Making it to India’s all-time money list in total live poker earnings is no small feat. The dedication and drive that these players have for the game proves just that. According to the Hendon Mob database (as of January 2021), these are the top 5 Indian poker players who have had a lucrative career in poker.
Vivek Rajkumar is a retired professional poker player who took the mind sport on a full-time basis in 2006. Rajkumar had moved to the US for his studies in computer engineering. His deep interest in mathematics is what got him hooked to poker. He was a regular in the live poker circuit and even had five World Series of Poker (WSOP) cashes in 2007. The poker pro also won the $2,500 NLHE at the L.A Poker Classic and thickened his bankroll by another $113,425 in winnings. His biggest cash grab till date was the 2008 WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event when he smiled his way to the bank with a cheque of $1,424,500.
New Delhi born Nipun Java is a well-known face in the US live poker circuit. His first big win was the 2009 LA Poker Open Championship Event where he came fifth and cashed $34,650. One of his most notable wins was in 2014 when he shipped the WSOP Circuit No Limit Hold’em Main Event and took a pay cheque of $226,785 and the prestigious WSOP Circuit ring. He and Aditya Sushant made history when they teamed up for the 48th WSOP $1,000 Tag Team event and won a WSOP bracelet for India.
Like many in the early 2000s, Aditya Agarwal became obsessed with poker when he saw Chris Moneymaker win the WSOP Main Event on television. He switched careers and began his poker journey at the age of 21. He was a frequent player at the WSOP event and in 2007 cashed $34,313 at EPT Barcelona. 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.
Raghav Bansal was first introduced to poker in collage. This poker pro is one of the most dedicated players in the game. It was in 2014 that he made the decision to go professional and has not looked back since. He has won the DPT Main Event in January 2016 and earned $ 45,214 in prize money. In April 2017, Bansal made his largest cash grab of $ 335,910 when he came second at the PokerStars Championship High Roller.
Born in Chennai, Abhinav Iyer made history when he became the third Indian to win a WSOP bracelet in 2019. Along with the prestigious gold bracelet, Iyer also banked an impressive $565,346. In January 2019 he also won the Asian Poker Tour (APT) No Limit Hold’em – Main Event and added $ 98,055 to his bank account. He is one of the most recognizable players in the Indian poker.
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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