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The curtains finally came down on the much-anticipated World Poker Tour (WPT) India which made its debut at the Casino Deltin Royale, Goa and if there were an ovation, it would have been a thundering one, with record-breaking numbers all around.
The series truly delivered on all counts with a thrilling array of events and it was a fitting end to what has been a sensational effort by the WPT and Deltin Royale team. Needless to say, the series superseded all expectations; with each event creating new benchmarks!
The last day of action saw breakneck speed build up as the final events of the series concluded. Sameer Tavanandi topped the 128 runners in the Bounty NLH event netting ₹5.47 lakhs for his finish after defeating Eka Vedantham in the heads-up battle.
The concluding event of the series i.e. Deep Turbo NLH saw another strong field of 111 entries with Rahul Melwani the last player standing. Melwani pocketed ₹4.20 lakhs after defeating Rajat Sharma heads-up for the title.
The penultimate event on the schedule, ₹25K Bounty NLH registered 128 entries and topping the field was Sameer Tavanandi who pocketed ₹5.47 lakhs for his first-place finish.
Some notables who were in attendance but failed to make it in the money include Karan Khushlani, Kunal Patni, Nikita Luther, Zarvan Tumboli, Amit Jain, Rahul Marwaha and Shaurya Kohli.
The money bubble fell on Robert D who went out at 13th place. On his last hand, Robert open shoved with and got one caller in Mani Singh with . The board bricked out and Singh took down the pot.
Day 1 of the event ended with 12 players remaining, all guaranteed to take home a piece of the prize pool. Bagging the largest stack was Deepak Raina who held a commanding chip lead heading into the final day with 367,000 in chips.
Final Day Recap
Action was fast and furious right from the start with Rahul Melwani exiting in 12th place and Hardik Shah followed him soon thereafter in 11th place.
Priyesh M bubbled the final table when he moved allin with Qx Jx only to see Deepak Raina calling with pocket fives. The board Qx Jx 8x 5x 8x completed a full boat for Raina and Priyesh hit the rail in 10th place.
Final Table Recap
Mani Singh took a brutal hit early on to exit in ninth place. Singh picked up pocket nines and announced all-in and got the call from Deepak Raina who tabled pocket three’s. Singh was a clear favorite to double up here before the 3x 2x 7x 5x 8x board ended Singh`s tournament run.
Next to fall was Yash Bhuta with Siddharth Karia collecting his chips. In a three-way pot, Bhuta jammed holding Ax 6x and got two callers in Karia and eventual champion Sameer Tavanandi. Both Karia and Tavanandi checked around all the way till the river on the community 4x Jx 3x 8x 5x. Karia tabled Ax 7x while Tavanandi mucked his hand. Karia`s better kicker won him the pot, eliminating Bhuta at eighth place.
Firoz R Khan was the next one to hit the rail. The elimination hand saw Khan moving allin with Ax Kx and Kranti Kiran called with pocket sevens. Kiran hit a set on the board 4x 7x Ax 8x Jx to eliminate Khan at seventh place.
Tavanandi who was relatively quiet so far then emerged to take out Siddharth Karia in sixth place. The hand in question saw Karia moving all-in with and Tavanandi called showing Ax 10x. The board fanned out 3x 6x 10x 8x 2x and Tavanandi took down the pot eliminating Karia from the event.
Tavanandi became an unstoppable force as he soon railed Amrita Sethi in fifth place. Tavanandi opened and Sethi shoved holding Ax Qx. Tavanandi called showing a better pocket jacks and took down the pot on the brick board.
Deepak Raina was the next final table casualty and his bustout hand saw him moving allin with Kx Jx only to run into Tavanandi’s pocket aces. Nothing changed on the rundown and just like that Tavanandi took out Raina in fourth place.
Down to three-handed play, Kranti Kiran was next to fall with Eka Vedantham doing the damage. Kranti shoved holding Ax 2x and Eka called with pocket tens to win the pot.
The two finalists – Sameer Tavanandi & Eka Vedantham agreed to chop the remaining prize pool according to their stacks. Tavanandi sealed ₹5.47 lakhs while Vedantham locked up ₹5.14 lakhs after a brief discussion.
