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Posted on 16 Jul, 2019
By Gutshot
On 16 Jul, 2019
By Gutshot
On 16 Jul, 2019

Abhinav Iyer becomes third Indian WSOP bracelet winner!

Indians would’ve woken up this morning to some fantastic news in Las Vegas, with our very own pro Abhinav Iyer chip leading the Final Table of 9 players in Event #84: The Closer – $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em. With 89 bracelet events scheduled at the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP), everyone knew this was one of our last chances at a prestigious WSOP gold bracelet.

And guess what? Iyer didn’t let us down, keeping that chip lead right from the start of the FT until he went on to ship the event and become just the third Indian poker pro to win a WSOP gold bracelet in Las Vegas. Aditya Sushant in 2017, Nikita Luther in 2018 and Abhinav Iyer in 2019 – 3 years in succession has Team India been successful in Vegas!

However, this is an achievement of much greater magnitude from Abhinav Iyer. While the other two bracelets came in Tag Team Events, Iyer becomes the first Indian bracelet winner at a non-team event. Not just that but he also recorded India’s best score at WSOP 2019 and also, the best ever live score by an Indian in the history of live poker across the world!

It was exactly this day last year when we reported Paawan Bansal’s record live cash by an Indian, finishing runner-up in this same event for a massive prize of $378,765 (~INR 2.59 crore). However, we weren’t going to settle for another second-place prize. Kudos to Abhinav Iyer, who won The Closer a few minutes back and pocketed a massive, life-changing prize amount of $565,346 (~INR 3.87 Crore).


Never before has an Indian player won such a huge amount in live poker and Iyer will be thrilled to bits, while also winning a shiny new WSOP bracelet. He had to outlast a huge field of 2,337 entries to win this tournament and he was well supported by Indian colleagues in the rail, cheering him on since the start of the FT. Before Iyer, 6 other Indians cashed in this tournament:

  1. Siddharth Mundada – 73rd for $5,956
  2. Kalyan Chakravarthy – 98th for $4,401
  3. Himmat Singh – 176th for $3,500
  4. Shashank Jain – 189th for $3,500
  5. Chirag Patel – 239th for $2,744
  6. Nishant Sharma – 275th for $2,530

Iyer has been having a stellar year of 2019 so far, beginning it with his first major live title overseas, winning the APT Vietnam Main Event. Ever since then, he has been strengthening his online poker bankroll and even at WSOP 2019, he had 6 cashes before this massive victory. When he woke up this morning, little did he know he was going to create history at the felts!


One of his biggest competitors at the FT would’ve been 4-time bracelet winner Shaun Deeb, who was second to Iyer in chip counts at one stage and someone who had 16 cashes in WSOP 2019 prior to this one. However, Deeb fell out in 7th place which would’ve given Iyer a little bit more confidence.

From 6th place onwards, the prizes went into 6-digit amounts and Iyer continued to keep his composure and maintain his lead as the pay-jumps slowly increased. With Sergio Martiaguilar heading out in 3rd place, Iyer began heads-up against Canada’s Sammy Lafleur, with the Indian pro having a 2:1 chip lead.

Hardly ten hands into heads-up and Iyer was already in possession of a 7:1 chip lead, only a matter of time before he was awarded the bracelet. It all wrapped up when Iyer shoved all-in with Qs Ts. Lafleur called immediately with pocket Sevens and Iyer flopped a gutshot on the 3 K 9 flop. The T on the turn hit a pair for Iyer and the 3 on the river was inconsequential as Iyer went on to scoop the pot and be awarded his first ever bracelet!

Final Table Results:

  1. Abhinav Iyer – $565,346
  2. Sammy Lafleur – $349,417
  3. Sergio Martiaguilar – $256,298
  4. Carlos Chang – $189,584
  5. Patrick Eskandar – $141,432
  6. Adam Johnson – $106,418
  7. Shaun Deeb – $80,766
  8. Steve Yea – $61,834
  9. Jason Reels – $47,758

While the victory is in Las Vegas, Iyer has opened up possibilities for thousands of young, aspiring poker players back home in India. He catapults to #5 in India’s all-time poker earnings list, although only behind Aditya Agarwal and Raghav Bansal now among current Indian poker players. Stay tuned to GutshotMagazine.com as we continue to bring you the latest poker updates from across the world.

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