Indian pros winning big in poker is a routine occurrence but Indian players living abroad turning heads is sure a new phenomenon. One such poker player who has rubbed shoulders with Chris Moneymaker and David Moses is Siddharth Siddharth.
This player hails from Lucknow, holds a B.Tech degree in Computer Science, and is currently in Florida. Siddharth started grinding when he went for further studies to the US.
How were you first introduced to poker?
I was introduced to this game by Harmeet Singh, a friend in the US. He is the nephew of pro player Raminder Singh aka ‘Raminator.’ Singh has around $1.3 million in poker winnings and I am good friends with him now.
Do you play poker recreationally or on a full-time basis?
Right now it is close to full-time by the hours that I put in both studying, analyzing and playing.
Which poker platform do you love to grind on?
I am a live poker player, not much of an online player but recently I started playing on Adda52.
If given a chance to bring about any change in the Indian poker industry, what would the changes be?
The poker industry in India needs funding from the government which is missing as of now. Poker players need to be promoted just like cricketers as poker is a game of skill. Also, players need to put in a lot of hours in studying and knowing the fundamentals before jumping onto a Multi-table tournament (MTT).
Any funny practice that you feel Indian players always end up doing?
I believe they ‘hero call’ a lot.
Which was your biggest win so far?
I played the $360 No limit Hold’em tournament at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa Bay and cashed $22,666 in prize money.
Does poker empower you in any manner?
Of course, it does. It makes my decision more sound and I can think in ‘n’ number of ways. It’s easy to filter out people in day-to-day life by just talking to them. I never lose my calm whatever worse happens and also at the same time never get excited with my highs. Lastly, it has made me more patient as a person, and as they say ‘patience pays rich dividends in your future.’
What is one striking difference between Indian players and non-Indian ones?
Although I haven’t had much of a chance to play with Indian players. But in the few tournaments that I played on Adda52, I can surely say that Indian poker players need to work a lot on fundamentals like bet sizing, squeezing, etc. Players in the US do not make these basic mistakes. Only a few do but exceptions are everywhere.
Do you have any mentors in the international poker circuit? If yes, how has the mentoring benefited you?
Yes, I do have a couple of mentors. David Moses is a friend and he has a unique way of playing and I love his gameplay. He won the Tampa Hard Rock Main Event a year ago. The other friend is Rafael Francisco Marcondes Dos Reis. He was Brazil’s No.1 ranked poker player in 2020 and has earned over $1 Million USD. Both of these players are good friends/mentors of mine who are always there to guide me.
As they say, your circle helps a lot in improving your game. All of us strive and help each other to improve. I am fortunate enough to know and be friends with these 2 MTT crushers.
Do you have any go-to strategies?
Yes, I keep it simple in all the MTTs and always put pressure on my opponents in every hand.
You secured second place in the Nighttide DST tournament on Adda52. This is the first time you played on any Indian poker platform. Please tell us more about it.
Honestly, the majority of the players grinding there need a lot of improvement. I found a myriad of flaws in the way a few players were playing. In short, the overall field was pretty soft on Adda52.
You have even played on the same table as Chris Moneymaker. How was that feeling?
It was unreal, he is a very nice and humble person. I bluffed him in one of the hands and showed it to him. He appreciated the way I played.
Do you have any particular message for aspiring Indian poker players?
Keep your basics and fundamentals strong before you jump onto MTTs. You might win in the shorter run but it would be difficult to sustain the consistency if your basics aren’t solid.
As a poker player, where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I don’t think far ahead. Yes, I do have a vision but I like to take it step by step. I have a vision where I see myself crushing some big tournaments and I want people to recognize ‘Siddharth Siddharth.’
Siddharth has been striving hard to make his moves count on the global poker stage. He has been shipping tournaments on the international level, playing with pros and acing the game. We hope to see this player ship several tournaments around the world.
You can get in touch with Siddharth to know more about his game, the strategies he employs, and everything else at @sid4sid.
Manthra Koliyer is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She has an affinity for seeing the world through people’s eyes. With a bubbly fun personality, you can always catch her chatting with anyone she comes across. Holding an English Literature degree from Wilson College, Mumbai, this pop culture fanatic is ready to take on the world with a pen, paper, and microphone. She also actively works on her personal blog called namasteyconvict.blogspot.com, where for a moment she lets you into her drama-filled world.
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