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Newsmakers Of 2023: What The Year Looked Like? Poker
Smit Trivedi
Posted on 29 Dec, 2023
By Smit Trivedi
On 29 Dec, 2023
By Smit Trivedi
On 29 Dec, 2023

Newsmakers Of 2023: What The Year Looked Like?

The poker world saw several significant events that made headlines in 2023. From the rise of Indian poker players at the biggest stage in world poker to jaw-dropping entries in multiple tournaments and record-smashing prize pool offerings, 2023 saw it all. With numerous starring events capturing the limelight this year, let’s look at a few of the top newsmakers of 2023.

Nikita Luther makes India proud 

One of India’s first-ever female poker pros, Nikita Luther, captured the attention of poker legend Phil Hellmuth, citing her deep run at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2023 Main Event. India’s first and only female WSOP bracelet winner, Luther, took the 96th place to pocket $78,900 at the WSOP Main Event.


Phil Hellmuth Lauds Nikita Luther On Her Run At WSOP 2023 Main Event


The poker dynamite from Delhi continued to make India proud and again represented the nation on a big stage by appearing on GGPoker’s poker show called Game of Gold. Some of the best poker pros joined Luther, including Fedor Holz, YoH ViraL, Charlie Carrel, Dan Cates, Michael Soyza, Jason Koon Maria Ho, and Kyna England. 

Nikita Luther To Feature On Poker After Dark 

ALSO READ: 10 Intriguing Facts About Poker

Santhosh Suvarna shines on the big stage

Santhosh Suvarna made history by winning his maiden World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) bracelet in 2023. He shipped the €50,000 NLH Diamond High Roller event to win the coveted bracelet and a whopping payday of €650,000 (~₹5,80,18,482). 

This Indian-origin poker pro has been on the rise in 2023, recording multiple deep runs, including an 8th-place finish at the 2023 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Cyprus $25K Turbo and multiple cashes at the Triton Poker Series London. 

WSOPE 2023 Diamond HR: Santhosh Suvarna Wins, Grabs Maiden Bracelet

It is also worth noting that Suvarna also played in one of the biggest high-stakes events in the form of WPT Big One for One Drop. He ended up recording a sixth-place finish in the event, which boasted a $1 Million buy-in ( ~₹8.3 Crore). Given such notable success in 2023, we hope to see such incredible results from Suvarna again in 2024.

Phil Hellmuth creates history 

Phil Hellmuth played at WSOP 2023 and shipped the Super Turbo Bounty event to create the record of winning 17 WSOP gold bracelets, the highest number by any poker pro in history. 

WSOP 2023: Phil Hellmuth Wins Historic 17th Bracelet In Super Turbo Bounty 

After 34 years since his first appearance on the biggest stage in poker, Hellmuth won the Event 72 Super Turbo Bounty for an impressive $803,818, along with the bounties. It is also worth noting that ‘Poker Brat’ only owns one out of his 17 prestigious bracelets. 

Hellmuth has given away most of his bracelets to family and friends. The only coveted piece of jewellery he has is his first bracelet, which he won at the 1989 WSOP Main Event. You can check out the entire list of Phil Hellmuth WSOP bracelets by clicking here

Anirban Das inspires Indians

Apart from Luther, Anirban Das also got into the history books following his 16th place in the WSOP 2023 Main Event. The Indian poker pro also broke the record of registering the best cash by any Indian in the WSOP Main Event. In what remains to be his career-best live cash as of December 2023, Das earned $430,200 for his outing at the biggest stage in world poker.

 He broke multiple records, including the second-biggest score by an Indian at the WSOP and the biggest cash by an Indian in the WSOP 2023. While he did not ship the event, it is surely an exciting sign for an Indian player to get so close to the ultimate glory. 

WSOP 2023 Main Event: Anirban Das Creates History; Finishes 16th


WSOP launches WSOP Paradise 

The first-ever WSOP Paradise took place at Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas in December 2023! The event concluded with a lot of players walking away with mega winnings and esteemed titles. Stanislav Zegal was crowned as the first-ever WSOP Paradise 2023 Main Event (ME) champion, which saw the German poker pro earn $2 Million and his first-ever WSOP bracelet.


This inaugural WSOP Paradise 2023 Main Event had a player field of 3,010 participants, with the prize pool edging past the $15 Million guarantee, which made it a great success. With another successful tournament, apart from the WSOP events in Las Vegas and Europe like WSOPE and WSOP Paradise, one can expect great things from the brand in 2024. 

Indians make a splash in Asia 

Indian poker pro Kunal Patni shined brightly at the U Series of Poker (USOP) 2023 to ship High Roller: The Finale and earned a prize of VND 2.4 Billion, roughly equivalent to ₹82.5 Lakh.

USOP 2023: Kunal Patni Wins High Roller: The Finale Event 

Indian poker pro Amit Kaushik has shipped the Turbo event at USOP 2023 to pocket a payday of VND 72 Million for his Turbo win. 

USOP Da Nang 2023: Amit Kaushik Ships Turbo Event

Another Indian poker pro Vishal Ojha shipped the coveted USOP 2023 Hanoi Main Event to win the prestigious title and the trophy.  Ojha grabbed the numero uno spot at the highly anticipated USOP 2023 Hanoi Main Event and took home a hefty pay cheque of VND 4,952,000,000 (~₹1,70,69,357). 

USOP 2023: Vishal Ojha Wins The Main Event, His Maiden Live Title

India’s Sahil Agarwal shipped the Single Day High Roller at the USOP Hanoi 2023 and earned a sum of VND 680,000,000 (~₹23,34,233). 

USOP 2023: Sahil Agarwal Adds To India’s Trophy Tally


Apart from the quite popular USOP, Indian poker players also managed to make their presence felt at the Asian Poker Festival (APF), which took place in Hanoi between the 7th and 13th of December, 2023. Many Indian pros like Amit Kaushik, Zarvan Tumboli, Laksh Pal Singh and Dhaval Mudgal were also grinding in the series.

Yagyavalk Bhatt shipped the Head Hunter event to pocket a pay cheque of VND 29,000,000 (~₹1 Lakh) for his top place finish.  Pratibh Saluja also clinched his second live title by winning the Hyper Turbo III Closer event to pocket VND 31.684 Million (~₹1.08 Lakh) at the APF event. 

For more news and updates, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com. Follow us on Facebook,   Instagram,   Twitter,   and Telegram.

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