This Week in Poker: July 31 – August 6

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  • Attreyee K. Ganguly August 7, 2019
  • 7 Minutes Read

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

Now that the monsoon season has well and truly set in, it isn’t just the streets that are experiencing the torrential downpour. The poker felts, both live and online, seem to be flooded with electrifying action as well. Let’s take a quick look back at all the exciting happenings that occurred in the past week.

After an exceptional performance at the 2019 WSOP, Team India stormed APPT Manila, registering numerous deep runs and two standout performances. A total of 14 Indian cashes were recorded at the series, but the most significant of them was Young Gun Kanishka Samant‘s stellar run in the PHP 200,000 APPT High Roller. Last year, Samant’s fellow poker coach at the Indian Poker Pros poker stable, Sahil Agarwal, had finished runner-up in this very event. This year, Samant did one better, taking down the High Roller title for a career-best score of PHP 6,956,000 (~₹95.05 Lakhs), making him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.” This is also the highest score by an Indian at the APPT Manila to date. While Samant was creating history in the High Roller, yet another Young Gun – Sahil Chuttani – was fighting it out on the final table of the PHP 65,000 Main Event. Chuttani ultimately finished eighth-place and picked up his first cash at the series worth PHP 1,288,000 (~₹17.61 Lakhs).

Let us now travel to ‘jolly old’ London where the Triton Poker Super High Roller (SHR) Series was being hosted for the very first time. Following successful runs in the Philippines, Montenegro, Korea, and Russia, the Triton Poker SHR made its London debut on July 31. The series was a unique one for hosting the ‘Triton Million – A Helping Hand For Charity’ which was an invitation-only entry tournament. Sporting a buy-in of £1.05 Million (~₹8.89 Crores), the event logged in 54 entries, resulting in a massive prize pool of £54 Million (~₹457 Crores), making it the richest poker tournament in history! An astounding £2.7 Million (~₹22.8 Crores) from the prize pool was donated to charity. The world’s richest poker tournament as it became, was attended by the crème de la crème of the poker industry and among the list of participants was NRI Vivek Rajkumar. The elusive poker pro who had been missing in action since 2015 was invited to the event by Rick Solomon. He yet again proved to the poker community why he is still considered one of the best in the business by finishing fifth in the Triton Million for a monumental payday of £3,000,000 (~₹25.41 Crores). China’s Aaron Zang shipped the event for a life-altering £13,779,491 (~₹116 Crores) following a heads-up deal with Bryn Kenney. Rajkumar is presently playing Day 2 of the second Main Event of the series, the £100,000 Short Deck Main Event.

Coming back to home soil, the last Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) edition of the year was conducted onboard the Deltin Royale from July 31 to August 5. While failing to replicate the overwhelming response of last year’s July edition, the series still managed to pull in respectable numbers despite the inclement weather conditions and the ongoing taxi strike. The series was undoubtedly dominated by newbies, with three out of the four events crowning winners in relatively lesser-known players. Cash game player Rishabh Vekaria emerged as the ₹35K Main Event champion, not only clinching his first-ever live title but also posting his career-first live score adding ₹30 Lakhs to his bankroll. Mumbai-based high-stakes cash game specialist Nikunj Jhunjhunwala was the only veteran player to claim a title – he took down the ₹65K High Roller for ₹27.50 Lakhs, after defeating PokerGuru Ambassador Ashish Ahuja heads-up. This was Jhunjhunwala’s fourth major title win in Goa and his first-ever DPT title. Pranay Mungekar (₹15K Deep Dive for ₹10 Lakhs) and Pankaj Bhardwaj (₹15K Bounty for ₹2.05 Lakhs) were the other two side event winners at the DPT July edition.

While the live felts were teaming with nail-biting action, the domestic online front took a slight hit in terms of participation in the weekly high-value tournaments. Nonetheless, several players took advantage of the softer fields and bagged the big payouts. Ameya ‘encashed’ Gokhale was the standout performer on the virtual felts last Sunday banking a total ₹2.53 Lakhs. The other big online winners were ‘along85’, who shipped the Baazi Super Sunday (BSS) SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD on PokerBaazi for ₹4.85 Lakhs, and ‘ferrari089,’ who won the Sunday Special for ₹2.80 Lakhs.

In other news, the online fantasy sports portal, BalleBaaazi, a subsidiary of Baazi Games, secured Series A Funding to the tune of $4 Million (~₹30 Crores) from two private equity companies located in Singapore and Delhi. Meanwhile, 33-year-old poker professional Richard Lyndaker passed away following an accidental overdose of prescribed pain medication.

Moreover, besides APPT Manila, Triton SHR London, and DPT July, many international events were going on around the world, and this included stops like Potomac Poker Open, Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) St. Louis, Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Cleveland, and The Star Sydney Champs.

