The poker tournament scene in India has been growing rapidly over the past few years. Naturally, the prize pools and the number of players in the scene are also proliferating. Several talented and passionate players are emerging who are taking the country’s poker scene a notch higher.
To get an idea of who are the top poker tournament players in the country, we reached out to one of India’s finest poker pros and poker coach Abhishek Goindi to understand his views.
Abhishek Goindi is a graduate of Christ College located in Bangalore. Before switching to poker professionally, he worked in the banking field at a multinational company. While leading his corporate life, he realized his passion towards this exciting card game and decided to quit his job to play poker full-time.
Goindi, himself is a poker tournament specialist in the country. He has $328,057 (approx. over ₹2.71 Crore) in live tournament earnings, as per Hendon Mob. His best cash so far has been $136,245 (approx. ₹1.12 Crore), which he won by finishing second at HK$10,120 + 880 No Limit Hold’em – Red Dragon Event at the Macau Poker Cup.
He also has 15 cashes at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), which amount to a total of $49,579 (₹40,99,293). Goindi has over 14 years of experience of playing the game professionally. Apart from India, he has played poker across five continents. He is also a PokerBaazi Team Pro.
Besides playing the game, he also is a campaigner of poker in India. He is the co-founder and poker coach of Poker Boot Camp India (PBCI), one of India’s first and biggest poker schools.
Although we asked Goindi for his best three picks of the top tournament players in the country, the poker coach was kind enough to give us five of his favourite tournament players because why not! The industry is indeed blooming with several talented and skilled players.
Goindi’s first pick is pro player Gaurav Sood. Goindi says he picks Sood because he’s been getting better at his game and has proved it repeatedly. He is young and hungry and established himself in the Indian circuit. Goindi further added that Sood’s theoretical and practical understanding of the game is very strong, which makes him one of the best in the country.
Next, Goindi picks Sriharsha Doddapaneni. Goindi believes that Doddapaneni is very solid when it comes to his understanding of the game and its theories. Doddapaneni’s experience at high-stakes games and at bigger tournaments also is a significant advantage. Goindi says Doddapaneni is disciplined, which is a crucial thing for any poker player.
Goindi chooses Arsh Grover next. Grover has been playing poker for a long time. Goindi says, “He has the experience of playing at global levels and is not scared at all. He backs himself really well and has his individual originality to the game. He is consistent in his game; he puts in hard work and effort. He’s currently one of the guys working on his mindset and physical fitness, and he realizes the importance of that at a young age. He’s got the age factor on his side and the experience already.”
Goindi next picks his buddy and industry veteran Paawan Bansal. Goindi believes Bansal has a keen passion for the game and has managed to keep up with time, which makes him one of the best poker MTT players in the country. “Although his volume is less, he has kept up with the ever-evolving game over the years,” adds the PBCI coach.
Goindi believes that WSOP bracelet winner Kartik Ved has climbed up the ladder quickly and has also achieved the results. Ved’s firm grip over the game and his style can take him a long way. Goindi praises Ved’s playing style saying, “His style is such that it can win him the big amount, enabling him to win big overall. He’s fearless and likes to compete.”
Additionally, Goindi says that all these players have proved themselves on the global poker stage and, thus, make it on his list of the top tournament players in India. Do let us know who you believe are the best poker tournament players in India in the comments below. We will come back with another pro sharing his picks in this series of top players in India. Till then, keep grinding and keep reading Gutshot Magazine.
Amarylisa Gonsalves is a Content Writer at Gutshot Magazine. Advancing from a marketing background, she found her calling in writing. She takes delight in exploring genres and is a curious learner. Patient and ambivert, she believes in letting her work speak for itself. Apart from content writing, she finds solace in writing poetry by expressing herself through words. Additionally, she adores indulging in anything that satisfies her creative self, like drawing and DIY crafts.
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