What happens when a newbie ships two tournaments in a major tournament series like India Online Poker Championship (IOPC)? The budding poker player becomes the cynosure of attention. One such player is Anish Arora who made headlines with his impressive wins during IOPC January 2021. Gutshot’s new series ‘In The Limelight’ covers the stories of newbies who give established players a run for their money. One such pro in the making is Anish Arora, with two IOPC titles and two editions of MukkaMaar tournaments among several other notable wins. Let’s take a look at what Anish Arora’s game is all about.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Shortly after, my father decided to expand our family business in Mumbai so we moved to this city in 1999. I have a bachelor’s degree in business management from MMK College Bandra. I was working with my father for the family’s apparel business before the lockdown and have been concentrating on my game since COVID-19 happened as all our businesses were shut for quite some time.
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How were you introduced to poker?
I was introduced to poker when I was studying in college. I was chilling with a few friends and we just started playing poker, eventually, it just became a thing after that. I had not realised that this was what I actually wanted to do as the plan was always to get into one of the family businesses. By the time I got done with college, I was juggling with the idea of getting deeper into the game. I was already introduced to online poker by that time and was captivated by the sheer brilliance of this game.
Which aspect of the game do you love the most?
I love everything about the game, how strategic it is, and makes you adapt to changing situations through the course of a tournament. I love how intensely competitive the game is. The fact that the game is not taken as seriously as any other sport and is portrayed in the wrong manner is what bothers me the most.
Which is your biggest win so far?
My biggest win came last month on the first day of IOPC January 2021 when I shipped event #7 for 2.18 Lakh. I almost matched the amount when I shipped MukkaMaar this past Saturday for 2.13 Lakhs
Which poker players do you admire?
There are a lot of players I like in our online poker circuit like Gaurav Sood, Sriharsha Doddapaneni, Siddhant Kripalani, Aditya Sushant among others. Outside our circuit, the player I admire the most is Daniel Negreanu. That man knows the game so well, it is really inspiring.
If you have any doubts with respect to poker, whom do you turn to?
Last year before the lockdown, I had started coaching with poker coach, Prabhat Mukherjee. He is always there to help me.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Every player wants to play the highest stakes and right now I’m playing mid-stakes and getting better at those. Currently, I am just focused on getting better and moving on to bigger stakes gradually. Hopefully, in the next five years, I’ll be crushing high stakes too.
How has the journey been from a newbie in poker to someone who is making a mark?
It’s not been an easy journey and it’s still going on. I knew by the end of college that I wanted to get deeper in the game. I had even spoken about it at home. It wasn’t taken very well at first but they are learning to accept it. The lockdown period was crucial for me and in the last few months I’ve been performing well too. As players, we need to keep working on our game everyday and that’s what I intend to do.
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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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