World Series Of Poker (WSOP) is one of the most prestigious poker tournament series in the world. It is all set to kick-started on 31st May 2023 and is and will see players from all across the globe travel to the Sin City for this esteemed event.
From legendary poker players to semi pro stars, players from various continents are expected to flock in heavy numbers this year around, in what promises to be the grandest ever event. Every year, a bunch of Indian players book tickets and travel to grind in the WSOP, and this year is not going to be anything different! Ahead of WSOP 2023, let’s have a look at how Indian Pros have performed at WSOP and who could shine in Vegas this time around.
Quite a few players have made their name on the global stage and represented the Indian contingent at WSOP. It includes the likes of Abhishek Goindi, Aditya Agarwal, Nikita Luther, Abhinav Iyer, Dhaval Mudgal, Madhav Gupta, Shuchi Chamaria, Neel Joshi, Kartik Ved, Shashank Jain, Muskan Sethi, Kunal Patni, Kalyan Chakravarthy, Yudhishter Jaswal, Ankit Ahuja, Siddharth Karia, Raghav Bansal, Kunal Punjwani amongst others.
A lot of these players have not only represented India but also won glory to the nation by winning that shiny gold WSOP bracelet and bringing it home. Let’s have a blast to the past and look at Indian poker players who have been successful at the world poker stage and could make it big during WSOP 2023 as well.
Aditya Sushant was the first Indian player to win the WSOP bracelet. He managed to achieve the feat in 2017 when the Chennai-based lad grinded in the tag-team Event #10. He teamed up with Nipun Java and the duo managed to ship a $1,000 Teams Event to make history. Sushant amassed a jaw dropping prize money worth $75,318 alongside bringing glory for India at the world stage.
Since then, he has been quite active at various tournaments and went on to become the first Indian to win a WPT Prime title as well. Sushant also fared well at the India Poker Championship (IPC) in May 2022 and has been on a roll ever since. The talented pro will surely be amongst the Indians, traveling to Vegas for WSOP 2023. He has grown considerably as a player and will be eager to replicate his previous success again!
Nikita Luther followed in Aditya Sushant’s footsteps and went on to become India’s first female WSOP bracelet winner. She joined hands with Giuseppe Pantaleo from Germany to ship Event #55 for $87,902. It is the same event that Sushant had shipped in 2017.
This Delhi-based pro has been one of the best poker players in the country, who loves to study the game of poker as well as travel around the world. Known to be a stand out star amongst women players in the Indian poker circuit, Nikita was spotted grinding at the last few events. It remains interesting to be seen if she will be eager to win a solo bracelet in WSOP 2023 in Vegas this time
He is India’s first solo WSOP bracelet winner. Born in Chennai, Abhinav Iyer has been living in Mumbai for the past several years. Being a travel bug, you will often find him on the road over staying inside a cozy home.
Iyer shipped Event #84: The Closer – $1,500 NLHE in July 2019 to became India’s first-ever solo bracelet winner. He ended up winning $565,346 (approx ₹3.87 Crore) back in the day. With 4 more years of poker experience under his belt, Iyer will look to walk away with a hefty pay cheque at WSOP 2023!
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Kartik Ved clicked the $840 Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em to pocket his WSOP bracelet in 2020. He is the last Indian who won a WSOP bracelet (online) after having a good run during the WSOP 2019 Main Event.
Ved has grown as a player with each passing year, starting from his outings at the WPT Barcelona in 2019 to EPT National at EPT Sochi. He also cashed big during the $1,100 NLHE Main Event at The Wynn Summer Classic, before pocketing $ 8,550 at $ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em – The Closer (Event #83) in 2021. He has grown considerably and is expected to duplicate what he achieved online in 2022 at the Main event during WSOP 2023!
This list would have been incomplete without the mention of Aditya Agarwal. Having more than 15 years of playing poker, calling Agarwal a seasoned veteran would be an understatement. His first recorded appearance in WSOP came during the 40th World Series of Poker – WSOP 2009 in Las Vegas. He recorded a 19th place finish in WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold’em (Event #59) at WSOP 2012 and followed by a 16th rank in WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold’em (Event #44) in WSOP 2014.
He took the 9th place at 48th edition of WSOP in 2017, Las Vegas during in (Event #12) $1,500 No Limit Hold’em. He again finished 9th during the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em – Freezeout (Event #3) at the 53rd World Series of Poker in 2022. Agarwal’s narrowly missed a WSOP bracelet win WSOP 2021 when he finished runner-up in Event #76: $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em for a payday of $286,705.
Since then, this Bangalore-based star has been on a roll and cashed various tournaments across the world. With an impeccable run of form in live poker as well as online, there will be a lot of eyes on how Agarwal fares this time around at the biggest stage in poker.
Sriharsha Doddapaneni made a name for himself when he managed a 3rd place finish at the WSOP Online (International) 2021 in the GGPoker Event #12: DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold’em for a pay cheque of $357,409. This pro player has many cashes in WSOP Online. He also finished 16th in GGPoker Event #5: Bounty No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack for $3,716. Doddapaneni took the 19th spot in Event #79: Poker Hall of Fame Bounty No-Limit Hold’em (freezeout) for $5,059 during WSOP 2021 in Las Vegas. He is yet to ship a WSOP event and grab that shiny new bracelet. It would be interesting to see if Doddapaneni does the trick in WSOP 2023.
Apart from all the bracelet winners, we also have the likes of Kunal Patni, who have fared quite well across various tournaments over the last few years. Indian players have been on a roll with their game in WSOP and it only remains to see which Indian player brings home that prestigious WSOP bracelet from the 2023 edition of WSOP.
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Smit is a sports writer at Gutshot Magazine. After completing his Bachelor’s in Mass Media, and a Master’s degree in Sports Management, this sports fanatic uses articles as a tool to express his opinions. Bring up cricket or football and you will find this usually quiet guy speak for hours! He also co-heads the official supporters club of Chelsea FC in Mumbai, wherein he hosts screenings, football meets and other such events.
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