Introducing Sanat Mehrotra, a passionate poker player whose achievement in India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) January 2021 will go down in history. Mehrotra shipped three tournaments on Day seven of IOPC. This player was first introduced to the game almost a decade ago and he made heads turn with the titles he claimed. Gutshot had a chat with this pro to know more about his game.
Tell us a little about your journey in poker.
I was introduced to the game in 2013 when I was in college, and quickly got addicted to it. However, I have been studying and playing professionally for the last 14 months.
You had spectacular wins at the IOPC Jan 2021. Could you tell us about the winnings?
IOPC went okay, I wouldn’t say it was spectacular. I was grinding throughout, so it was slightly hectic. There was a trade-off between chasing the leaderboard and performing your best in feature events – and in hindsight I feel choosing the latter might have been wiser. Overall, the experience was a lot of fun.
How did you react when you shipped three tournaments in a day?
These were all small buy-in tournaments, so cumulatively they don’t account for more than one feature ship but I am still grateful and happy. That day was an extremely long grind, but I do remember sleeping very well post the grind.
What were your strategies?
Nothing per se. Mostly, I would get up late everyday, because of which I would end up late registering for the 12 PM tourney, fire bullets throughout the day and hopefully play my best game in the later stages. I was chatting a lot with Shardul Parthasarathi, and he is a great guy to be around and discuss hands with.
What was the preparation that went into before playing in the tournament?
Before the series, I was exercising a lot. I realized that if you are into a lot of outdoor fitness, then you kind of get used to it and it is difficult to play your best without it. So, going ahead the next step is to explore meditation/mental fitness.
For getting better at the game, I studied a bit during early January, but I think most professional players will admit they would like to study a lot more than they do – I am one of them.
How have the recent wins in the IOPC tournaments impacted you?
In terms of winnings, it just goes into the bankroll. But I would say the biggest benefit is I got introduced to a lot of players recently – Shardul, Devang, Anmol, Neel, Laksh, Arsh. It is beautiful to see how their minds work.
What message would you like to give to aspiring poker players?
I feel like I am an aspiring poker player myself, so can’t really say much. But studying the game, and approaching it like a sport really helps. Players must also spend time thinking about the game even while they are not playing, and work on their physical and mental fitness. Also sometimes it’s great to just watch when the best are playing, someone like Sriharsha Doddapaneni, Bert Stevens, Nicklas Astetd etc.
Poker is a game which has several highs and lows. How do you suggest poker players deal with lows of life?
Poker is very intense, so I feel it’s important to have a life outside poker as well. For me right now it’s football and chess, and having a circle of poker and non-poker friends is very helpful too.
Any particular approach/style that poker players can opt for?
Every player is unique, and there is no one approach to the game. One should stay balanced but poker players usually have a very strong feedback loop so it is easy to figure out when they are not playing their best. In India, I feel everyone can get better by studying a bit more. Players outside on average have a stronger work ethic.
We hope to see this poker player clinch several more titles in Indian tournaments and abroad as well. For more such articles, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram.