The WPT India is India’s richest and biggest extravaganza that promises a host of exciting poker tournaments. It draws the best poker pros from all over India, along with some well-known pros from overseas nations. This year, the festival saw record-breaking numbers with 1800+ runners (697 in Main Event alone) coming to celebrate their favourite game and entering a host of exciting events featured on the schedule. One of the key highlights at the series was the WPT India 2018 100K High Roller, which drew a strong 142-entry field and outlasting that field was Kalyan Chakravarthy.
Chakravarthy, who started the final table as the chip leader, continued his momentum eliminating one player after the other. The Hyderabad native reached heads-up play with Adda52 Celebrity Pro Minissha Lamba whose tournament journey came to an end when her KQ lost to Chakravarthy’s AQ. Minissha settled for INR 23.63 Lac, while Chakravarthy took home INR 37.53 Lac for his win.
Chakravarthy has been in amazing form this year. The player has been consistently posting scores, both live as well as online. After a runner-up finish in the HK$18,000 NLHE Doupai Cup Main Event for INR 54,68,434 in February and a 7th-place finish in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau HK$20K NLHE Deepstack for INR 9,42,356 in March, Chakravarthy took down the Venetian DCPS 2018 $600 NLH Monster Stack at The Venetian (Las Vegas) in July for a career-best $147,233 (INR 1.01 Crore). That is not all, the player also won the very first Big Millions hosted by Adda52 on 4th March. With this win, he picked up his first WPT title, along with INR 37.53 lac to his bankroll.
Now in an exclusive chat, Chakravarthy talks to us about his WPT India 2018 100K High Roller win, his journey, WPT Team and the rail boosting his energy during crucial stages. Here are excerpts:
OPN: Hi Chakravarthy, a big congratulation as you continue to post big scores this year! Now how does it feel to win WPT India 2018 100K High Roller event?
Chakravarthy: Thanks a lot! It feels really great to take down the WPT India High roller event.
OPN: How tough was the field? Could you share your tournament journey?
Chakravarthy: The field was mix up of poker pros and recreationals. So, Day 1 started with a few pros as most of them were running deep on Day 2 of the main event, which helped the other regs to easily chip up. By the Day 1 end, I had 3 times the starting stack and double the average stack for Day 2.
On day 2, I was choosing my spots wisely and was chipping up slowly as I already had a decent stack, and when around 23 people were left, I got a huge double up in a hand where I became chip leader. I started applying bubble pressure and was picking up lot of pots. I won a good pot as well where I got lucky with AT vs AJ when around 11 people were left. After that hand, I had a huge chip lead.
OPN: Coming to the final table that had several pros, how tough was it to get through it?
Chakravarthy: It was more of a smooth drive when it came to FT as I was already having more than 35% chips in play. I needed not to do much other than holding my chips and I was running good in all my flips. However, when there were around 3 people, I had lost a good pot to Minissha Lamba with my 88 vs K6 where she clipped a king. My stack was down to 2.4 million, she had around 1.9 million and Amit Ajwani had around 700k, that’s where I got little cautious. Then, there came a hand where she (Lamba) lost a decent chunk of her chips again to me and I became a chip leader again.
OPN: You beat Adda52 Celebrity Pro Minissha Lamba in HU. Tell us about your heads-up with her.
Chakravarthy: Finally, Amit got eliminated by my AA vs his AJ and by the time it was heads up I had around 4:1 chip lead favouring me a lot and finally I beat her (Lamba) KQ vs my AQ to win the pot as well as the title. I am really glad to run hot and she was so cool on the final table cracking some jokes and making everyone laugh. She kept the final table lively, so it was really good fun playing with her.
OPN: A lot of new players are joining in and the turn-outs at big events like WPT India are increasing every year. How do you see live poker 2 years down the line?
Chakravarthy: The WPT India numbers have increased significantly compared to last year and that itself shows sign of how well poker is growing with time. I am really glad the way the poker sites are coming up with various promotions and tournaments to promote poker and also give many people a chance to do what they wanted. So, I see a huge growth in poker 2 years down the line.
OPN: Your views on the structure of this particular high roller tournament?
Chakravarthy: Yeah, structure was good but it would have been even better with 1 hour levels as that gives more edge for better players. But yeah, I hope the WPT team does whatever best suits the players interest within the limitations they have. Moreover, I have heard it’s been far better compared to last time. So, I am sure, it would be even better for next time with all the players interests included. Well done and cheers!
OPN: Finally, any words for new players, your rail and WPT India Team?
Chakravarthy: For newcomers, I would suggest to stay disciplined & healthy and keep working on your game. A big thank to my rail – Kranthi Kumar, Deepak Bothra, Rana, Phanidra, Ratul Steves, Siddarth Singhvi, Naresh and a few others. And thanks to WPT India Team, specially to Danny and Manish Adnani. Danny is a great guy and is always ready to answer anything you have despite being in between lot of things and Manish Adnani as well, so special thanks to them. Cheers.