Sharad Rao is one of the emerging stars in Indian poker circuit. An ex-student of MIT Manipal, who got into poker during his college days, has won several accolades in online poker. He is a very consistent online poker player and has claimed several big scores at the virtual felt over the year, including various big tourney wins and several ITM finishes.
Recently, Sharad Rao won ‘ Fly to Vegas’ trip on Adda52.com. OPN India decided to speak to him about his wins, ambitions, and plans for future. Here are some excerpts:
1.Hi Sharad, thanks for your conversation with us. Firstly, congratulations on winning the ‘ Fly to Vegas’ held in January 2017! For our readers who don’t know much about you, please tell us how and when you got into poker?
SR– Cheers, the dream is real haha J. Well, I got into poker 3 years back when I was in my third year of the college where I picked the game off some friends. The strategy part of the game caught my interest.
2.Coming back to Adda52 Fly to Vegas, how does it feel after winning this exclusive tournament?
SR– To be honest, it was a pretty tough field and it feels good to best that field. Luck had it my way and I am the one flying to Vegas, shouting out to everyone who made it to the finale. It was a grind for all the qualifiers.
3.How did you qualify for the ‘Fly to Vegas Tournament’?
SR– By accumulating the required loyalty points.
4.In Fly to Vegas Tournament, you have been a tough performer. Can your describe which hand was your turning point in this tournament?
SR– Well I was the chip lead (CL) throughout the Final table. I think I just had a very sweet spot to win, given my chip advantage over others. I play MMTs for a living and have been in that spot a lot of times before. So, that helped me as well.
5.How was the game playing experience when top five players were left at the final table? Could you describe the final hand which won you this tournament?
SR– To be honest, it was pretty smooth. On the final hand, I jammed 14 odd big with A7 into Pranay’s QTs and held my hand. Really, running good in the key spots is the secret to win at poker.
6.Have you prepared your Vegas wishlist yet? How are you going to celebrate your trip to Vegas?
SR– To be honest, it hasn’t sunk in yet but going to finalize my schedule soon. Vegas is a tough and hectic grind with 13-15 hours every day. I will make sure I don’t over-push myself.
7.Talking about Manipal, many players are coming from there. Please talk about Manipal Poker Circuit.
SR– Manipal is magic. There is something special about that place. The poker community has been crushing in and out and everyone is super supportive of each other and root for their success, which is pretty sweet.
8.Have your ever played any international live poker tournament?
SR- Na, Vegas is gonna be my first trip.
9.What other activities do you enjoy when not playing poker?
SR– Reading, swimming and spending time with people I appreciate in my life.
10.You started playing actively on Adda52.com since last year. How has been your playing experience on the site? Any suggestions for Adda52.com to improve its game playing experience for poker players?
SR– I think, the site has pretty clean management, which is a must, according to me. I think Adda52.com does a great job by offering the bonuses and promotions. Trying to get fresh faces in poker is what we should be targeting and I know they have a pretty talented team for marketing. So, I really love the direction the site is headed to.