From Trending Thursday tournaments to Futuristic and Voyager, this player has shipped them all. He is a Spartan Poker veteran and has been playing the poker game since the past five years. But what distinguishes him from the rest? Is he the next big thing in the poker industry? Let’s find out.
Sanish Chhabra is a high-spirited, self-taught poker player. He graduated with an MBA Delhi School of Business. In the recent past, Chhabra has been shipping high value tournaments almost every week.
As part of our ‘In the Limelight’ series, we feature interviews with rising poker stars who make headlines with their wins in poker. Chhabra is the perfect choice for this series as he worked his way to the top with sheer compassion to learn the game all by himself. Today, he has earned a respectable position for himself in the poker industry. We had a telephonic conversation with Chhabra to know more about what inspired him to pick this path, his likes, dislikes, and more.
How were you first introduced to poker?
I was first introduced to poker in the year 2015 by a college friend. I first started grinding on Spartan Poker. Back then poker was more like a game that helped friends get along. Only later I realized that I enjoyed the game and also started playing online.
Do you play poker recreationally or on a full-time basis?
I am a full-time poker player. I started playing when I completed my MBA in financial marketing.
Which was your biggest win so far?
I shipped the first ever INCOOP Main Event that took place on 22 September 2020 and cashed INR 14.52 Lakh in prize money. That definitely has to be one of my biggest wins so far.
Which tournament was the turning point in your life?
I shipped Adda52’s The Gaylestorm 3.0 that took place on 4 November, 2018. That was the time when I was pursuing my studies and it turned out to be the turning point.
This tournament was one of the super-value events that was launched by cricketer Chris Gayle, who was the brand ambassador of t he brand back then. This Gaylestorm tournament started in 2018 and the first two editions of the tournament were a huge hit among players. This was an INR 2,500 tournament with a guarantee of INR 50 Lakhs. Chhabra emerged victorious among 1,847 entries and he ended up taking a hefty prize money of INR 6,89,742.
Which poker platform do you love to grind on?
How did you acquaint yourself with the poker lingo?
Earlier we used to play games at home, and the players would use hardcore poker language while grinding. Even words like draw, whale, shark were unknown to us. After some time I started understanding those words and terms.
Does the game empower you in any manner?
Yes it does. The game makes you independent and helps immensely with decision making. Since I started playing during my college days, I would rarely ask my parents for pocket money. So, when in college, it was a huge deal, because I could travel and party both with the money that I earned by playing.
Do you have any mentors in the Indian poker circuit?
No, I don’t have any mentors. I learn and make changes in my game by reading and watching videos about it. Taking online courses and mainly self learning is what I abide by. I also talk with pro players to know more about the game. Rishab Malik is one of my school friends and we often discuss games, strategies and hand history together.
Do you have any go to strategies? Or is there a strategy that you employ when the game is going against you?
I choose to stay calm and mainly focus on the game. Not to get deviated during crucial moments during the game. I meditate and that helps me gather my thoughts before any game.
Do you have any particular message for aspiring poker players?
There is no shortcut to coming to the top. You do what is right. It is a long process but someday you will get there. Believe in the grind, the process and always work hard.
As a poker player, where do you see yourself in the next five years?
In the next five years, I would like to travel and play poker across the globe.
What is the one thing that distinguishes online poker players from the others that play in live casinos?
Online players grind on 10-15 tables at the same time, but when it is in a live set-up, it becomes very slow. It becomes a little monotonous for players who grind online. But playing in a live casino would surely be fun to mingle with people, observe and learn more about the game.
Chhabra is one player who has witnessed several monumental wins in the past and is on the path of becoming a pro. We wish him the best for his future endeavours and hope to see him clinch some massive titles in the poker industry.
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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