When you talk about poker in India and the biggest tournaments hosted in the country, The Millionaire is what comes to mind. The tournament is one of The Spartan Poker’s signature tournaments, boasting of a massive INR 1 crore guaranteed prize pool and taking place on the second Sunday of every month.
The winners of this huge tournament go down in the record books, winning life-changing prize money each month. The much-anticipated September edition of The Millionaire took place yesterday on Spartan and the INR 7,700 buy-in tournament saw a huge field of 1,325 entries taking part.
The grind of this mega tournament is always an extremely long one, and this one went on for over 13 hours after the 6pm start last evening. While most people woke up to a new day and new week at work, Chandan Dilawar aka ‘JonTCD’ would’ve gone to bed a happy man, outlasting that huge field and becoming richer by INR 25 lakh!
The tournament ended at 7:17am this morning, when Dilawar beat his last opponent Jason Pereira aka ‘OMGMinerals’ in heads-up, who also won a handsome prize of INR 15 lakh for second-place. The top 120 players were paid out a minimum cash prize of INR 20,000 but these two won the biggest prizes of the night. Also bubbling the final table was Arjanveer Chadha aka ‘instrumental’, who has been having a good run in online poker of late.
The blinds were running at 95,000/190,000 – 19,000 in Level #73 when the tournament finally came to an end last night, with Dilawar’s full house beating Pereira’s Three of a Kind Nines. The winner is a 35-year old who left Chandigarh to come to Mumbai in 2001, landing a cabin-attendant’s job in the airlines. In 2011, he decided to quit and follow his heart’s calling of becoming an actor.
Gutshot had a word with Dilawar after he took down this major tournament on Spartan. He told us about his introduction to the game of poker, saying, “To train myself on the skills needed to be a successful actor, I left my job, the love for travelling and a cushy salary, and went to York; an old picturesque town in England. This is where I was introduced to the game and started playing online and live recreational poker. I fell in love with the game instantly and started watching the professionals’ videos, WSOP videos and other poker programs available on YouTube. It helped me learn the game and strategize according to my play style. It wasn’t long before I had my first real money account on PokerStars. Being a student, money was always a crunch. So, to help through university life, my friends and I indulged in a little bit of live casino poker as well. After completing my Bachelor’s degree in Film Production, I came back to India in 2014. The period between Dec’14 and March’16 had me do odd production jobs for live events, reality TV shows etc till I got my first break on Indian TV in ‘Porus’ by Swastik Productions. I played the character of ‘Mazheus’; a Persian noble and friend to King Darius the 3rd.”
Talking about his game mix, Dilawar said, “I play both cash and tournament poker and I idolise the likes of Tony G and Daniel Negreanu. I think my play style has certain traits picked up from following these two professionals religiously. There are times when I am extremely aggressive and then there are hour long lulls when I don’t make any moves. It depends on the situation really.”
Talking about his journey through the Millionaire, he said, “I had come back home after a disheartening day of meeting people looking for work a couple of weeks back and just wanted to relax and unwind. So, I logged into The Spartan Poker and the promotional pop up window came up saying ‘play in the millionaire for Rs 1,000 only’. I used the ‘MIL1000’ code to get a ticket to one of the satellites. Needless to say, I won the satellite and was registered for the main game. During the same week I also won the 50k depositors free roll. The win in the free roll gave me a nice little confidence boost to play in The Millionaire. Once the game started, my mother and wife came and sat next to me in the same positions we were sat during the free roll and did not move a single inch until the game finished after almost 13-14 hours of play.
The cash prize of INR 25 lakh is a massive one and we therefore asked Dilawar what plans he had for this money. He said, “The money comes in as a gush of fresh air of relief in an aspiring actor’s life. The tensions of rent and everyday life in Mumbai take a toll on one’s mental composure. This could be fatal for an artist who regularly opens his emotional barrier and dives deep within to be able to perform for the viewers. My mother liked a house in Malad but we were unable to procure a house there because of the money constraint. This money will ensure I can at least rent a property for her in the same building, if not buy one for now.”
On a parting note, Dilawar said, “The Spartan Poker has provided me with a platform to explore a new dimension of online poker for the future and I will certainly look at continuing my relationship with Spartan. Thank you.” Keep reading GutshotMagazine.com for more updates on the biggest and best poker tournaments across the country.
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