Looking at the online poker scene in India, it’s easy to recognize some of the well-known Indian poker players in the game. From pros like Gaurav Sood, Abhishek Goindi, Kunal Patni, Nikita Luther, Kartik Ved – the list can go on. However, while these are seasoned players there are some not-so-well-known poker players slowly emerging into the spotlight. These players have been grinding hard on the online felts and have shown remarkable consistency in their game.
In this article, we’ll be listing out five Indian poker players to watch out for in 2022. For this list, we will be considering lesser-known players who are grinding only on online poker tournaments excluding cash games and live events.
We have also selected them based on their performances in the last three months, including if they have shipped any online poker tournaments or have consistently had in-the-money (ITM) finishes across online poker platforms. Basically, those who have been doing well but flying under the radar. So, with that, let’s take a look at who these poker players are!
Since we cover a lot of online poker tournaments, we do notice players who are performing well on the online felts. Unnikrishnan Nair is one such player that has come under our radar. According to his online poker profile on PokerGuru, Nair has 31 titles under his belt but while he has not shipped a considerable number of tournaments, this player has been grabbing headlines for the past few weeks.
Currently, Nair has found himself running the Final Table Series (FTS) leaderboard race and he even shipped the FTS #9 while cashing in multiple FTS events like FTS event #4, FTS event #8, and FTS event #21 among others. His most recent wins happened at the Asian Poker Tour (APT) Online on PokerBaazi where he shipped the ₹10 Lakh GTD After Party event for ₹2,40,110. He is also currently competing in the National Poker Series (NPS) where he has cashed in NPS #14 Tuesday Tee-Off and NPS #4 Sunday Marathon among others. It seems like Nair’s poker career is picking up and it won’t be long before we see him ship bigger tournaments.
Suraj Yadav has also been under our radar for quite some time now. We first covered him on the website and the e-magazine when he was picked as BLITZPOKER’s Player of the Month (July 2021). Yadav was crushing the online felts as ‘MR. BEAST’ and we were ready to see him be a regular name in our daily round-ups. Yadav’s poker journey began in 2018 and he’s been active in the game ever since.
In the 11th edition of India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) Yadav shipped the IOPC Launch Party and even competed for the leaderboard. However, the reason he makes it to our list today is because of his consistent gameplay in the past three months. Yadav has managed to ship 37 titles so far in his online poker career. He also cashed in NPS #5 and FTS #6 and #9. His lifetime total of ₹1.18 crore is quite impressive. With a powerful gameplay and consistency, it won’t be long before Yadav emerges as one of the strong players in poker.
In the past year alone, Rajat Mahajan has shown us that he is a capable player and one that you need to watch out for. He made headlines back in February 2021 when he shipped the prestigious Asian Poker Tour Online Series Main Event for a whopping ₹34,06,000 making his biggest career cash ever. And while this win must have got him enough attention from the poker circuit, we still want to draw more attention to this player.
Throughout 2021 Mahajan has been working on his game and cashed in some big events in February 2022. He shipped Destiny for ₹4.7 Lakh and Trending Thursday for ₹4.23 Lakh on Spartan Poker, which are his most recent wins. He also made the final table on Adda52’s Godfather (4th, ₹1,99,500) and Iron Man (2nd, ₹1,34,270) tournament in January 2022 and finished eighth in PokerBaazi’s The Summit in February 2022 for ₹62,614. With already over ₹4.07 crore in lifetime tournaments, we surely have our eyes set on Mahajan.
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This list won’t be complete if we don’t include APT Indian Online Main Event 2022 winner Amar Mehta in our list. This player is a rising star in the online poker scene and one whose year ahead looks promising to say the least. Mehta is steadily making heads turn in the poker circuit. Even in 2021 Mehta was grinding regularly and shipped a few tournaments. He’s on the move in 2022 and even managed to clinch one of the biggest poker titles in 2022 already!
He also won the APT #9 Monday Majors and cashed for ₹3,76,470 in February. He also had multiple ITM finishes in the ongoing FTS #12 and #13 Supreme and NPS Sunday Marathon and Evening Slam. Mehta has 43 titles under his belt, so, don’t forget to watch out for him in the coming months!
Saransh Garg may not be a very well-known player, but with his gameplay in recent months, that might soon change. Poker is a sport that requires patience and perseverance and that is especially true in the case of Garg. According to his online poker stats, Garg is certainly a player who is working hard on his game. In 2022 so far, he has cashed in over 80 poker tournaments.
But while Garg may have only 20 titles to his credit, his gameplay has picked up tremendously in the past few months. He was very active during IOPC January 2022 and was even on the running for the leaderboard and finished in eighth for ₹3.5 Lakh. His latest win was the IOPC Monster Stack where he shipped the title for ₹1,21,029. Right now, Garg is applying his poker skills in the ongoing FTS and NPS events and has a bright 2022 ahead of him.
With this, we conclude our list of top five Indian poker players to watch out for in 2022. It should be noted that while shortlisting, we came across hundreds of players who could make the list. However, we had to choose our top five and these are them! If you like the list or know a player who deserves a spot in our list, let us know in the comments below! For more interesting poker content, keep reading Gutshot Magazine. Follow us on our social handles Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram.
Donna Amo is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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