Hey folks! In our, ‘Poker players and their other halves,’ series we wanted to know a little more about what poker players do when they’re not playing. This segment will cover the aspects of poker players and their spouses, family members, their career choices, and much more. To begin with, we had a conversation with one of our favourite poker player Goonjan Mall and his wife, Shachi Mall.
Have you faced issues from your family with regards to playing poker and how did you first convey your decision of wanting to play poker as a career option?
I have been playing card games with my family since childhood. Poker just added money into the mix. I have been a casual player for the longest time. It never came as a shock to anybody when I started taking poker more seriously. The only challenge I believe is the time commitment. When I play poker after office hours, it eats into family time and sometimes I miss out on dinners, parties, etc.
Being a poker player in India, what do you think is the biggest hurdle, especially when it comes to acceptance from friends and family?
The biggest hurdle in playing poker is the culture of others trying to control your choices. Be it friends, family, or the government, they try to dictate what an adult should or should not do. For example, a friend of mine is 40-years-old and he must hide the fact that he occasionally comes to Goa to play a poker tournament. A few state governments have imposed a ban on online gaming altogether. Basically, adults being treated like toddlers is the biggest hurdle.
Thankfully, I have a very supportive family, one that respects my decisions with respect to leaving a high paying multi-national job to do a startup or to spend my time playing poker. Luckily, things have been easy for me.
Here’s a video of Goonjan Mall talking with Dwayne Fernandes about his consecutive successes in online poker, IPC Jan 2020, and much more:
We asked Shachi Mall about Goonjan’s career choices, the perks of being in the poker industry, and much more. Here’s what she has to say:
Goonjan has always made very unconventional career choices, right from the time I started to know him 10 years ago. Goonjan playing poker, taking poker as a profession wasn’t that big a shock for me but it is something that took some time for the family members to settle with. So far, he has had a good run in poker, the journey has been good though there are variances.
You see some amazing highs, but you also see the lows which are very scary at times. Knowing him for so long and his commitment towards the game and the work that he puts in gives me a lot of confidence. The profession comes with a lot of perks, we have got to travel quite a bit, thanks to all the poker tournaments. (In the June 2019 edition of our E-magazine, we had a conversation with the couple about ‘Vacay Poker.’ Do check it out!) Overall, it has been a very positive experience for us.
We love how Goonjan and Shachi have been so optimistic and loved every aspect of the game. Wishing them the best in all of their endeavours. To know more about poker players and their other halves, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com.
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, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Asian College of Journalism, 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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