Latest WPT India 2018 festival drew over 1800 entries and distributed over INR 6 Crores in prizes!
The WPT India festival debuted at Deltin Royale in Goa last year and it went on to become a grand success with over 1400 entries, including 527 in the Main Event alone. However, this year WPT India series turned out to be a historic one as it broke previous records. The festival running from 13th to 19th November drew over 1800 entries and distributed more than INR 6 Crores in prizes. This year’s biggest highlight was once again the 55K Main Event and it was a resounding success. The mega event drew 697 entries, the highest number ever in the poker tournaments history of India.
Over the course of one week, hundreds of players sat at the tables to battle it out for titles, trophies, and a portion of attractive prize pools. The festival featured a total of 8 exciting events, with buy-ins ranging from just INR 7K and going to INR 55K for the Main Event and INR 100K for the High Roller. Mumbai-based high stakes cash game player Nikunj Jhunjhunwala emerged as the champion of the Main Event to win whopping INR 66,35,000 and become the biggest winner of the series.
Here is a look at the big winners at this year’s edition of the popular tournament poker festival:
WPT India 2018 20K Kickoff NLHE (#Event 1)
The opening event – 20K Kickoff NLH took place from 13th to 14th November. The event drew as many as 201 entries to generate a whopping INR 3,801,312 in prizepool. The top 26 finishers received a share of the prize pool, with min-cashes starting from a cool INR 28,400.
Chennai Pro Aditya Sushant topped the field for a first-place prize of INR 9,35,000. He emerged as the winner after a heads-up with Abhishek Grover. The latter received INR 6,49,000 for his runner-up finish. Adda52 Team Pro – Kunal Patni finished 3rd for INR 3,89,700.
Sushant’s best live cash $75,319 came in June 2017 when he, along with Nipun Java, won the WSOP Tag Teams Event and became the first Indian to win a WSOP gold bracelet. With his win in Kickoff, he took his total live poker tournament earnings to a whopping $561,789.
WPT India 2018 35K Superstack NLHE (#Event 2)
The second of eighth events on the schedule was 35K Superstack NLH Event, again a two-day event that ran from 14th to 15th November and drew 215 entries to generate INR 7,115,640. Top 27 finishers made money, with min-cashes starting from INR 53,000. The lion’s share went to Abhishek Jalan, the founder of poker stable Ace Jack who beat Pavan Jain in heads-up to take home a hefty INR 17,29,000. Jain settled for an impressive INR 12,00,000 for finishing 2nd.
The victory in this year’s Superstack NLH came as another testament to Jalan’s poker skills. The player, who finished runner-up in the WPT India Ship IT NLH last year, finally won his first WPT title. The player is one of the most respectable pros on the Indian circuit and has won several notable scores. This win gave Jalan his career-best INR 17,29,000 (about $ 24,029).
WPT India 25K Big Bounty NLHE (#Event 3)
16th November was a busy day at Deltin Royale, for not only did the 25K Big Bounty NLH come to a close, the much-awaited 55K Main Event of the WPT India 2018 also got off to a roaring start. The Big Bounty crossed last year’s 128-entry mark, registering 276 entries and generating INR 34.88 Lac in prizepool. Top 35 players made money with min-cashes starting from INR 25K.
Outlasting the strong field was Alok Birewar, who bagged his career-first WPT title for INR 7,80,000 after beating his heads-up mate Sanjay Taneja who settled for INR 5,49,600. Currently sitting at 45th position in India All Time Money List, Birewar is a talented player. He has bagged several notable scores before, including his DPT February 2018 High Roller win, which gave him his best live score INR 17,74,000. With this victory, he took his live earnings to $105,377.
WPT India 2018 55K Main Event (#Event 4)
The showstopper was the 55K Main Event (16th to 19th November), which went on to break its previous record of 527 entries, setting a new record with 697 entries. After four days of intense battles, Mumbai’s high-stakes cash game player Nikunj Jhunjhunwala managed to beat the massive field to emerge as the biggest winner at the series. He took home INR 66.35 Lac after beating his heads-up mate Sahil Mahboobani who eventually settled for INR 46.53 Lac.
Jhunjhunwala had 3 previous cashes totaling about $53,000 in prize money and all these cashes came in India. His latest win has moved him up to 29th place on India’s all-time tournament money list, which is headed by Vivek Rajkumar with over $4.4 million in live earnings. With his grand Main Event win, Jhunjhunwala takes his total live earnings to $145,809. Motivated by his latest poker achievement, the player is now eyeing the WSOP main title ahead.
WPT India 2018 SHIP IT NLHE (Event#5)
The 5th event of the series took place on 17th November and drew 110 entries. Top 11 players made money with a min-cash of INR 21,400. The lion’s share went to the eventual winner Sacheen Ramchandani who won his first-ever WPT title for INR 2,35,000. He beat Mayank Jaggi in heads-up, who took home INR 1,41,000 for his runner-up finish in the tournament.
WPT India 2018 20K Shootout NLHE (#Event 6)
While the eyes were on the Main Event, the side events too drew commendable attention. The 20K Shootout NLH event on 18th November, which replaced the last year’s PLO event, drew 50 entries. Pratik Goel emerged as the champion and claimed his maiden WPT title for a payday of INR 3.87 Lac. He reached heads-up with Navkiran Singh, who fought well but could not go all the way, eventually finishing 2nd for INR 2,36,400. Top 5 players made money in this event with a min-cash of INR 75,600 going to Abhishek Rathod who finished 5th place in the event.
WPT India 2018 100K High Roller (#Event 7)
Running from 18th to 19th November, the 100K High Roller was the biggest buy-in event and taking down the title was Hyderabad-native Kalyan Chakravarthy. He outlasted 142 entries to emerge as the new WPT India High Roller champion. A total of INR 13,427,520 prizepool generated and was shared by top 18 finishers with a min-cash of INR 245,000. The lion’s share went to Chakravarthy who beat Adda52 Celebrity Pro Minissha Lamba in heads-up to win a whopping INR 37.53 Lac. Lamba took home INR 23.63 Lac for her runner-up finish.
Chakravarthy has been in great form this year. He 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, he 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.
WPT India 2018 20K Megastack Turbo NLHE (#Event 8)
The biggest extravaganza of the year – WPT India 2018 concluded with 20K Megastack Turbo NLH event on 19th November. The concluding event crowned a champion in New Delhi-based pro Siddarth Singhvi. Dominating a field of 99 entries, Singhvi made his way to the top and clinched his maiden WPT title for INR 5.71 Lac after beating Anant Purohit in heads-up. A total of 13 players walked away with prizemoney in this event, with a min-cash of INR 46,780.
With this win, Singhvi took his live earnings to $58,903. Currently sitting at 76th in India All Time Money List, he got his best cash when he finished 2nd at 2015 IPC High Roller for $18,748.