Poker Bootcamp India co-founder, Abhishek Goindi went down memory lane and posted a #ThrowbackThursday photo of his time at the India Poker Championship (IPC) 2019. The poker pro took to his Instagram stories to post a group picture of him with fellow pro Gaurav Sood, Sangeeth Mohan, and Bollywood actress Minissha Lamba. Accompanied with the photo was the caption “IPC Chilling!!” (sic) and a date of 14th September 2019.
Looking at the image, Goindi also prompted us to revisit IPC 2019.
In the timeline of India Poker Championship’s run, IPC in September 2019 was a significant one. The popular live poker festival had been on a three-and-a-half-year hiatus after a brief one-tournament event in 2016 onboard the Deltin Royale. When the comeback of the series was announced, the poker community was more than elated to have one of India’s first live poker brands return.
The series ran from 11th to 15th September 2019 with four tournaments in its line-up. The live poker series had a total guarantee of ₹3+ Crore. This time, instead of the Deltin Royale, the series was set to be hosted onboard the Big Daddy Casino which was a new floating casino and reportedly the biggest ship at Goa’s Mandovi river, at the time.
With such a historic return to the live poker scene in India, IPC September 2019 did not hold back on the thrill and glamour. The event was attended by notable stars and big names from the industry like film star Kunal Kemmu, Minissha Lamba, Nikunj Jhunjhunwala, WSOP bracelet winners Aditya Sushant and Nikita Luther, poker veteran Aditya Agarwal, and many more. IPC September 2019 was also television actress Anita Hassanandani’s first IPC event! At this IPC edition, self-proclaimed ‘King of Instagram’ and social media personality, Dan Bilzerian graced the poker felts of India and upped the star quotient of the series.
When the event ended after five days of exciting poker action, all the tournaments had surpassed their advertised guarantee. This meant that the initial overall guarantee of ₹3+ Crore was crushed, and the final prize pool was a whopping ₹5.48 Crore.
The series began with the 10K Kick-Off event, which had 437 entries in total. The prize pool generated was ₹43+ Lakh, and the top 52 places were paid. The min-cash stood at ₹9,550, and the winner of the event was Siddharth Mundada, who pocketed ₹8,80,000 in prize money.
The high level of participation saw the 100K High Roller spread across two days. There were a total of 207 entries and the prize pool of the event shot to ₹2.03 Crore. The top 24 places were paid and the min-cash stood at ₹1,88,600. In the end, it was Pranay Chawla who shipped the event and took home ₹51,66,800 in prize money. Chawla took home the High Roller title after 12 hours of grinding. The runner-up of the event was Nitish Gupta who had a payday of ₹35,24,500.
The third event in the line-up was the 35K Main Event which welcomed 777 runners in total. The final prize pool of the Main Event was bigger than the High Roller, standing at ₹2.67+ Crore. Players in the top 86 spots made the money and took home at least a min-cash of ₹65,900. It was player Raj Talwar who was crowned the IPC Main Event champion, and he won a pay cheque worth ₹49,25,775.
The final event of the series was the 15K Head Hunter, which drew in a pool of 348 total entries. A prize pool worth ₹34.2+ Lakh was reached, and the top 40 places were paid. The min-cash given was ₹18,100. It was Raghavendra Hada who clinched the title for ₹7,39,000.
Overall the event was one big starry affair after another and definitely one of the most memorable IPC events in history. Thankfully, even after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, IPC made another incredible comeback in May 2022. The IPC Megastacks May 2022 was held in Jhapa, Nepal, at Casino Vegas in Hotel Mechi Crown, where it once again drew in a massive crowd of stars and players. Here’s to even more awesome IPC memories in the coming future!
Donna Amo is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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