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It was another eventful day onboard the Casino Deltin Royale on Sunday with the World Poker Tour (WPT) India Main Event playing down to its nine-handed final table. It took almost 10 hours of tournament action yesterday to trim down a starting field of 210 survivors to find the nine finalists and leading the charge coming into the final day`s play today will be Jai Saha (cover image).
Saha, who was part of Team Kolkata Creators in GPL India Season 1 last year, has had a breakout 2019 already. He splashed onto the live scene in February this year when he final tabled the DPT High Roller at this very same venue. Saha quickly followed that up by making two other deep runs in major stops in Barcelona. His most recent score was his 14th place finish in the IPC High Roller last month for ₹3.77 Lakhs. Today when the final table kicks off at 2.30 PM, Saha will resume play with a massive stack of 3,940,000 (32 BBs).
Trailing Saha is another young talent, PokerGuru ambassador Ashish Munot (3,400,000 – 27 BBs). This upcoming player from Chennai has all the makings of a superstar and has already established himself as one of the more consistent winners online. Back in May, Munot took down the Spartan Poker IOPC Megastack ₹12 Lakhs GTD for ₹2.34 Lakhs. Also equally active on the live felts, Munot picked his career-first live title in the 2018 BLT ₹15K Kickoff that he won for ₹2.25 Lakhs. He has participated in both prior editions of the WPT India and came the closest to a final table run last year in the ₹100K High Roller, where he finished 10th for ₹3.29 Lakhs. Like Saha, Munot was also part of the GPL India Season 1, where he was the wildcard entry for Team Chennai Sharks.
Another notable presence on the final table is Rajeev Kanjani (1,330,000 – 11BBs). Kanjani has been around the circuit for a very long time with a litany of scores online and live but despite several close finishes, he is yet to win a major live title. We can expect Kanjani to fight every inch of the way to convert this opportunity into a title win.
Also on the final table is Nishant Sharma (1,550,000 – 12 BBs), an accomplished player who holds the distinction of making the deepest run as a member of Team India in the WSOP Main Event – he had finished 34th in 2018 for $230,475 (~₹1.57 Crores). Sharma had won a side event title at the MPC in 2017 but is yet to win one on home soil – he did come close in the DPT Colossus ₹50K Warm-Up this May with a runner-up finish.
With all the nine finalists in the 10-32 BB range, the contest for the Main Event title is wide open! Along with the heavyweights like Saha, Munot, Kanjani and Sharma, making their first reported live final table appearance are Yuvraj Chaudhary (2,120,000 – 17 BBs), Yash Punjawat (2,050,000 – 16 BBs), Shardul Parthasarathi (1,780,000 – 14 BBs), Sahil Nair (1,290,000 – 10 BBs) and Finland’s Samuli Sipila (1,210,000 – 10 BBs).
It’s the last day of the series today, and in a few hours from now, all these nine contenders will take on the battle over the coveted WPT India title and the first-place prize of ₹63.48 Lakhs that includes a $3,500 WPT Passport (~₹2.48 Lakhs).
We also have Day 2 of the ₹100K High Roller that is scheduled to begin around the same time as the Main Event final table, while the series-ending ₹20K Megastack NLH kicking off 3 PM onwards.
On the sidelines of the action on Sunday, the tournament organizers also announced the WPT India Player of the Year (POY) winners. Vidur Singhal was awarded the WPT POY title and a WPT Passport worth $3,000. Ankit Kapoor finished second and received a $1,500 WPT Passport while defending champion Nikunj Jhunjhunwala finished third to win a $500 WPT Passport. Watch Singhal, Kapoor and Jhunjhunwala receive their prizes in the video below.
The 630-strong field at the ₹55K Main Event had whittled down to 210 runners by the time Day 2 began. With two players bagging twice and taking their best stack forward, there were 208 runners in the fray, and Day 2 began at 2.30 PM at the opening blinds of 1,500/2,500.
The money bubble burst in the sixth level of the night and the last player to fall out empty-handed for Sameer Chaturvedi. He lost his tournament life when his pocket eights were outrun by Shardul Parthasarathi’s pocket queens.
With Chaturvedi’s ouster, the remaining 79 players were all in the money and assured to take home at least ₹79,865.
The first player to score an ITM finish was Abhishek Goindi (79th for ₹79,865), with 2017 WPT India Main Event champion Vikash Mantri (78th for ₹79,865) following suit shortly afterward.
Soon bigwigs like Sahil Agarwal (50th for ₹1.26 Lakhs), PokerGuru Ambassador Tathagata Sengupta (56th for ₹1.09 Lakhs), BPT Big Bounty champion Gokul Krishna (57th for ₹1.09 Lakhs), PokerStars India Team Pro Muskan Sethi (62nd for ₹1.09 Lakhs), Prabhat Mukherjea (70th for ₹94,535), and Young Gun Arsh Grover (74th for ₹79,865) hit the rail – all in quick succession.
2018 WPT Vietnam Main Event champion Dhaval Mudgal (44th for ₹1.44 Lakhs) was eliminated after his pocket deuces got coolered by Gaurav Chauhan’s pocket fives that held through the board.
As play progressed, many others fell out before the final table and this included notables like IPC Main Event champion Raj Talwar (15th for ₹4.06 Lakhs), Day 1A chip leader Bhavdeepsingh Rana Jhala (16th for ₹3.39 Lakhs), Samay Parikh (18th for ₹3.39 Lakhs), Rubin Labroo (20th for ₹2.85 Lakhs), BPT High Roller runner-up finisher Ankit Wadhawan (22nd for ₹2.37 Lakhs), Sahil Chuttani (32nd for ₹1.67 Lakhs), defending champion Nikunj Jhunjhunwala (35th for ₹1.67 Lakhs), Raghav Bansal (46th for ₹1.26 Lakhs), Gagandeep Malik (48th for ₹1.26 Lakhs) and Kanishka Upreti (49th for ₹1.26 Lakhs).
PokerGuru Ambassador Gokul Raj (12th for ₹5.09 Lakhs), Anil Adiani (13th for ₹4.06 Lakhs), and Eka Vedantham (14th for ₹4.06 Lakhs) fell whiskers short of the final table. With the departure of Manoj Singh (10th for ₹5.09 Lakhs), the nine-handed final table was redrawn.
The final table will resume at 2.30 PM today, with the blinds starting at 75,000/125,000 and will continue all the way till a new WPT India champion is found!
Final Table Chip Counts
Content & Images Courtesy: Online Poker News, India
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