currently underway at the Pro Poker Club, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Team India’s Abhishek Paul opened the series with a bang by taking down the Hyper Turbo event. Paul topped the entry field of 18 players and collected VND 34 Million (~₹1.05 Lakh) in prize money.

Winner of APL Road Series Hyper Turbo - Abhishek Paul
Winner of APL Road Series Hyper Turbo – Abhishek Paul

Read the complete story here.

AIGF Demands PM’s Intervention Against Offshore Betting Websites Soliciting Indian Players

The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) wrote to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi requesting him to ask the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate and take action against offshore betting websites that are accepting bets from Indians, in contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Rules and cyber laws. AIGF asked the Union government to work towards blocking these foreign websites from accepting deposits from Indian players.

Read the complete story here.

27 Arrested in Kolhapur After Police Raid Video Game Parlour

On November 12, Kolhapur city police had conducted a raid on a video game parlour in Central Bus Stand where 27 people were arrested and 29 machines along with ₹60,000 in cash was seized. According to a police official, they had received information that illegal activities like gambling were being carried out at videogame parlours.

Read the complete story here.

INCLA Asks PMO to Permit Casinos on Cruise Ships

The India Cruise Lines Association (INCLA) recently petitioned the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for several concessions and amendments in gaming laws. The organisation highlighted the need for reduction in GST rates applicable on supply of goods and services onboard cruise ships along with need for approval of tax holidays for the cruise industry.

Read the complete story here.

Dream11 Announces Partnership With International Cricket Council

This past week, the country’s biggest fantasy sports platform – Dream11 announced a partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) for an exclusive 5-year deal. Dream11 will create fantasy sports games for all ICC events in the next five years and started the promotions for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup as its official fantasy partner.

Read the complete story here.

Asian Poker Tour Announces Taiwan Stop in 2019

The Asian Poker Tour (APT) added another stop to its line-up of events for 2019 and announced the 2019 APT Taiwan which will be hosted at the Chinese Texas Hold ‘em Poker Association (CTP) room in Taipei, from February 20 to March 3. The series will feature a TWD33,000 ($1,066) Main Event and a TWD49,500 ($1,599) Championship Event, along with side events and satellites.

Read the complete story here.

WPTDeepStacks Announces Schedule for First Half of Next Year

The WPTDeepStacks announced its schedule of events for the first-half of 2019 with 18 stops across 11 countries. The schedule features two WPT500 events and more than $3 Million in guarantees and will commence with its Berlin stop at Spielbank Casino (January 11-14).

Read the complete story here.

2019 Unibet Open Ski-Edition to be Held in Romania

Romania’s beautiful ski resort – Sinaia is set to play host to the first-ever winter sports festival – Unibet Open. The series will run through February 12-18 and will be highlighted by the €1,100 Main Event and the €2,200 High Roller.

Read the complete story here.

Malaysian Police Raids Illegal Online Casino in Kuala Lampur

The Malaysian police recently raided an illegal online casino operating in the capital city of Kuala Lampur which resulted in five people getting arrested who were found running the illegal online casino that was making profits of RM3.3 Million ($795,000) per month.

Read the complete story here.

partypoker Caribbean Poker Party 2018

The 2018 partypoker Caribbean Poker Party opened to an eventful schedule of 13 tournaments on November 9. The series was hosted at the Baha Mar in The Bahamas and continued right till November 17.

The show stopper was the $5,300 Main Event that was won by Portugal’s Filipe Oliveira who outlasted 1,815 entries to win $1.5 Million.

Filipe Oliveira
Filipe Oliveira

Read the complete story here.

Prior to the excitement of the Main Event was the three-day long $10,000 High Roller that saw 195 runners converging to the felts. Eventually, partypoker pro Roberto Romanello won the event for $450,000.

Roberto Romanello
Roberto Romanello

Read the complete story here.

The first mixed-game event at the series was the $1,650 H.O.R.S.E that pulled 22 entrants and was won by American pro Joey Couden who defeated Mike Sexton heads-up to win the event for $13,500.

Joey Couden
Joey Couden

Read the complete story here.

Steffen Sontheimer was another champion at the series. The German pro topped a field of 34 entries and a six-handed final table to win the $250K Super High Roller Championships for the top prize of $3,685,000.

Steffen Sontheimer
Steffen Sontheimer

Read the complete story here.

The $25,500 MILLIONS World at the 2018 partypoker Caribbean Poker Party attracted a total of 205 entries over two starting flights culminating in a $10,000,000 prize pool. Roger Teska emerged as the champion and took home his best live score of $2,000,000.

Roger Teska
Roger Teska

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The $50,000 Super High Roller was the third event on the 2018 partypoker Caribbean Poker Party roster and the fast-paced tournament had 54 runners vying for the top prize. Venezuelan pro Giuseppe Ladisernia won the event for his maiden live title and $845,000 in prize money.

Giuseppe Iadisernia
Giuseppe Iadisernia

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Indian-Origin Player Raminder Singh Ships $1,100 NLH at 2018 RRPO, Trung Pham Wins $360 DeepStack NLH

Beginning from November 19, the 2018 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open (RRPO) was hosted at the Casino Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. Outlasting 170 entries at the $1,100 No Limt Hold’em event, Indian-origin player Raminder Singh bagged $37,706 in prize money and dedicated his win to his daughter Sonya. The kickoff event, the $360 Deep Stack No Limit Hold’em was won by Trung Pham, who defeated a massive field of 4,558 entries and took home the top prize of $123,364. Indian challengers Hiren Dharani (13th for ₹2.22 Lakhs) featured in the $1,100 NLH, and Nipun Java (357th for ₹48,748) participated in the $360 DeepStack NLH.

Winner of $1,100 NLH - Raminder Singh
Raminder Singh

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Brett Halan Wins 2018 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship

Fielding across 748 entries, Brett Halan took top honours at the 2018 MSPT Wisconsin State Poker Championship for $145,000.

Brett Halan
Brett Halan

Read the complete story here.

Victor Adams Takes Down 2018 Seneca Fall Poker Classic Main Event

The 2018 Seneca Fall Poker Classic $1,000 Main Event was championed by Canadian pro Victor Adams who topped a field of 249 entries to win the top prize of $53,853.

Victor Adams
Victor Adams

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Josh Reichard Tops Season XIV HPT Championship, Aaron Johnson Wins HPT Season XIV Player of the Year Title

The Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) Season XIV culminated with the $2,500 Championship at Ameristar in East Chicago which crowned a winner in Wisconsin pro Josh Reichard for $221,294, while Aaron Johnson won the 2018 HPT Player of the Year title.

Read the complete story here.

Max Young Claims 5th WSOPC Ring WSOP at the Choctaw Durant Main Event

Defeating an entry field of 893 at the 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) Choctaw $1,700 Main Event, Oregon-based WSOPC regular Maxwell Young claimed the top seat for his career’s fifth WSOPC gold ring and his biggest live cash of $263,815.

Maxwell Young
Maxwell Young

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Martin Ryan Captures Seventh WSOPC Ring at Choctaw Durant

Martin Ryan captured his seventh WSOPC gold ring in the $600 NLHE event at the 2018 WSOPCircuit Choctaw Durant for $19,323.

Read the complete story here.

Carl Brewington Wins $400 NLHE Monster Stack at WSOPC Choctaw Durant

The $400 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack at the 2018 WSOPC Choctaw Durant attracted 632 entries and cash game specialist Carl Brewington dominated the field to clinch his second Circuit ring along with a career-best $42,751 in prize money.

Carl Brewington
Carl Brewington

Read the complete story here.

And with this, we conclude this week’s round up 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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