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Consolidating on further from its inaugural run in August last year, The Indian Poker Series (TIPS) has created a strong base for Indians who now have an affordable international series to look forward too. The series’ second edition, i.e., the TIPS Winter Edition ran from March 6-11 at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Europe and hogging the limelight was the €500,000 GTD Main Event that promised the final five finishers a $10,350 ticket to the World Series of Poker (WSOPE) Main Event, in addition to their winnings.
TIPS co-founder Manish Goenka had predicted that Main Event would crush its €500,000 prize pool guarantee with at least 1,500 entries. Goenka was close as a total of 1,417 entries made their way into the event across five starting flights. After a full, six-day run, the event is finally in the books! Israel’s Lior Moshe Padoba emerged the champion after a four-way deal with Eran Cohen who finished runner-up, Dieter Kramar (3rd) and Miky Ernovitz (4th). Padoba sacrificed some money in the deal and took home €77,580 (₹60,89,223), a good €20K less than the €97,321 that was initially reserved for the winner. But claiming the TIPS Main Event title and a free seat into the WSOPE Main Event were compensation enough!
Apart from Padoba, Cohen, Kramar and Ernovitz, India’s Pulkit Goyal, the only Indian who made it to the final table has also bagged a seat to the WSOPE Main Event ticket with a fifth-place finish that fetched him €31,845 (₹25 Lakhs) in prize money.
Coming into the final day, Pulkit Goyal was accompanied by fellow countrymen, Tarun Goyal and Gaurav Gupta. While Tarun Goyal was the first of the trio to bust, collecting a 16th place payout, (€3,841– ₹3 Lakhs), Gupta’s run ended in 11th place (€5,348 -₹4.20 Lakhs).
“It feels really satisfying being the first Indian among the top five in the Main Event. I wish I could win this event, but my hard luck! TIPS is a wonderful concept with a good structure and events,” said Pulkit Goyal, on final-tabling the Main Event. “The field was soft. I just concentrated on playing every spot and hand well. Overall this tourney was a good learning curve. My run in the entire event was pretty good.”
Goyal added, “My strategy on the final table was pretty clear as I needed to chip up and get that title but unfortunately my luck was not with me. The opponents were decent, everybody was playing a straight forward game.”
The first Indian to fall out on Day 3 was Tarun Goyal. Goyal was holding around 4 Million in chips, and his opponent had 4.5 Million. The hand saw his opponent limp from the small blind and he made it 600K from the big blind. The player shoved all in, and Goyal called. In a 40BB pot, the opponent won the hand with a backdoor flush, sending Goyal out in 16th place (€3,827 – ₹3 Lakhs).
Gaurav Gupta was eliminated by Kramar who held against the former’s . Gupta moved all in with 2,625,000 and was called by Kramar for 2,635,000. The flop fell where Kramar flopped a set of tens, and Gupta who could only muster a backdoor flush draw and a gutshot was at risk. The turn brought the and the landed on the river, ending Gupta’s run in 11th place (€5,348 -₹4.20 Lakhs).
Dieter Kramar entered the nine-handed unofficial final table as the chip leader with 13,125,000, followed by Idan Shloman (12,200,000) and Guy Meller (11,100,000).
Pulkit Goyal (7,850,000) started off in the middle of the pack.
Final Table Chip Counts
With the elimination of Martin Cito at the hands of Pulkit Goyal in ninth place (€6,453) the eight-max final table set into motion. With the title and a WSOPE Main Event ticket on the line, there was a lot at stake making for an interesting finale.
Final Table Recap
Shahaf Hadaya was the first player seen departing from the final table, in eighth place, and following him to the rail in seventh place was Guy Meller.
Next up, Idan Shloman who was up against Cohen holding against Cohen’s found his hopes dented when the flop of improved Cohen to one-pair. The on the turn was a blank for him and though he paired his king on the on the river, Cohen kept ahead with a superior pair and just like that, Shloman was out in sixth place.
Team India’s lone challenger on the final table, Pulkit Goyal then found his title hopes end. In the hand, Goyal was short stacked and shoved all-in on a UTG open with 9BBs holding offsuit. The board ran and his opponent improved to a set, sending Goyal packing in fifth place.
There was a four-way deal between the remaining players that saw the payouts being revised. Miky Ernovitz fell out in fourth place, and Dieter Kramar crashed in third place, leaving Eran Cohen and Padoba in the race for the title.
Padoba soon got down to business and cornered Cohen. On the final hand of the event, he tabled against Cohen’s on the runout . Cohen missed his straight, and Padoba kept ahead with his pocket fives, going on to become the TIPS Winter Edition Main Event champion!
Final Table Results (EURO)
*denotes four-way deal
Watch the TIPS Main Event final day action here.
Content & Images Courtesy: Hina Nainani, TIPS
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