Poker as a game and profession is finally finding its calling in India. We at Onlinepokernews.in decided to check out the New Crop of Indian Poker which is making inroads in online poker. Aakriti Bhatnagar, our poker correspondent chatted with one such young poker player- Anuj Jalote for the mere mortals and ‘Shove_allin’ for the Poker World.
Anuj is an upcoming Poker Player living in Delhi. His dedication to the game prompts him to fly to Goa every month for four days to hone his poker skills. He believes that India is on the verge of a Poker boom and trains himself for the day when he can take advantage of this. Read the excerpts of an interview with Anuj Jalote in the first of the series of Next Generation of Online Poker- GEN P of Indian Poker.
|Fav place to play Online Poker||Adda52.com|
|Fav place to play Live Poker||Goa|
|Fav Poker Game||NLHE|
|Fav Poker Hand|
Q1 Hi Anuj, Thanks for taking out the time to speak with us. To start with, can you tell us when you start playing poker? Basically your poker journey till date…
AJ– I started playing in 2010 when I graduated from IIT Delhi. One of my friends introduced me to the game. It was a home came and I was really bad. This happened a few times and I lost a lot but I found the game interest. At that time I realized that there is more involved in Poker which I need to know. Then I started reading up on Poker, books by Dan Harrigton, Doyle Brunson etc. I, then, seriously started playing both online and offline and after one year of losing, I started getting the hang of the game and I turned the corner.
Q2 How much poker do you play?
AJ– I work in a multinational company and I can’t take out that much time but I have a fixed no. of dedicated hours for poker.
Q3 How many hours would that be?
AJ– It’s actually 15 hours a week which includes both study-time and playing online. Sometimes, I catch a physical game of poker in Delhi with friends. Besides this, I also travel to Goa once a month four 4 days to play live Poker game.
Q4 How does your family feel about you playing Poker?
AJ-Initially in 2010 when I started playing poker, it was like a leisure pastime like ‘teen-pasti’ during Diwali. So, we always spoke about it like that in the house. Later on when I realized that for me it’s not a ‘pastime’, I slowly introduced my family to it. I told them that it’s a game of skill, not luck. There are benefits to the game like money and the future of the game is very bright. Now they are well prepared and accumulated to the fact that eventually I want to make my living as a live Poker Player.
Q5- Have you ever participated in any live tournaments in India or Internationally?
AJ- Not yet since I specialize in cash games. I am a cash game specialist and have played in international poker rooms in Singapore, Macau, Manila and in Goa.
Q6- What has been your best online finish so far?
AJ– Last year I finished as runner-up in Player of Year tournament in Adda52.com
Q7- Who do you idolize in Poker, both in India and Internationally?
AJ– Internationally, I really admire Daniel Negreanu. His style, demeanor during the game is something I like. He keeps himself and other players so lively during the game. In India, there are a lot of Cash Players and Tournament Players, but no one I admire as such.
Q8 -Who are the 3 names, according to you, who can make it big in International Poker Community?
AJ– I will share 1 name each in tournaments and cash game player. In tournaments, I think Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal is good. Not because of his wins but because he is mentoring a team of players who themselves are making good in Poker. He is promoting Poker big time in India.
Prashant Correa is a cash game player who is making a good name for himself.
Q8- What do you do when no playing Poker?
AJ– Besides work and poker, I enjoy bike riding, reading, travelling and writing. I am also working on a book and connected to a few media houses.
Q9-What is your one Poker dream?
AJ– Before I get into that I want to tell you how I see my future. I want a particular lifestyle where I am not working for anyone; I have my own working hours and my own boss. I play regular cash game and earn money. I want to be travelling all the time, pursuing different activities and building skills. I want to contribute to people who are less fortunate.
My poker dream would be to play the biggest available cash games both online and offline and for that I need to have bankrolls.
Q10- What according to you should be done to promote poker in India?
AJ– There are two levels to this. The first is compliance. Like the Bangalore High Court ruling of declaring poker a game of skill, such judgments are welcomed. There are poker rooms only in Bangalore, Kolkata, Sikkim and Goa. Lobby needs to be done and poker should be included and/or played in different sports competition. Players should speak up about poker.
The other is awareness of the game. Involve and introduce people to poker. Talk about it in schools and colleges. Talk about the skill required to play the game. So that by the time these kids grow up in a few years, the poker playing community becomes bigger.
So in a few years’ time the game is completely legitimized and there is a big community of poker players ready to enjoy the game.