Interview: Team Thrill Pro Dhaval Mudgal

Dhaval Mudgal has become known for his consistent performances over the past few years. Dhaval is also the front man of Rock n’ Roll band ‘Half Step Down’ as well as former chief editor of ‘CardPlayer India’. Apart from the many scores in India, he has made a mark in Macau as well. He joined in april 2015 Team Thrill. 

SMP: You are just back from the Macau Poker Cup. How did it go?

I have mixed feelings from MPC. I managed 6th place in the last event, as well as 6th in the teams event, in which I was the defending champion! :) But I only made day 2 of the main and the 20k, and I could not get anything going. This was a shorter Macau trip, so I guess I'm pretty happy overall.

Can you tell us more about your poker beginnings?

I started playing about 7 years ago when friends studying at American universities started bringing the game back home, and I instantly fell in love with it. I kept playing, and a couple of years ago I decided to pursue it full time.


Dhaval Mudgal (Photo Deltin Poker Tournamement)

What are your current personal goals as a poker player?

Well apart from constantly improving, I've tried to set a few milestones for myself to try and achieve this year. Winning an IPC trophy, FT'ing at a Main in Asia, and playing more cash games. I'll also be playing the WSOP for the first time, so there are multiple aspirations once I get to Vegas!

What is your favorite format? Tournaments? Cash Games?

Definitely tournaments. I pretty much play MTTs even though I have decided to try and put in more cash volume this year, as variance in MTTs is so high! However, I hope this only affects my tourney volume marginally.

What is your daily routine as a poker player?

As someone primarily grinding MTTs, I guess your daily routine gets determined by where you are travelling at the moment. On days of tournaments, I try and get a light bite before I sit down, and I try to be well rested whenever I can be.

You are representing on the live poker circuit Thrill Poker. Can you tell us more about it?

In April last year, Thrill Poker contacted me about becoming a Team Pro for them, and I jumped at the opportunity to be involved with a brand that mirrored my ethos. I represent the site at various tournaments around the world, and I can also be found playing the cash games on the site under the moniker 'Dirtyzoso'.

What is your personal view on the current Indian poker scene?

The Indian poker scene is growing at a phenomenal rate despite all the obstacles it faces. If poker can be brought legally to the metros and the tax issues be dealt with, then there will be no looking back. Already you can find games of all stakes, as well as a very successful tournament scene in Goa.

According to you, who are the best Indian poker players? Online? Live?

I'm surrounded by so many fantastic players, and we all work together in a fairly tightknit circuit. Adi' intervention Agarwal and Amit Bblacklegend Jain for tournaments, and Shashank and Aman Dhamija as cash game players.

Money talk: What is your biggest win at a tournament? Your biggest pot in cash games (win/loss)?

My biggest score in a tournament was last year when I got about 44k USD for 4th in the 20k NLH at MPC23. That MPC was particularly sweet, as I won my first international title in the teams event as well!


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