India Briefs: Baazi Poker Tour Main Event draws record 900 entries, Nitin Arora ships it, Aditya Sushant runner up; NPS live winners Chirag Sodha, Kartik Ved, Sankesh Jain; Deltin Poker Tournament in April

To say that live poker was sorely missed in
India is a clear understatement. At the recently concluded Baazi Poker Tour, players rocked the Majestic Pride vessel in Goa from March 23 through March 28 resulting in a record 900 Main Event entries. When the dust cleared, Nitin Arora was crowned champion after a heads up deal with WSOP bracelet holder Aditya Sushant. Below are festival highlights and results. Also awarded were National Poker Series winners Chirag Sodha, WSOP bracelet holder Kartik Ved, and Sankesh Jain

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Baazi Poker Tour – Photo credit PokerBaazi YouTube

The next event to look forward to is the Deltin Poker Tournament 2 Crores GTD which takes place from April 14 to 19 at the Deltin Royale in Goa. This will be the tour’s first event since March 2021. Headlining the series is the Main Event IN₹ 1.2 Crores (~US$ 158,400) guaranteed. More info at the bottom of the page

BPT Festival wrap

Festival prize pool:  IN₹ 6,63,41,000 (~US$ 872,000)
Entries: 2,187
Main Event champion: Nitin Arora
Biggest event earner: Zarvan Tumboli (Super High Roller)

NITIN ARORA wins record Main Event for career high IN₹ 42,70,000 (~US$ 56,375)

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Nitin Arora – Main Event champion – Photo credit PokerBaazi YouTube

The BPT Main Event clocked in at an astounding 900 entries across four flights, which according to media site PokerGuru was the largest live Main Event turnout in India with a IN₹ 35K buy in. This resulted in a IN₹ 2.96 Crores (~US$ 390,800) prize pool, shared by the top 113 spots. At the final table, highly decorated pro Aditya Sushant displayed prowess by knocking out four players before facing Nitin Arora at heads up. Backed by a massive chip advantage, Sushant kept his lead intact and a deal was eventually struck guaranteeing him a slightly higher payout.

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Aditya Sushant – Photo credit PokerBaazi YouTube

When play resumed, it was a tight battle for glory. Arora overcame the challenge to be crowned champion of this epic event. With just two small live cashes to his name, it was a milestone victory for Arora and a best score of IN₹ 42,70,000 (~US$ 56,375). For runner-up Sushant, he walked away with IN₹ 45,23,000 (~US$ 59,700) to climb over US$ 725K in live earnings. 

Among the players that reached the money were notables Rubin Labroo (10th) who missed the final table by one spot, Gaurav Sood (23rd), Varun Gupta (35th), Arsh Grover (48th), WSOPC ring winner Sriharsha Doddapaneni (53rd) and Zarvan Tumboli (62nd). 

Buy in: IN₹ 35,000 (~US$ 462)
Entries: 900
Prize pool: IN₹ 2.96 Crores (~US$ 390,800)
ITM: 113 places

Final table payouts 

1st Nitin Arora – IN₹ 42,70,000*
2nd Aditya Sushant – IN₹ 45,23,000*
3rd Rugal Advani – IN₹ 23,45,000
4th Rishab Malik – IN₹ 17,35,000
5th Avinash Tauro – IN₹ 13,12,000
6th Abhishek Paul – IN₹ 10,46,000
7th Rohit Jinwal – IN₹ 8,66,000
8th Shion Hossain – IN₹ 6,90,000
9th Harshad Barve – IN₹ 5,17,000
*Heads up deal

GAURAV SOOD wins the BP Kickoff for IN₹ 11,25,000 (~US$ 14,850)

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Gaurav Sood – Photo credit PokerBaazi

Online slugger Gaurav Sood finally landed his first ever live title at the BPT Kickoff event. Sood entered the final table as chip leader and carried the momentum to the end, defeating Naresh Veeravalli at heads up. For his maiden victory, Sood earned a live event career high IN₹ 11,25,000 (~US$ 14,850). For runner up Veeravalli, his bid for the title was equally impressive, rising from just 1 BB at final table kickoff. The event attracted a roaring 385 runners for a IN₹ 54,29,000 (~US$ 71,680) prize pool. 

Buy in: IN₹ 15,000 (~US$ 200)
Entries: 385
Prize pool: IN₹ 54,29,000 (~US$ 71,680)
ITM: 49 places 

Final table payouts 

1st Gaurav Sood – IN₹ 11,25,000
2nd Naresh Veeravalli – IN₹ 7,88,000
3rd Abhishek Chhajer – IN₹ 5,06,900
4th Niranjan NJ – IN₹ 3,35,000
5th Raman Dixit – IN₹ 2,57,800
6th Piyush Goenka – IN₹ 2,13,600
7th Viney Singal – IN₹ 1,78,000
8th Sagar Raj – IN₹ 1,45,600
9th Archi Khandelwal – IN₹ 1,12,500

BPT High Roller: ZARVAN TUMBOLI – IN₹ 50,03,000 (~US$ 66,000)

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Zarvan Tumboli – Photo credit PokerBaazi

The BPT High Roller was the most costly event on tap but it certainly did not deter the 259 punters looking to cash in. With buy in at IN₹ 100,000 (~US$ 1,320), it amassed a handsome prize pool of IN₹ 2,46,00,000 (~US$ 324,780). Many of the country’s seasoned pros were seated at every table such as Ashish Munot, Kunal Patni, Dhaval Mudgal, Gaurav Sood, Abhishek Goindi, Rubin Labroo, WSOPC ring winner Sriharsha Doddapaneni (13th), Laksh Pal Singh (14th), Romit Advani (17th), and Nishant Sharma (24th). 

