Indian poker players have proved their mettle in every corner of the globe winning prestigious titles and huge cash prizes. The World Series of Poker has established itself as the most esteemed tournament of the poker world and Indians have always marked their presence in this royal battle. The last seven years have seen Indians making impressive finishes in the WSOP events bringing home sizeable cash prizes. Although, Indian players are still to win a WSOP bracelet, their performance has definitely been impressive over the past 7 years except a few downswings.
The 46th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) which brings 68 bracelets with nearly $200 million in prize money up for grabs is 20 days away. The frenzy will kick off on 27th May at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas with poker lovers from all over the world coming to vie for the life-changing money and the illustrious gold bracelets. OnlinePokerNews (OPN) revisits the pages of WSOP events to bring the splendid performances of Indians over the years in WSOP events under the spotlights once again.
Team India has amassed a total prize money of $325,713 in WSOP events over the past 7 years. The streak started with Aditya Agarwal, now a Team PokerStars pro bagging $29,883 for the 450th place finish in the $10,000 Main Event in 2007. 2008 saw him repeating his marvelous performance and fetching his career-best score in the $10,000 Main Event. Aditya won $51,466 finishing 96th while he bagged another $6,982 in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em finishing 48th.
As depicted in the graph above, the performance of Indian players at WSOP was on a downfall for two years. In 2009, Indians could win only $13,525 while the figures fell down to mere $3,403 in 2010.
Gaurav Law was the only player to cash in 3 events of WSOP in 2011 pushing up the Indian figures to $20,892. He won $18,106 finishing 36th in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em and added another $2,786 in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em for 293rd place. In 2012, Team India went up further to $25,221 with the major contribution of $20,499 by Aditya Agarwal which he won in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em finishing 19th.
2013 was one of the momentous years with the wining graph for Indian contingent skyrocketing at the World Series of Poker. Team India brought home a whopping $75,849 cash prize which was triple of what they managed to win in 2012. Aditya Agarwal won $42,990 for his 212th place finish in the $10,000 Main Event. Rahul Byrraju was another biggest contributor in 2013 with 3 money finishes, the biggest of which was $21,326 in the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em for 20th place. Delhi-based Arjun Pasricha added $5,033 to the Team India earnings making 71st place finish in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em (Event #54). Sailesh Lohia won $2,730 in the $ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em in 223rd place.
2014 saw further upward rise in the winning chart of Indian players at WSOP. With over 10 Indians out there at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, the Indian flag could be seen in several event winner lists. A total prize money of $94,369 came to the country with major contributions from Samay Parikh, Aditya Agarwal, Aditya Sushant and Apoorva Goel. Samay on a fantastic run last year had 4 money finishes, the best of which was $17,793 in the $10,000 NLH – Six Handed in the 27th place. It was the first outing for Aditya Sushant who now is an Adda52 Team Spades pro. Aditya Agarwal and Aditya Sushant made 2 money finishes each bagging over $11,000 and $5,000 respectively. Another Team Spades pro, Muskan Sethi became the first Indian women to finish in the money in a WSOP event. Muskan won $7,827 finishing 55th in the $ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em. Tournament regular, Apoorva Goel also joined the league by winning $2,872 in the 193rd place in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em.
With 20 days to go, Indian poker players are gearing up for the biggest poker action to unfold in Las Vegas. The hopes of Indian poker community will be on high after a charismatic performance of the players in last one year back home and in other Asian destinations like Macau and Manila.
Sources: All yearly data and figures of winnings have been taken from WSOP.com and all the individual records have been taken from The Hendon Mob.
Disclaimer – All figures have been collected from online sites. Some of the individual records might not be mentioned here due to the lack of information or they might be a part of the collective yearly figures.