The name Raj Talwar will surely ring a bell in your mind. If you’ve been a cash game player in the poker fraternity then you will surely know of Talwar. The Pune based poker player is also the India Poker Championship (IPC) September 2019 Main Event winner. The poker event is undoubtedly the most highly anticipated series in India. As we are now just a couple of days away from the commencement of IPC Megastacks May 2022, we wanted to catch up with the former ME winner of this prestigious live poker event. We got in touch with Talwar to understand his thoughts on the return of IPC after a gap of two years, the resumption of live poker in India and more.
IPC is making a grand return, and it’s impossible to not think of past winners. IPC 2019 Main Event win was a fruit of your labour, is there anything from that victory which is still not known to many? Any anecdotes you would like to share from that year’s win?
Well, first of all I am glad IPC is returning back post the COVID-19 hiatus. I am always excited to play live tournaments as one gets to meet and greet a lot of known and new faces from the industry. Adding to this excitement is that I also get a break from regular cash games.
Well, talking about the Main Event of IPC 2019, I gave it my best, especially being a regular cash game player. It’s like what John Keats once said that nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced. The 2019 edition of IPC was by far my greatest experience, especially reaching the final table as an underdog.
Your thoughts on the return of IPC in Nepal. Is it a wise decision to host the event outside the home country?
IPC Megastacks May 2022 in Nepal looks exciting and I am sure that the entire poker community is looking forward to the event abroad. The best part is that the numbers are improving every given year for both tournaments and cash games.
One feature of IPC May 2022 edition you like the most?
The key feature of the IPC May 2022 event for me is the introduction of Megastacks. The name says it all. Well, usually in other events it feels like the game replicates bingo at some level or the other. Hopefully we get to see more talent come into play.
In one of your past interviews post the 2019 IPC victory, you mentioned how you are looking forward to grinding in all the major poker tournaments. Which events did you participate in?
The last live tournament I played was the Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) in April 2022 which happened after a long break. I saw quite a lot of new faces. Sadly, I wasn’t in the zone so couldn’t even make it in the money.
Talking about the resumption of live poker in India after a gap of two years, do you feel the live poker tournament space will bounce back to its full potential in the country?
Of course, live poker has already bounced back in the country. COVID-19 lockdowns led to online poker getting all the traction but live will hopefully get back to its full potential. Team IPC has always supported new talent by getting in new ideas and opportunities to help grow this industry. It is always recommended to get live poker exposure. No doubt online poker is also breaking records when it comes to numbers but I think the emotional high a player gets from grinding in live poker tournaments is unparalleled.
Lastly, do you feel the IPC event is playing the role of a catalyst for growth in the Indian poker fraternity?
Sure, the tournament series does play a crucial role in the growth of Indian poker. Getting more players into the fold, hosting bigger events with every edition, introducing new features into the live tournaments is something that will further add to poker’s growth and expansion in the country.
For the unversed, IPC Megastacks May 2022 edition kick-starts on 17th May at Casino Vegas in Hotel Mechi Crown, Jhapa, Nepal. Gutshot Magazine will be covering all the IPC May 2022 events live from the venue. If you wish to know all about the action and drama unfolding at IPC, stay tuned to Gutshot Magazine!
With a Masters’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, Mrinal Gujare currently is cruising through an exciting genre of writing and editing at Gutshot Magazine. Apart from being an Editor, Mrinal is an avid reader and a former contemporary dancer. She is also perennially hungry for intriguing scoops from across the globe. No holds barred is the rule Mrinal follows in life.
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