Vinod Megalmani crowned the Topaz Topper of the Rockets Anniversary Series

Vinod MWhen Vinod was enjoying the Bangalore rains out in the city on Thursday afternoon with a bunch of friends, he had no plans of playing any poker tournament. One of his friends suggested him to play the 2nd event of Rockets Anniversary Series – 15K Topaz Topper and he tossed a coin to decide whether he’ll go or not. The decision of playing the tournament came with a sheer luck in the flip of a coin which showed heads in all 3 attempts while taking down a start-studded field of 55 players by midnight was an absolute display of his poker skills. Vinod was crowned the Topaz Topper after he knocked down Abhishek Panda in the heads-up winning the illustrious trophy with Rs 3.08 Lacs in top prize.

The Field

The 15K freeze-out Topaz Topper event kicked off at 3:30 pm on Thursday at the Rockets Poker Room in Indiranagar, Bangalore. The event drew 55 registrations which included many popular names in the community as in Rajat Sharma, Sabyasachi ‘saby’ Chakraborty, Madan Kumar, Amit Ajwani and the 2 Adda52 Team Spades pros Amit “bblacklegend” Jain and Kunal Patni accompanied by Team Thrill pros Sahil Agarwal, Shravan Chhabria, Danish Seikh and Dhawal Mudgal.

Early Action

The host of the evening and a contestant too, Rajeev Raut was among the early eliminations his s1dk ran into an Straight of Nitin Jain. Last night’s runner-up (Ruby Rebuy), Kishan M was sent to rails by Ashish Ahuja with a set of Fours s4h4d4. Anudeep Srinivas who has been on a fantastic run this year in Bangalore tournaments (TILT and THOS) followed Kishan soon. Next to depart was Sangeet Mohan cks10 was up against two players – Venkat Raman and Jagdish in a 3-way which Venkat won with two pairs – djcj, s9c9 while Jagdish bagged the side pot. Another notable player to hit rails before the sun set was Abhishek Goindi whose pocket Jacks djhj fell against two pairs c7s7c6s6 which Prasanna Jayappa flopped.

Race to the Final Table and ITM war

As the payouts for the event were declared with 6 players taking home cash which was increased to 7 later, the battle to secure a place in the money (ITM) intensified. Team Spades pro Kunal Patni was fairly pacing up his game eliminating opponents and piling up chips. Sabyasachi ‘Saby’ Chakraborty was busted by Arsh Grover who was eventually sent packing by Kunal.

Danish Shaikh amassed a huge stack by eliminating two players back to back. First to hit the rails was Amit Adiani who couldn’t stand against pocket deuce h2d2 of Danish when the board ran dry. The next player in the row was Prasanna who called Danish’s preflop all-in and got owned by Danish’s pocket eights d8s8. Adarsh Jayappa bubbled the Final Table in a hand against Kunal Patni with Kunal flopping two pairs h1s1, cjsj while Adarsh was deprived off his Ace-high straight no 10 from the pack appearing.

Final Table battle

Now, it was the Final 10 led by Madan Kumar with 87,600 chips battling out to finish in the money first and then the title race. Shravan Chhabria was the first man to leave the final table when he called Hemant’s shove. Hemant flopped a pair of Aces against Shravan’s pocket eights. Hemant was on a roll collecting chips and eliminating yet another player. Kunal moved all-in with dkdq to which Hemant showed pocket aces h1c1 and board brought no help to Kunal. Once the chip lead, Madan was unfortunate to bust in the money bubble leaving the prize pool to be distributed in top 7.

Title war

Now when all 7 players were assured of the money, the race to the title begun at around 10:30PM. However, the game could last much longer than just over an hour with first elimination of Danish Shaikh in 7th place for RS 30,000 followed by Sahil Agarwal in the 7th for Rs 38,000. Vinod was ruling the final hour of game by busting two players in a single hand. Vinod’s ladies cqhq beat Hemant’s s1hk and Naitik’s pocket Jacks hjdjwith dealer giving one more queen to Vinod on the turn.

Vinod made another elimination sending Amit Ajwaniback home in 3rd place for Rs 1 Lac which meant the headsup battle between Abhishek Panda and him. The Final hand saw Vinod going all-in with hksq which Abhishek snap called with his cqsj and the dealer brought c10h2h10d3c8 on the board which meant Vinod walking off as the champion of the night.

Here are the final winner and prize list:

Place Player Prize (INR)
1 Vinod M 3,08,000
2 Abhishek Panda 1,60,000
3 Amit Ajwani 1,00,000
4 Hemant 70,000
5 Naitik Jain 70,000
6 Sahil Agarwal 38,000
7 Danish Shaikh 30,000