After a heads up deal where Indian pro Zarvan Tumboli was guaranteed the largest cut of IN₹ 50,03,000 (~US$ 66,000), he went on to victory. This was Tumboli’s fourth live event career victory and heftiest takedown. He was the largest single event winner of the series. Tumboli’s total live winnings boosted to US$ 220K. Notable pros that reached the final table were WSOP bracelet winner Kartik Ved (6th), Sahil Chutani (3rd), and runner up Atul Jaiswal.

Buy in: IN₹ 100,000 (~US$ 1,320)
Entries: 259
Prize pool: IN₹ 2,46,00,000 (~US$ 324,780)
ITM: 33 places

Final table payouts 

1st Zarvan Tumboli – IN₹ 50,03,000*
2nd Atul Jaiswal – IN₹ 44,72,000*
3rd Sahil Chutani – IN₹ 25,22,000
4th Jayray Ninama – IN₹ 16,14,000
5th Ashish Ahuja – IN₹ 11,84,000
6th Kartik Ved – IN₹ 9,80,000
7th Sreekanth Narayan – IN₹ 8,20,000
*Heads up deal 

Other winners

BPT Big Bounty

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Ujjwal Narwal – Photo credit PokerBaazi

Buy in: IN₹ 15K
Entries: 468
Prize pool: IN₹ 42,59,000 (~US$ 56,230)
ITM: 49 places
Winner: UJJWAL NARWAL – IN₹ 8,85,400 (~US$ 11,690)


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Karunanithi – Photo credit PokerBaazi

Buy in: IN₹ 15K
Entries: 175
Prize pool: IN₹ 24,53,000 (~US$ 32,385)
ITM: 23 places
Winner: KARUNANITHI S – IN₹ 4,29,500* (~US$ 5,700)
2nd Vikaash Shah – IN₹ 4,75,000*
3rd Nikhil Arora – IN₹ 4,09,500*
*Three way deal

National Poker Series winners: Kartik Ved, Chirag Sodha, and Sankesh Jain

Running side by side the BPT was the completion of three National Poker Series hybrid tournaments. The initial rounds were held online and the final table took place on-board the Majestic Pride. Chirag Sodha clinched the Main Event, WSOP bracelet holder Kartik Ved shipped the Super High Roller event, and Sankesh Jain won the Golden Rush. Here are the highlights. 

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Chirag Sodha – Photo credit PokerGuru

The Main Event attracted a massive online field of 6,202 entries for a prize pool of IN₹ 3.10 Crores (~US$ 409,150). The final 8 players competed live with Chirag Sodha leading the way. By heads up, a deal was struck guaranteeing both players career high payouts.  Sodha earned IN₹ 44.84 Lakhs (~US$ 59,180) and runner up Ritesh Kumar collected IN₹ 39.34 Lakhs (~US$ 51,920). 

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Kartik Ved – Photo credit PokerGuru

The Super High Roller event saw 311 entries with the top 36 places claiming a piece of the IN₹ 1 Crore (~US$ 132,000) prize pool. WSOP bracelet winner / Indian pro Kartik Ved entered the final table as chip leader where he proceeded to exert dominance. As players fell, Ved’s stack ballooned, and entered heads up with a 3:1 advantage against rookie Karan Pantola. Despite coughing up several double ups to Pantola, poker pro Ved still held on to claim the win and the IN₹ 22.09 Lakhs (~US$ 29,150) first prize. To date, Ved has accrued nearly US$ 430K in live earnings.  

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Sankesh Jain – Photo credit PokerBaazi YouTube

The last NPS champion to be crowned was Sankesh Jain at the Golden Rush. The event was by far the most popular, attracting 14,881 entries for a IN₹ 1 Crore (~US$ 132,000) prize pool. Jain brought in the largest stack to the live final table and went on to eliminate four players before facing Arbaaz Ahmed at heads up. The pair reached a deal that guaranteed chip leader Jain a career high payout of IN₹ 9 Lakhs (~US$ 11,880) and Ahmed IN₹ 7.10 Lakhs. It took only one hand for Jain to wrap it up. 

Deltin Poker Tournament – April 14 to 19

The Deltin Poker Tournament is prepping for its first live series in a year. As always, games will take place at the brand’s hub in the Deltin Royale vessel in Goa. Scheduled to run from April 14 to 19, the festival boasts IN₹ 2 Crore (~US$ 264,000) in guaranteed prizes across six events. Buy ins range from IN₹ 10K to IN₹ 65K.

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Photo credit Deltin Poker Tournament

At the height of the pandemic, the tour attracted a sizable 421 Main Event entries just slightly lower than its 2019 record turnout of 448 entries, and generated a prize pool of US$ 217.4K. For the upcoming series, the brand aims to surpass these numbers with a Main Event IN₹ 1.2 Crores (~US$ 158,400) guarantee. Buy in is IN₹ 35,000 (~US$ 462). To win a seat for less, players can try their chances at the ongoing satellites and step satellites. 

Main Event

Buy in: IN₹ 35,000 (~US$ 462)
Guarantee: IN₹ 1.2 Crores
Flight A: April 16
Flight B (Turbo): April 16
Flight C: April 17
Final Day: April 18

High Roller

Buy in: IN₹ 65,000 (~US$ 860)

Dates: April 15 to 16
*Satellites and step satellites are offered for this event

Other Events:

April 14: Warm Up (8 Max) – IN₹ 11K (~US$ 145) buy in
April 17: Bounty – IN₹ 15K (~US$ 200) buy in
April 18: PLO Bounty – IN₹ 15K (~US$ 200) buy in
April 19: Women’s Special – IN₹ 10K (~US$ 132) buy in

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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