The past few years have seen many brilliant poker players emerge into the Indian poker circuit. For this article, we’ll be looking at top 10 Indian players residing in the country and their respective live tournament earnings based on Hendon Mob’s data. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 Indian poker players’ (all-time money) list.
First on the list is poker legend Aditya Agarwal. Like many in the early 2000s, Agarwal dived into poker when he saw Chris Moneymaker win the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event on television. He switched careers and began his poker journey at the age of 21. He continues to be a frequent player at the WSOP and even came close to clinching the prestigious gold bracelet at the 2021 WSOP. It was here that Agarwal made his best live cash after he finished in 2nd at event #76 $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Super Turbo Bounty for $286,705. Back in May 2019, he grabbed the top spot in the Deltin Poker Tournament (DPT) Colossus 200K Main Event and went home with $44,784 in tournament winnings. He also finished 2nd for $242,211 in the 2018 Macau Asia Pacific Poker Tour’s HK$ 40,000 No-Limit Hold’em – APPT Main Event (Event #7). According to Hendon Mob, he has total live earnings of $1,424,770.
Raghav Bansal was first introduced to poker in college. It was in 2014 that he made the decision to go professional and has not looked back since. He came 3rd at the 2019 WSOP $600 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack 8-Handed (Event #42) for $88,410. In April 2017, Bansal made his largest cash grab of $335,910 when he came second at the PokerStars Championship High Roller #42. He also attended the 52nd WSOP and cashed in three separate events. Bansal currently has a total live earnings of $1,107,267 according to Hendon Mob.
Born in Chennai, Abhinav Iyer made history when he became the first Indian to win a solo WSOP bracelet in 2019 for the event #84 $1,500 No Limit Hold’em – The Closer. Along with the prestigious gold bracelet, Iyer also banked an impressive $565,346. Most recently at the 2021 WSOP, Iyer made the money in 10 WSOP events. His highest cash was $113,800 at the event #67 $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em – WSOP Main Event where he finished in the 60th position. More impressively, Iyer was the only Indian to make such a deep run in the 2021 WSOP Main Event. So far, he has cashed $1,111,759 in total live earnings.
If we are talking about Indian bracelet winners, then another Chennai-born player Aditya Sushant surely comes to mind. Sushant or ‘Sushi’ as he’s lovingly called was the first Indian along with Nipun Java to clinch a WSOP bracelet in 2017. They both teamed up for the $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold’em and cashed $150,637. He split the winning with Java and each took home $75,318. Mentored by Agarwal, the poker player has total live earnings worth $675,297.
Introduced to poker during his first week at Singapore University, Paawan Bansal became a regular in live poker events around the world. One of his first big wins came in 2017 when he clinched the HK$5,400 + 600 No Limit Hold’em (event #5) for $9,592. Just a year after that, Bansal came close to winning a WSOP bracelet at the 2018 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em – The Closer where he finished in 2nd place for $378,765. This also remains his biggest live cash so far and he has total live earnings worth $675,905.
Poker pro Dhaval Mudgal is a beloved figure in the Indian poker scene. He made quite the splash on the international poker felts as well. During his poker career which spans from 2010 to the present, Mudgal has managed to accumulate a total of $539,873 in live earnings. He made his best live cash in 2018 when he shipped the World Poker Tour (WPT) Vietnam Main Event for an impressive $104,418. Recently, he also had three live cashes worth a total of $12,020 at the 2021 WSOP.
Former banker turned poker pro, Kunal Patni is among the country’s most respected poker players. One of his first big wins came in 2014’s Pacific Poker Tour – APPT Asia Championship of Poker in Macau. This is where he clinched his first international live title at the HK$2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Rebuy Championship for $22,714. However, his biggest live cash came when he finished in the runner-up position at the 2018 WPT European Championship in Berlin for $115,819. Patni currently has a total live earnings of $484,555.
Kartik Ved made history when he became the fourth Indian to win the prestigious gold WSOP bracelet in August 2020 at the WSOP Online Event #64 $840 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em. This win also gave him his highest online cash grab of $234,433. However, his highest live cash so far is $173,015 which he won after finishing in the 51st position at the 2019 WSOP Main Event. Ved’s total live earnings are worth $399,980.
At the 2018 WSOP, poker player Nishant Sharma made headlines as he finished 34th at the Main Event and scored his highest live cash of $230,475. This still remains the closest an Indian player has come to the WSOP Main Event title. According to Hendon Mob, Sharma’s total live earnings are worth $387,651.
Finally on our list is Nikita Luther—the only female Indian poker player to win a WSOP bracelet. Luther inspired many when she shipped the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Tag Team event with partner Giuseppe Pantaleo at the 2018 WSOP. The two split the $175,805 prize and took home $87,902 each. In 2019 she finished as the runner-up in the ARIA Poker Classic’s $500 + 65 No-Limit Hold’em – Zynga Poker WPT500 event for $109,300. Currently, Luther’s total live earnings stands at $340,800 and this poker powerhouse ranks 10th in our list of top 10 Indian poker players.
With this we conclude our list of the top 10 Indian poker players list. It should be noted that this list contains top players with respect to all-time money. With the poker community growing every year, it is without a doubt that we will see newer faces emerge from the talent pool in the country. We hope you enjoyed our article and please do share your comments below.
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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