There is more live action to look forward to with the Asian Poker Tour (APT) Korea Incheon (August 2-13), partypoker MILLIONS Europe, Rozvadov (August 5-8) and European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona (August 20-September 1) coming up next on the horizon.


Online Railbird Report

along85’ topped a field of 500 entries (315 unique players and 185 re-entries) to take down PokerBaazi’s biggest Sunday tournament – BSS SuperStack ₹25 Lakhs GTD for ₹4.85 Lakhs. However, it was Ameya ‘encashed’ Gokhale who stole the show last Sunday. Displaying his phenomenal multi-tabling skills, Gokhale final tabled four events on PokerStars India, collecting total winnings of ₹2.53 Lakhs.

Ameya Gokhale
Ameya Gokhale

Other notable scores of the week include –

‘ferrari089’ won ₹2.80 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Special – Progressive KO ₹15 Lakhs GTD’

‘fullfront’ won ₹1.30 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘The Monster 6- Max ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

Rajneesh ‘msdhoni’ Thakur won ₹1.24 Lakhs for 1st place in the PokerBaazi ‘BSS Megastack ₹5 Lakhs GTD’

‘rockon2002’ won ₹80,000 for 1st place in the Khelo365 ‘Re Raise ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘firehawk729’ won ₹46,000 for 1st place in the Khelo365 ‘Mega Splash ₹1 Lakh GTD’

‘merilaximi999’ won ₹43,000 for 1st place in the Khelo365 ‘Big Bang ₹1 Lakh GTD’

Prashanth’nemesis9961’ Sekar won ₹42,315 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Stars ₹2 Lakhs GTD’

‘umapathi29’ won ₹34,334 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Bigstack Turbo ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’

Utsav ‘rannyOO6’ Taneja won ₹27,353 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Warm-Up ₹1.5 Lakhs GTD’

‘Cheekuri’ won ₹17,280 for 1st place in the Khelo365 ‘DeepStack ₹40K GTD’

‘shreekrishna18’ won ₹17,210 for 1st place in PokerBaazi ‘Sunday ₹1 Lakh GTD’

‘GUNMAN7275’ won ₹16,390 for 1st place in the PokerStars India ‘Sunday Storm ₹1 Lakh GTD’


BalleBaazi Secures $4 Million (~₹30 Crores) in Series A Funding

Delhi-based online fantasy gaming platform, BalleBaazi, which is a subsidiary of Baazi Games, announced on August 5 that it had raised $4 Million (~₹30 Crores) in a Series A funding round from two private equity companies, one based in Singapore and the Delhi-based Snap Angel Tech.


Read the complete story here


DPT July 2019

The last Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) of 2019 ran from July 31 to August 5 and comprised of four events. While this year’s DPT July edition was unable to surpass the attendance records established by its predecessors, it was still a runaway success and managed to pull in the crowds despite adverse weather conditions and a troublesome taxi strike.

The series saw new faces and fresh blood dominating the action with three out of the four events crowning first-time champions. The star attraction of the series, the ₹35K Main Event, was championed by cash game player Rishabh Vekaria who not only claimed his first live title at the event but was recorded his career-first live score with the ₹30 Lakhs winner’s payday.

Rishabh Vekaria
Rishabh Vekaria

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Seasoned pro Nikunj Jhunjhunwala was the only circuit regular to win a DPT title in this series. Though Jhunjhunwala is one of the most recognizable faces in the Goa poker scene, having won three previous titles in the coastal state, the Mumbai-based pro bagged his first DPT title in the ₹65K High Roller for ₹27.50 Lakhs, after besting PokerGuru Ambassador Ashish Ahuja (runner-up for ₹16.90 Lakhs) heads-up.

Nikunj Jhunjhunwala
Nikunj Jhunjhunwala

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The other two events were won by Pranay Mungekar and Pankaj Bhardwaj. Mungekar overcame a field of 294 entries to clinch his maiden live title for ₹10 Lakhs in the series-opener ₹15K Deep Dive.

Read the complete story here

Bhardwaj registered his first-ever live cash in style by taking down the ₹15K Bounty for ₹2.05 Lakhs. PokerGuru Ambassador Jayjit Ray finished third for ₹77,000.

Read the complete story here


APPT Manila 2019

With 25 events in its schedule, the sixth edition of the APPT Manila was hosted for the very first time in the PokerStars LIVE room at the iconic Okada Manila from July 26 to August 4. A good number of Indians were already in attendance when the series began with bracelet winners Aditya Sushant and Abhinav Iyer joining the action midway. The talented Indian crew accrued a total of 14 cashes at the stop and headlining them all was Young Gun Kanishka Samant who took down the PHP 200,000 APPT High Roller for a whopping PHP 6,956,000 (~₹95.05 Lakhs). This for Samant is his personal-best live score to date, and also his first PokerStars LIVE title, making him our “PokerGuru Star of the Week.”

