He sits atop the PocketFives India rankings out of 284 Indian players and has won 46 online tourneys till date. Winning The Bigger $11 on PokerStars fetched his highest online cash figure of $20,667. Still a student, he has won over $65,000 in tournament winnings (online & live combined). He lives in UK and takes time out of his schedule to play online as well live poker. Meet Anmol in “Heads Up With OPN” as he shares his poker journey so far and his ambitions as a poker player.
Q1. To start with, tell us when did you start playing poker and your poker journey till date.
Anmol – I started playing when I was 15-16, after much pleading with my dad, he agreed to give me $10 to play online, with the agreement that if I lost it I would have to stop for 6 months. I lost it. After 6 months, he refused to give me more, so I had to grind freerolls. I finally earned a ticket to the weekly round 2 with 5k people on Pokerstars, and won it for $300, since then I’ve been on a swingy upward trajectory.
Q2. How much poker do you play?
Anmol – I don’t play every day, but I try to play on Sundays at least. However, I play 7 days a week, 15 hour sessions, 12-20 tabling at times.
Q3. What has been some of your biggest achievement in poker till date? How do you rank them?
Anmol – Winning the weekly round 2, my first win. Winning 2.6k in a 2+R on FTP, my first big win. Winning the big 11 for 20k, my biggest win. Winning around 30k playing high stakes hyper turbo SNGs, and recently doing well on Pokerstars tlb and Pocketfives’ plb leaderboard. I have also made some money playing live, but don’t rate that much since the standard of play is much lower. I am most proud of winning the big 11, and winning money in the high stakes hypers against some legendary grinders such as jorj95 or scossett.
Q4. What do you do other than playing poker? How do you balance things?
Anmol – I’m mainly a student, but play a lot of poker on the side, and play full time on Sundays and during vacations. The key to me doing well was putting in lots of volume when things were going well, and studying more when things were going badly.
Q5. Does your family support you playing poker?
Anmol – They were not happy about it at first, but have starting to accept it off-late.
Q6. Who do you idolize in Poker, both in India and Internationally?
Anmol – My first idol was Phil Hellmuth (lol). Then, Daniel Negreanu, then durrrr, then Phil Galfond. I don’t have an idol at the moment, as I feel you can learn something from everyone (including Phil Hellmuth), but my favourite player at the moment is Fedor Holz, watching his training videos on Run It Once, he seems unbelievably good. I don’t know much about the India poker community, as I developed my game in isolation.
Q7. What do you do when not playing Poker?
Anmol – I like to sleep a lot. Then I have my studies and I watch TV or hang out with friends.
Q8. What are your poker plans for 2016?
Anmol – In 2016, I want to practice good Bankroll Management. I also want to play some live tournaments, such as WSOPs, EPTs and UKIPTs, though will need to run good and play well online for this to happen 🙂
Q9. What is your one Poker dream?
Anmol – I wouldn’t mind travelling the world for a few years grinding big live tournaments.
Q10. What should be done to promote poker in India?
Anmol – Make me a team PokerStars pro 😉 I think generally the maths aspect of the game should be emphasized more, since India has a population which is naturally talented at maths, and our talent isn’t always well paid, so they might see poker as a viable career option. For this reason, I think in the next 5-10 years, we’ll see a lot of grinders coming out of India.