It was a long and grinding day at the virtual felts of The Spartan Poker with five events in the bag at the India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) and the final event of day remaining. This re-entry format tournament featured a 6 Lakhs guarantee and players had to pony up a buy-in of INR 2,200 to participate. In the end, it was a familiar face in Pulkit Goyal a.k.a ‘Championplayer’ who claimed the top spot in this final event of IOPC Day 8.
A total prizepool of INR 7,10,000 was generated as a result of 206 entries coming together for this Event #43 of the IOPC. This prizepool was distributed amongst the top 27 finishers of the event with min-cash being INR 7,100. Over the course of six hours, the field was trimmed down to the final table. Once again we had familiar names and title winners from earlier in the series trying to make a run towards their second or third title. This included Bhanu Prakash a.k.a ‘spectre’ who won Event 23, a freezeout tournament, on Tuesday afternoon. He was bleeding chips but managed to score a good sized pot from Championplayer to give himself some breathing room. However just a couple of hands later his run ended when his Qd Ad was bested by Vidwath Shetty a.k.a RoronoA’s Kh As.
RoronoA in fact had a dominating stack going into 3-way action holding 2.8 million chips as compared to Championplayer’s 445k and ‘The Grinder’ with 265k was the shortest stack. The Grinder tried to hold on but it was getting very expensive with every hand played and he decided to pun in a three-way all-in pot:
The Grinder (8c 6d) v. RoronoA (Ah 9h) v. Championplayer (Ac Jh) with the short stack deperately hoping for a triple up against the overcards. 4d Td As 7s 2d gave Championplayer the better Ace pair and with that elimination it was time for heads-up. This battle last for a while when a chip lead shifting hand happened. On a board of Ac Kc Qs 5h 5c, RoronoA made a set of Fives with his 2d 5s. Unfortunately for him, Championplayer made a flush on that same river with 6c Qc.
That pot was worth more than 2.2 million chips and with such a commanding lead, an experienced player like Pulkit Goyal was unlikely to let it go. And so it was that the final hand came to pass where RoronoA was compelled to move his short stack into the middle with 3h Jh and Championplayer eagerly called with his pockets (7h 7s) improving to a set on the board of 9h 7c Kh 4d Ts.
A good end to Day 8 for Goyal as he won INR 1,57,265 for first place. Vidwath Shetty came very close to winning his third title of this series but will have to console himself with runner-up prize of INR 1,06,145. Gutshot caught up with Goyal after this victory in the final tournament of the day.
“It was a crazy roller coaster. I reached the final table as a short stack. Then ran up the stack and again went down to 3bb’s and from there, I finally shipped it,” he said. He added, “It’s pretty sick when you always reach deep and your hands do not hold. So, I was very happy when my 22 held up against AJ. From there on I tried to put maximum pressure on the opponents and finally shipped the tournament.”