|Sep 22 - 27, 2023||
No Limit Hold'em - WPT Main Event (Event #11)
World Poker Tour, Gold Coast
– General Introduction –
Abhinav Iyer is an Indian professional poker player. He was born in 1994 in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
He’s a WSOP gold bracelet winner. In 2019, he took down the $1,500 NLHE – The Closer event for $565,346. Overall, he cashed for $870,437 in live tournaments during his career.
In 2020, when almost all poker events were forced to be played online due to the Coronavirus pandemic, he won the PHP80,000 WPT Philippines title for PHP2.888 million ($59,500) at WPT Asia Online Series on Natural8-GGNetwork.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2016: After finishing his postgraduate school in Australia, he comes back to India and starts playing poker professionally.
- 2019: He wins his first WSOP gold bracelet after finishing first in the 1,500 NLHE – The Closer event for $565,346. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
- 2020: He wins the PHP80,000 WPT Philippines event at the WPT Asia Online Series for PHP2.888 million.
-Abhinav Iyer’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Iyer was bright up in the big Indian cities of Delhi and Mumbai. After high school, he studied commerce in college, then moved to Australia to do his Master’s degree. He talked to PokerGuru.in about the earliest days of his career in an interview back in 2018.
While doing his undergrad studies back in India, Iyer started playing small stakes private cash games with his college friends. He also discovered the app Zynga Poker. Over a few years, Iyer started to realize that this could be more than a hobby. He met friends along the way that he could talk poker strategy with seriously, and improve.
After earning his Masters in Australia – while also playing live and online poker semi-professionally – he moved back to India and got a job in the sports management field. However, after some time, he couldn’t resist the urge to quit and pursue his passion, poker, as a career. His conservative parents eventually came around too and now are big supporters of their son.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Iyer’s Hendon page shows $870,437 in career earnings. That sum is the product of cashes in 46 different events over the course of 5 years.
His first recorded cash is from July 2014. While studying in Australia, he came in 14th in an A$80 No Limit Hold’em tourney for A$155 at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. He collected a few more small cashes in Australia until moving back to India in 2016.
The first time he made a tourney score for over $10,000 was in April 2018. He finished 4th in the HK8,000 NLHE event at the Macau Millions. He got HK95,324 for that performance, which equaled $12,143 at the time.
In January 2019, he won the VND22,000,000 NLHE Main Event at the Ho Chi Mihn stop of the Asian Poker Tour. He pocketed no less than VND2.269 billion ($98,055) for that victory. A few months later, in July 2019, he took 5th place in the PHP500,000 NLHE Super High Roller event at APPT (Asia Pacific Poker Tour) Manila for PHP2.039 million ($40,086).
→ World Series of Poker ←
Iyer has won one WSOP gold bracelet so far.
He took down the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em – The Closer Event for $565,346 in 2019. That is the biggest single live tournament score of his career to date. He managed to top a 2,800-player field in that tournament, beating the Canadian Sammy Lafleur heads-up for the title at the end.
Overall, Iyer has cashed in 8 World Series events so far for a total of $588,579 combined.
Outside his bracelet victory, his biggest cash is a modest $6,657, also from 2019. He got that for finishing 274th in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker event. The “Milly Maker” is the World Series’ famous tournament which guarantees at least $1 million first prize money every year – hence its name. Usually, this event draws massive fields that rival the Main Event. This held true in the year Iyer won as well – he was one of the 8,809 entrants in the event.
However, please keep in mind that all of the numbers above refer to live WSOP events only.
In 2020, when all the World Series tournaments were forced to be played online due to the coronavirus pandemic, Iyer had a very prolific summer with 15 cashes.
His biggest one was in the $1,111 Every 1 for Covid Relief [Caesars Cares] event on Natural8-GGNetwork. In that NLHE tourney, he took 4th place for $127,571.
→ Live Cash Games ←
In his early days in Australia, the young Abhinav Iyer used to grind cash games in the Crown Casino in Melbourne.
However, he hasn’t appeared on any live streams or TV shows yet where he played live cash publicly.
→ Online Poker ←
In 2020, he took down the PHP80,000 WPT Philippines event at the World Poker Tour Asia Online Series. He won PHP2.888 million, while playing under the screen name “OBellaCiao” on Natural8 again. He beat Mario Mosböck from Austria heads-up for the title.
On the Indian poker site Adda52, he plays under the screen name “checkshove”.
Iyer also had 15 cashes at the 2020 World Series of Poker Online – as we mentioned already above.
In November 2020, he took down the ₹27,500 (~US$ 370) High Roller event at the first ever WPT Online India, held on Adda52. He earned ₹17.55 lakhs (~US$ 23,700) with his great victory.