Poker Experts On How To Win First-Ever National Poker Championship (NPC)

Just 2 days left for the first-ever National Poker Championship (NPC) on Adda52! The much-awaited tournament promising a whopping INR 1 Crore guarantee at just INR 25,00 buy-in kicks off on 4th April and runs till 7th April. The preparations are going on a war footing stage at the moment – How are you preparing yourself to navigate through the 4-day event featuring three flights?

With an expected field of 4000 + entries, the NPC will be a big show unlike anything you could have played before. For a first-timer, it can all feel a bit surreal. A significant number of players in this event will be coming via state qualifiers and online satellites. This means hundreds of the players in the big show will be there for their first time. If you are a new player or even an experienced one playing a large field event for the first time, surviving and navigating through the huge field of the NPC is not going to be easy, as there will be so many top pros and tough players in action.

To help you know how to survive and navigate through the large field of the NPC , I am sharing some words of wisdom from our poker champions – Adda52 Team Pro Kunal Patni, 2018 WSOP Main Event best Indian finisher Nishant Sharma, WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant, recent DPT 65K High Roller champion Abhishek Goindi and Abhishek Garg, who took down several big tournaments in 2018 and ended the year as one of the most profitable players on Adda52.

Kunal Patni

Currently ranked 7th in India All Time Money List, Adda52 Team Pro Kunal Patni is one of the most experienced players in the country with numerous cashes and several big wins under his belt. Holding  $426,434 in live earnings, Patni is a poker champion and has won the 2014 APPT HK$ 2,500 NLH Rebuy Championship for HK$ 176,20 and the 2016 DPT 15K PLO for INR 252,300. His best cash came when he finished 2nd in the WPT Berlin Main Event for $115,819. Here is what he has to advise:

  1. Sleep well and take good rest before starting the National Poker Championship as it will be a long grind. On the first day, you play 30 levels of 10 minutes each.
  2. Play the tournament from the start. If you have the patience and feel comfortable playing deepstack, then the early stages of the tournaments are the easiest spots to accumulate chips.
  3. Play tight / solid aggressive poker during the initial stages of the tournament. There is no point trying to make fancy moves.
  4. Remember, you can only lose a tournament in the initial stages and never win it. The point here is that a lot of people go crazy trying to double / triple their stack in the first level and just go insane. The CL of the tournament at the end of level 1 has probably never ever won that tournament.
  5. You need to have a lot of patience during the tournament as it will have a large number of entries and you need to navigate through them to emerge as the final winner.
  6. Remember that this tournament will have a lot of recreational players playing as compared to the normal weekly tournaments. Hence, you need to adjust your game accordingly. Never try and bluff a recreational player. He is never going to fold his top pair.
  7. Fire multiple bullets on Day1A / 1B and 1C as the buy in is very affordable at only 2500 and the total guarantee of the tournament is huge at 1 Cr.
  8. However, do the above keeping your bankroll in mind. No point playing beyond your bankroll and realising suddenly that you are broke.
  9. Please and I repeat ‘please’ stop looking at your stack size and comparing the same with the average stack / biggest stack of the tournament. You are only harming yourself. All that is needed is 1-2 hands for things to turn around. This is true for all tournaments in general.

Nishant Sharma

Currently holding $297,427 in live earnings, Nishant Sharma is a big name on India’s current poker landscape. He created big headlines when ended as the best Indian finisher at the 2018 WSOP Main Event and claimed his best score of $230,475. We approached the player for tips on how to survive and navigate through the large field tournaments like NPC and he came up with the following tips:

  1. Plan your buy-ins and divide it if it’s a multi-day tourney like National Poker Championship (NPC). Always remember, the last day of any multi-day tourney will be the softest, so if you’re planning to fire maximum 4 bullets, then go for one bullet each on Day 1A & 1B and two for Day 1C.
  1. Be solid or aggro player but never ever be a nit in MTTs. Trust me, you’ll make less money compared to the other two.
  1. Expect regular players to go hard in this tourney with almost unlimited re-entries in their arsenal, so maybe you can hero call or two
  1. At last, you have reached FT of NPC after dodging all those bullets but don’t start dreaming about the first-place and what you’ll do with that crazy money. This will only put more pressure on you and you’ll make lot of mistakes. So, instead be thankful for reaching FT and play your best poker.
  1. Play #BinaDare. See you guys on the table.

Aditya Sushant

Currently ranked 5th in India’s All Time Money List, Sushant is one of the most successful poker players in India with tons of big scores in his name. Holding an $621,369 in total live earnings, he created big headlines when he, along with Nipun Java, took down the 2017 WSOP Tag Team Event to earn the first WSOP gold bracelet for India. When asked about his tips for navigating through the NPC field, he said, “Play as many as bankroll supports since it is a small buy-in and big guarantee event. Luck is always required to run deep in big fields but one just have to focus on playing to the best of one’s ability.”

Abhishek Goindi

Hailing from Bangalore, Goindi is one of the earliest poker players in India. He has been one of the most consistent players and has won several tournaments till date. He won the first-ever Indian Player of the Year (IPOY) award in 2011 and then went on to win several domestic tournaments. It is also worth a mention that he was the only Indian to finish runner-up in the 2012 Macau Poker Cup HK$11,000 NLH Red Dragon Main Event and earn a massive $136,245 (INR 96,97,306), his best cash.

Holding $291,687 in live earnings, the player has three big high roller wins under his name. Recently in February, he won DPT 65K High Roller at the DPT February 2019 for INR 14,50,000. His biggest High Roller cash came when he won the ₱ 100,000 + 8,000 buy-in High Roller for $39,773 at the APT Manila in 2012. The same year, he won the INR 1 Lac buy-in Indian Poker legend tournament for almost INR 16 Lac. Sharing his advice for the young and new players playing the NPC, he said, “Don’t be in a hurry to build your stack! Play each hand differently and look at what’s the best option in that. Remember, you can’t win the tournament on the first day, you can definitely lose on the first day.”

Abhishek Garg

Garg is again a poker champion. He has been one of the most consistent players on Adda52. He ended the year 2018 as one of the most profitable players on Adda52. Sharing his advice for the new players playing the NPC on Adda52, he said, According to me, a player should play all 3 flights of day 1 so as to take the biggest stack into day 2. This is a huge tournament with a life-changing money on top. So, the players should aim for that rather than looking for min-cashing or small pay-jumps. So, be aggressive and play a fearless game. Wishing good luck to all the players for NPC ahead! This will be a dream tournament for many new players and hopefully some of them will fulfill their dreams by running deep.”

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