He holds the record for one of the biggest cash win ($96,014.70) in online poker in the Indian poker community. He has notched he live poker circuit including runner-up place in the HK$ 2,000 No Limit Hold’em -Deepstack #1 of the ACOP Platinum Series VII, Macau. Yes, we are talking about Abhishek ‘alwaysdegen’ Kumar, the 26-year old IIT Delhi graduate who found his passion in poker and pursued it as a profession after finishing college.
In our exclusive column – Gen P- The next generation of Online Poker, we introduce you to a young, smiling and passionate poker face and this week we caught up with Abhishek. He shares his love for the game, his journey so far and his ambitions as a professional poker player.
|Fav place to play online Poker||PokerStars|
|Fav poker game format||Texas Holdem|
|Fav poker hand||89ss|
|Poker Earnings||$182,773 (Online), $7,510 (Live)|
Q1 To start with, can you tell us when did you start playing poker? Basically your poker journey till date..
Abhishek – I started playing poker 2 years back with zynga poker on facebook. Then later, I started to notice the ongoing ultra-micro stakes cash games that used to run at my hostel. With the poor records I was holding at that time and less funds to play I started grinding online on PokerStars with a small deposit of $50 that I somehow arranged with great difficulty and managed to lose it in one single night.
Now that was the moment I felt this is the time to quit poker and focus on studies but I still used to grind a lot online. I used to play all the freerolls on almost all the sites that were running and all sorts of quizzes to get some bankroll. In few weeks I made some bankroll from freerolls and started grinding more often and started giving insane volumes.
From there things started to change. I was doing really well at micro MTTs and was making some good scores. Since then I never looked back and tried to grab each and every opportunity that came my way and still trying to do far better.
Q2 How much poker do you play?
Abhishek – While I’m at my place where I grind a lot online around 10-15 hrs a day. When I am travelling, I don’t usually play much online and focus on my live tourneys or cash games. On an average I travel once a month for tournaments.
Q3 What has been some of your biggest achievement in poker till date? How do you rank them?
Abhishek – Online I have made a couple of decent scores including the FT of special edition Sunday Millions for a 7th place finish and a few BIG and hotter shipments. Coming to live tournaments, I made a 2nd place finish in 2k HKD event in ACOP Platinum series at city of dreams, Macau.
The Sunday millions FT was my biggSunday millions FT was my biggest achievement till date not just because of the payout but also because of the excitement that this weekly tournament brings and after all it was a special edition with crazy payouts and field.
Q4 Are you working somewhere? Or, how did you transform your career?
Abhishek – I am not working full time anywhere but doing some part time investments and a couple of startups with friends.
Q5 How does your family feel about you playing Poker?
Abhishek – They didn’t take it well actually. They still think i am doing some sort of gambling. I won’t say it was easy, but it is a must to fearlessly take it up with them, for every aspiring player. Lately, they have started to cooperate and now they know most of my scores and tournaments.
Q6 Who do you idolize in Poker, both in India and Internationally?
Abhishek – My poker idols in India and internationally are Aditya Agarwal and Greg Merson, Daniel Cates and Ben Tollerene.
Q7 What do you do when not playing Poker?
Abhishek – When I am not playing poker I am usually chilling out with friends or play guitar or go out for snooker.
Q8 What is your one Poker dream?
Abhishek – My poker dream…to become a reg at the nosebleed stakes played online and make some serious money….lol and also the WSOP FINAL TABLE !!
Q9 What should be done to promote poker in India?
Abhishek – There has already been a lot of promotion done for poker in India and I think all those who want to play poker or are aspiring to play need to have as much poker space as is possible both live and online with some serious fluency and ease in cash in and cash outs. The most important issue in India is about the ease of transactions for cash outs which needs to addressed.