Kanishka Samant
Kanishka Samant

Among the other top scorers, Iyer finished fifth (PHP 2,030,000 – ₹27.51 Lakhs) in the PHP 500,000 Super High Roller. A total of four Indians posted scores in the PHP 65,000 Main Event, and Sahil Chuttani ran the deepest (8th for PHP 1,288,000 – ₹17.61 Lakhs). Seasoned pro Sahil Agarwal who’d finished runner-up at the 2018 APPT Manila PHP 200,000 High Roller made a strong big for the title in the PHP 55,000 Deepstack NLHE but finished second (PHP 530,100 – ₹7.15 Lakhs) this time as well.

Sahil Chuttani
Sahil Chuttani

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Team India Cashes at APPT Manila

Event PlayerFinish Prize Money
PHP 200,000 APPT High RollerKanishka Samant 1st PHP 6,956,000 - ₹95.05 Lakhs
PHP 500,000 Super High RollerAbhinav Iyer5th PHP 2,030,000 - ₹27.51 Lakhs
PHP 65,000 Main EventSahil Chuttani8thPHP 1,288,000 - ₹17.61 Lakhs
PHP 55,000 Deepstack NLHE Sahil Agarwal2ndPHP 530,100 - ₹7.15 Lakhs
PHP 15,000 Megastack Turbo FreezeoutAditya Sushant3rdPHP 232,000 - ₹3.15 Lakhs
PHP 65,000 Main EventAnant Purohit39thPHP 231,500 – ₹3.13 Lakhs
PHP 65,000 Main EventVivek Singh 74thPHP 167,500 – ₹2.26 Lakhs
PHP 65,000 Main EventVinod Megalmani 100thPHP 141,500 – ₹1.91 Lakhs
PHP 33,000 APPT NationalAbhinav Iyer32ndPHP 93,000 - ₹1.25 Lakhs
PHP 33,000 APPT NationalJaideep Sajwan57thPHP 70,000 - ₹94,820
PHP 33,000 APPT NationalMani Singh63rdPHP 70,000 - ₹94,820
PHP 33,000 Saturday SuperStack FreezeoutMani Singh30thPHP 65,000 – ₹88,379
PHP 33,000 Saturday SuperStack FreezeoutVinod Megalmani 37thPHP 55,000 – ₹74,782
PHP 16,000 Kickoff Vishal Tajpuria 41stPHP 48,000 - ₹64,747


Headlining the list of winners at the stop was local pro Florencio Campomanes who took down the PHP 65,000 Main Event for ₱11,092,500 (~₹1.51 Crores).

APPT Manila Winners


EventWinnerPrize Money
PHP 65,000 Main EventFlorencio CampomanesPHP 11,092,500
PHP 500,000 Super High RollerChaofei WangPHP 7,000,000
PHP 200,000 APPT High RollerKanishka SamantPHP 6,956,000
PHP 33,000 APPT NationalBenigno Jr. LedinaPHP 4,174,500
PHP 150,000 High RollerIvan LeePHP 3,631,500
PHP 16,000 APPT KickoffJinlong HuPHP 2,675,000
PHP 33,000 Saturday SuperStack FreezeoutKei TakazawaPHP 1,574,400
PHP 100K NLHE Shot ClockBobby ZhangPHP 1,563,600
PHP 150,000 6+ NLHE Re-Entry Hao ZhuPHP 1,299,500
PHP 25,000 Megastack NLHE Shot Clock FreezeoutLixun ZhouPHP 1,192,739
PHP 25K NLHE Shot ClockFukotomi ShinyaPHP 1,069,500
PHP 100K NLHE Shot Clock FreezeoutWayne ZhangPHP 1,066,000
PHP 15,000 NLHE SuperDeep Freezeout Tae Hoon HanPHP 892,500
PHP 55,000 NLHE DeepstackNobuhito OgoPHP 829,700
PHP 200,000 High Roller 6+ NLHE Shot Clock TurboBokuto KagamiPHP 829,400
PHP 15,000 Megastack Turbo FreezeoutKang Feng LienPHP 448,000
PHP 15,000 NLHE Hyper-Turbo FreezeoutTeck Heng ChuaPHP 419,900
PHP 10,000 NLHE DeepstackMichael de LeonPHP 337,400
PHP 10,000 6+ NLHE Turbo Re-entry Seongsu KongPHP 295,650
PHP 10,000 NLHE FreezeoutChunsan Fan PHP 271,400
Re-Buy Charity Event PHP 300,000 GTDSunmoon KimPHP 266,300
PHP 8,000 NLHE Knockout FreezeoutGang TaoPHP 242,300
PHP 10,000 NLHE Hyper TurboRonald MorfePHP 174,600
PHP 8,000 NLHE Turbo FreezeoutCharalampos LappasPHP 127,000
PHP 5,000 FlipoutMasaru AbePHP 114,900


