We’re a few hours away from the start of what is undoubtedly the most prestigious poker tournament across the world, one that has been growing year over year, decade over decade. We’re talking about the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event which began way back in 1970 with a field of just 7 entries, but now the annual event regularly crosses fields of 7,000+ entries.
WSOP 2019 Event #73 $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship is scheduled to begin on 3rd July with Day 1A and the starting flights continue until 5th July with Day 1C. The 10-day event will play all the way down to a winner, and we’re hoping against all odds that this winner could be one of our own Indian pros.
It was USA’s John Cynn who took away the prestigious title last year and let’s not forget, it came with a life-changing prize amount of $8,800,000 for winning the 2018 WSOP Main Event. So close to the Main Event, we decided to put down a list of the top 6 Indian performances at the WSOP Main Event over the years, with half of them coming in last year’s championship itself. Take a look:
It shows the quality of a poker player when his first WSOP cash turns out to be a Day 5 finish in the Main Event, bagging a massive prize of $57,010 (~INR 39.22 lakh) and more than quadrupling his previous total in career live cashes. Like we mentioned above, a lot of India’s best performances at the WSOP Main Event came last year itself and that just shows how rapidly the game has progressed in our country. Ved made a brilliant start to his WSOP career with this run and we expect him to do even better in WSOP 2019. So far this series, Ved has 7 cashes including $34,279 for finishing 29th in the BIG50 Event towards the start of WSOP 2019.
April 2017 was the last time Paawan Bansal cashed in an Indian live tournament, finishing 9th in a DPT event in Goa. Soon later, he made the trip to Las Vegas and made two cashes in WSOP 2019, including a massive one of $53,247 for finishing 124th in the Main Event, making a brilliant WSOP debut for himself. Bansal was one of two Indians who made their way to Day 5 of the WSOP 2017 Main Event and was the first to bust from them. Since then, Bansal has been a regular performer at the World Series and he narrowly missed a bracelet last year too, finishing second to Joe Cada in Event #75 for a career-best $378,765 (~INR 2.59 crore), which also stands as the biggest live score by an Indian poker player. He also has 6 cashes so far in WSOP 2019 and he’ll be looking to end the series on a high once again!
This guy is an Indian high-stakes player who had only one cash in WSOP 2017, which was in the Main Event. The tournament had a field of 7,221 entries and that’s why Rahul Byrraju and Bansal (above-mentioned) cashed out smaller amounts even though they ran deeper. Here, Byrraju had a decent stack on Day 5 and was looking good until he got crippled when he lost a major pot of QQ v AA. He busted soon later in 102nd place to get the same cash prize as Bansal – $53,247. Byrraju was recently the only Indian at Patrik Antonius’ PAPC series in Estonia, and he finished 4th in one event for €20,102 (~INR 15.74 Lakh). So far in WSOP 2019, Byrraju has only one cash and it’ll be interesting to see whether he plays the WSOP 2019 Main Event or not.
It was a massive field of 7,874 entries in the WSOP 2018 Main Event and after Kartik Ved busted in 128th place, Vivek Rughani was one of only two Indian players who entered Day 6 of the tournament. A couple of hours into play on Day 6, Rughani hit the rail but not before registering a then second-best finish for India at the WSOP Main Event, finishing an impressive 88th for $77,695 (~INR 53.48 Lakh), which was nearly 6x his previous best live cash in India. This year, Rughani has 6 cashes so far as compared to 3 of last year, and he goes into the 2019 Main Event with much more confidence than he had last year. We’d love to see Rughani make another deep run in this prestigious tournament.
Some might consider him a ‘God’ of the Indian poker revolution, becoming the first of current Indian players to cross a million dollars in live poker tournament earnings. Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal has set the benchmark for Indian players going to Las Vegas, first cashing out in a WSOP tournament back in 2007, when the Indian poker industry was not 10% of what it is today. His run in the WSOP 2015 Main Event opened possibilities for hundreds others in the country, finishing 71st for a mighty prize of $96,445 which remained the best live cash of his career until he scored a massive $242,211 (~INR 1.57 crore) for finishing 2nd in the APPT Macau Main Event in March 2018. The PokerStars Team Pro has only 2 cashes in WSOP 2019 but he’ll be looking to turn around this disappointing series in the Main Event. Agarwal also made another deep run in WSOP 2013 when he placed 212th for $42,990.
This was easily the best year for Team India in the history of the World Series, with two Indians making Day 6. After Rughani busted in 88th place, Nishant Sharma continued his run and went on to finish a magnificent 34th in the tournament, ending with not just a career-best score but also the highest cash by an Indian player in the WSOP Main Event, while also becoming the best Indian finish ever. He bagged $230,475 and since then, he is one of the most feared players in the Indian circuit as well. He was ousted in a PFAI hand against Aram Zobian – QQ vs AA, with the latter hitting a set on the 4-J-A-2-10 board. Zobian eventually finished 6th in the Main Event for $1.8 million in prize money. Sharma has been at WSOP 2019 since the start of the series and has bagged 6 cashes so far with his biggest being $6,593. Can he go one step further than his WSOP 2018 performance?
2019 has seen India’s biggest participation at the World Series, with almost every NLHE tournament seeing a few Indians cashing out. We came really close to a gold bracelet when Raghav Bansal and Ashish Ahuja finished on the FT of Event #42 and hopes of a third bracelet are still alive with over 10 days of play still left in Las Vegas.
By the time the WSOP 2019 Main Event has ended, we’re hoping we have a few changes in this list of the top Indian finishes in the Main Event, and you can stay tuned to GutshotMagazine.com for all updates on the same.
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