Soon thereafter the final hand of the tournament was dealt. On the final hand, Tavanandi led out and Vedantham moved all-in with . Tavanandi snap-called tabling and hit quads on the board board to take down the event in style!
Final Table Results (INR)
1. Sameer Tavanandi – ₹5,47,000*
2. Eka Vedantham – ₹5,14,000*
3. Kranti Kiran – ₹286,000
4. Deepak Raina – ₹227,000
5. Amrita Sethi – ₹179,000
6. Siddharth Karia – ₹155,000
7. Firoz R Khan – ₹131,000
8. Yash Bhuta – ₹107,000
9. Mani Singh – ₹83,920
*denotes heads-up deal
Closing out the inaugural WPT India series was the ₹20K Deep Turbo NLH that registered a total 111 entries with the top 12 places making it in the money.
Pros and recreational players alike came out in full fore and among those seen in action were Adda52 Celebrity Pro Minissha Lamba, Adda52 Team Pro Kunal Patni, Mad Over Poker Pro Zarvan Tumboli, Abhishek Jalan, Muskan Sethi, Gaurav Gupta, Sumit Sapra, Sanjay Taneja, Jasven Saigal, Vineet Kumar, Keshav Chadha, Yudhishter Jaiswal, Anuj Wadhwa and Rajat Sharma among others
Notables who cashed in the event were Shambhu Mandal (10th place for ₹52,000), Zarvan Tumboli (11th place for ₹42,000) and Yudhishter Jaswal (12th place – ₹42,000).
Final Table Recap
Dhananjay Sharma was the first one to be scalped from the final table. Saigal opened the action and Sharma shoved holding . Action folded back to Saigal who called with Ax Jx and won the pot on the 8x 9x Ax 10x 6x rundown.
Saigal continued to dominate the final table and took out Anuj next. Anuj shoved with pocket deuces and Saigal called showing Qx 9x. The board fanned out 9x 10x Jx 9x 6x and Saigal took down the pot busting Anuj at eighth place.
Next up, Sanjay Taneja’s dream run came to an end after his pocket aces were cracked by a player’s pocket king’s with the latter rivering a full house.
Arjjun Singh however was able to fare better with pocket aces and even took out Keshav Chadha in sixth place. The action saw Singh opening the pot, Chadha jammed with Kx Qx and Singh made the easy call tabling pocket aces. The board blanked out and Chadha bowed out in sixth place.
Harsh Dembla got knocked out next after he announced all-in holding Ax 3x and got one caller in Rajat Sharma who tabled pocket eights. Sharma further improved to a full house on the board 8x Kx Qx Kx 5x to bring the final table down to just four players.
The remaining players agreed to a deal that assured each player a payout of ₹3.20 lakhs and play resumed for the ₹1,00,000 left in play and the title.
Jasven Saigal who is well known for his deal-making skills on the final table was looking unstoppable on the final table but was the first one to hit the rails after the deal was made. Action saw Rajat Sharma announcing all-in with pocket fours and Saigal called at the risk of his tournament life with Ax Kx. The rag board gave Sharma the pot with Saigal going out at fourth place.
Rahul Melwani who was maintaining a low profile until now all of a sudden changed gears and eliminated Arjjun Singh in third place. Singh shoved holding pocket three’s and Melwani called off tabling a better pocket sixes. Melwani further improved to a set on the Ax 5x 8x 4x 6x rundown to set up the heads-up battle against Rajat Sharma.
It didn’t take long for Melwani to emerge victorious. On the final hand of the series, Sharma shoved with 8x 7x and Melwani called with Qx 5x. The board opened 3x 9x 9x 9x Jx and Melwani emerged victorious with queen high.
Final Table Results (INR)
1. Rahul Melwani – ₹4,20,000*
2. Rajat Sharma – ₹3,20,000*
3. Arjjun Singh – ₹3,20,000*
4. Jasven Saigal – ₹3,20,000*
5. Harsh Dembla – ₹1,57,732
6. Keshav Chadha – ₹1,36,000
7. Sanjay Taneja – ₹1,15,000
8. Anuj – ₹95,000
9. Dhananjay Sharma – ₹73,500
*denotes four-way deal
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