Nishant Sharma & Abhinav Iyer On Their First WSOP Trip To Vegas!

The biggest extravaganza – WSOP is already underway and a large Indian contingent is attending it this time. The good news is that there are a lot of poker players from India who are making their first trip to Las Vegas, including the budding talents – Nishant Sharma and Abhinav Iyer from Mumbai city. We caught up with them to know about their thoughts and plans for the WSOP 2018.

Nishant Sharma

Hailing from Mumbai, Nishant Sharma is an emerging poker player. A post-graduate in Event Management, he has been playing poker for over 1.5 years now and has gained reputation notching up several big scores across online and live poker tournaments in India as well as abroad.

The Mumbai Anchors Pro has won several online events along with notable live scores at DPT, WPT India, Macau Millions and APT events. He scooped his best score $ 8,423 in 2017 at HK$ 2,700 + 300 No Limit Hold’em (Event #10) at MPC 27 in Macau. The same year, he finished runner-up for $ 4,195 at the DPT PLO event in July 2017. He was second runner-up at Deep Stack Turbo (Event 14) – APT Macau 2017. Like every player, his dream was WSOP. Here he talks about his first trip to Vegas.

OPN: It is your first WSOP trip to Vegas. What does it mean to you?

Sharma: “Yeah, it is the first time for me. WSOP is every poker player’s dream and it’s the pinnacle of poker. Since it’s the ultimate dream of every player, I’ve seen a lot of players including me skipping WSOP 1-2 times before they finally go and when they feel they are ready for it, so that shows how much it means to everyone. I think, it will be one hell of experience, irrespective of how it goes”

OPN: The list of WSOP events is huge. What events are you planning to play?

Sharma: Well, I’m going to play approximately 20 side events, which include Little One Drop to Double Stack to Monster Stack and the big one WSOP Main Event. 
OPN: What are you looking forward to the most at WSOP 2018?

Sharma: “Of course, it has to be the Main Event of WSOP.”

OPN: Finally, your 5 ideas to approach WSOP as a first-timer?

  1. Firstly, prepare yourself for WSOP. If you are a PLO grinder, then detox it and just play and work on your MTT game for at least 15 days prior to WSOP.
  2. Be selective and select only tourneys, which suit your gameplay and you are comfortable at.
  3. There will be more than 15-20 tourneys happening there and one can easily get carried away, so control your emotions.
  4. Take a break- there will be tourneys happening every day with some crazy GTDs. So, don’t exhaust yourself by playing each and every day and take a break after 5-6 days or after any big deep run.
  5. Carry 0 emotions- Before I go for the live series, I think as that I’ve already bricked the series. It might sound very negative, but trust me, it’s the best way to approach it and it helps me to have 0 emotions while playing and focus is only on playing optimally.

Abhinav Iyer

 The 24-year-old is a well-grounded player from Mumbai. Like many others in India, he started playing poker during his college days. Later, he moved to Australia to pursue his Masters in Sports.  There he moved up in stakes and was putting in more volume on the cash tables. His success and fascination for the game forced him to quit his job and he started playing poker professionally.

Iyer is already back in India and has been enjoying his poker journey. In April this year, he finished 4th at DPT Super High Roller Event 2018, notching up his career-best score of $ 16,294. The same month, he made 2 final table finishes at Macau Millions, finishing  4th at HK$ 7,200 + 800 No Limit Hold’em (Event #3) and 9th at HK$ 2,250 + 250 No Limit Hold’em – Deepstack (Event #14). The Goan Nuts Pro is also playing on various poker sites in India and has already earned a name for himself. Known as ‘checkshove’ on, he has made it to the final table of Adda52’s Big Millions.

Now Iyer is aiming for a bigger thing – WSOP 2018. And here he talks about the same.

OPN: How excited are you to compete at the WSOP series for the first time?

Iyer: A little nervous and very excited. I’m sure, it’s going to be an unreal experience!

OPN: What events will you be playing there at WSOP 2018?

Iyer: I’m playing a few WSOP MTTs at the Rio and my schedule has a lot more in the other casinos. Some big events on my schedule are Millionaire Maker, Monster Stack, Main Event, Venetian 3.5K, etc.

OPN: What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s WSOP?

Iyer: It’s going to be an unreal experience to play the WSOP Main Event. I’m looking forward to that!

OPN: Finally, your 5 ideas to approach WSOP as a first-timer?

Iyer: I could probably answer that after my first trip to Vegas.