Triton SHR London

A creation of Paul Phua and Richard Yong, Triton Poker Super High Roller Series after hosting nine stops in places like Philippines, Montenegro, Korea, and Russia came visiting London for the very first time on July 31. Organized in conjunction with partypoker’s Rob Yong, the series ambitiously aimed at hosting the biggest buy-in event ever. The uniquely structured Triton Million – A Helping Hand For Charity followed an invitation-only entry method and turned out to be stupendous success attracting an unprecedented 54 entries. With a £1.05 Million (~₹8.89 Crores) buy-in, the tournament was the most expensive poker tournament in history! It generated a massive £54 Million (~₹457 Crores) prize pool of which a generous £2.7 Million (~₹22.8 Crores) was donated for charitable purposes. In the end, China’s Aaron Zang went on to win the awe-inspiring event for £13,779,491 (~₹116 Crores) following a heads-up deal with Bryn Kenney. Finishing runner-up for £16,890,509 (~₹143 Crores) propelled Kenney to the top of the All-Time Money List, overtaking Justin Bonomo.

There was a reason for the Indian fraternity to celebrate as Indian-origin pro Vivek Rajkumar was seen in action at the event after a long, four-year hiatus. Rajkumar posted an impressive fifth place finish for a career-best £3,000,000 (~₹25.41 Crores).

Vivek Rajkumar Makes Day 2 of Triton SHR London £100K Short Deck Main Event
Vivek Rajkumar

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Shortly after the Triton Million, the focus shifted towards the £100,000 buy-in Main Event that crowned a fitting champion in Wai Kin Yong, who beat Triton co-founder Paul Phua heads-up to pocket a £2,591,695 (~22.33 Crores) payday. In the side events, the £25K Short Deck Ante-Only was won by David Benefield for £650,000.

There are two events currently underway including the £100,000 buy-in Short Deck Main Event where 91 entries were logged in on Day 1, and a total of 40 players including Rajkumar (90,000 – 18 BB’smade it to Day 2. Leading the pack is Russia’s Furkat Rakhimov (2,180,000 (436 BB’s).

Furkat Rakhimov Tops Day 1 of the Triton SHR London £100K Short Deck Main Event
Furkat Rakhimov

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Triton SHR London Winners

EventWinnerPrize Money
£1.05M Triton MillionAaron Zang £13,779,491
£100K Main EventWai Kin Yong £2,591,695
£50K 8-Handed NLHCharlie Carrell£1,321,000
£25K 6-Handed NLH TurboLinus Loeliger £690,000
£25K Short Deck Ante-OnlyDavid Benefield£650,000


Online Phenom Richard ‘nutsinho’ Lyndaker Passes Away

The poker fraternity was saddened by the news of the sudden and accidental demise of 33-year-old poker professional Richard Lyndaker. Widely acknowledged as one of the most phenomenal high-stakes cash game players online, Lyndaker rose to fame during the 2000s. He is reported to have accidentally overdosed on prescribed pain medication.

Richard Lyndaker
Richard Lyndaker

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Farid Jattin Wins Potomac Poker Open Main Event

Indian-origin player Rajasekar Govindan and well-known pro Farid Jattin locked horns at the recently concluded 2019 Potomac Poker Open $3,300 Main Event. Govindan placed runner up for a career-best $148,248 while Jattin topped the 348-entry field and collected $247,950 for his finish.

Farid Jattin
Farid Jattin

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Mike Shin Wins Heartland Poker Tour St. Louis Main Event

Last week, the Heartland Poker Tour (HPT) St. Louis’ $1,650 Main Event came to a close and outlasting the massive 480 entry field was Mike Shin. Shin won his first HPT Trophy and took home the $160,632 top prize after defeating Nick Pupillo heads-up for the title.

Mike Shin
Mike Shin

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Adam Friedman Wins MSPT JACK Cleveland Main Event

The Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Cleveland $1,100 Main Event featuring a cool $300,000 GTD crowned a winner this past week. The event’s 596 entry field was bested by three-time WSOP bracelet winner Adam Friedman who defeated Spencer Wright heads-up to bank $121,405.

Adam Friedman
Adam Friedman

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Hamish Crawshaw Wins The Star Sydney Champs Main Event

Besting a record-breaking field of 600 entries, New Zealander Hamish Crawshaw took top honors at The Star Sydney Champs series’ headline A$3,000 Main Event. Crawshaw defeated Mark Lassau heads-up and took home a hefty payday of A$352,800.

Hamish Crawshaw
Hamish Crawshaw

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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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