Raj Talwar has taken down the largest-ever India Poker Championship (IPC) main event! The Pune player overcame a record turnout of 777 entries (390 from1A and 387 from 1B) to win the INR 35K Main Event, securing his first-ever live poker title and his career-best score of a hefty INR 49,25,775.
With a record field of 777 entries, the IPC Main Event comfortably decimated 697-entry record set at the WPT India Main Event last year and generated a whopping prizepool of INR 2.65 Crores. The prizepool was eventually shared by the top 86 finishers with a min-cash being INR 65,900. While the latest IPC Main Event broke attendance records for a Main Event in India, the WPT India Main Event still remains the largest poker tournament in terms of prizepool with INR 3.62 Crores prizepool.
Coming back to Talwar, he has been playing poker since 2011 and has scored as many as 6 FT finishes in domestic tournaments, including 3 final table scores in the Main Events. He has been missing from the circuit since 2017. His last recorded cash was in the DPT February 2017 Kickoff event where he had finished 34th for INR 14,160. His previous best score had also come from a Main Event and it was $7,722 for his runner-up finish in the INR 25K Main Event at the 2011 PokerGuru Tour December Edition, Goa. With his latest IPC Main Event, he took his live earnings to around $85k.
Day 2 of this historic event began with 159 players in contention for winning the top prize of INR 49.25 Lac. Top 86 were assured payouts with a min-cash of INR 65,900. The first player to finish ITM was Anshuman Pandey (86th). Some notables who finished in the money were Gaurav Gupta (22nd for INR 1.87 Lac), Anant Purohit (26th for INR 1.58 Lac), Day 1A chip leader Awnish Singh (30th for INR 1.29 Lac), Zarvan Tumboli (33rd for INR 1.29 Lac), Rajat Sharma (39th for INR 1.13 Lac),Kartik Ved (54th for INR 1 Lac), Mukesh Surana (57th for INR 89,700), DPT February 2017 High Roller Champ Manoj Pentakota (60th for INR 89,700) and Aditya ‘Bitti’ Agarwal (84th for INR 65,900).
Eliminations then continued and the final table bubble was reached during level 29 with Anshul Bagai finishing 10th for INR 4.08 Lac. Bagai was eliminated by the eventual runner-up Ayush Garg who started the 9-handed FT as the chip leader with 5,870,000 chips.The first bust-out from the FT came in the latest IPC 10K Freezeout 5th place finisher Kavish Kukreja whose pocket queens could not hold against AQ of Ashish Ahuja who found a pair of aces to eliminate Kukreja in the 9th place.
The next two players were eliminated by the eventual champion Raj Talwar who had started the final table as one of the shortest stacks with 1,590,000 chips. First, he busted Pulkit Goyal in 8th place. Pulkit held Kc Ah and Talwar had Ad Jd and both players had their chips in the pot. The board ran out 7h 8s Ts Jc 9d, sending Goyal out of the tournament in 8th place. His next victim was Dinesh Singh who exited in 7th place. Talwar had As Kd against Ad Qd and he had called Singh’s shove of 1.5 million.The 3s Tc 3c 7s 6d board missed both players and Raj won it with higher kicker.
A little later, Ayush Garg scored double elimination of Ashish Ahuja and Sam Anand. Ahuja shoved with As Ks and Anand called with Ad Kd . Garg who had them both covered called with pocket queens. The board ran 2d 8c 9c 10d 2s, eliminating Anand (6th) and Ahuja (5th) from the final table.
Finishing in 4th place was Sanket Arora who ran his Ad 5c into Kc Jd of Ayush Garg. Down to the three-handed play, it was Garg who led the way with 10.6 million chips and following him in chips was none other than the 2018 WPT Vietnam Main Event champion Dhaval Mudgal who held 7 million chips. While Mudgal was clearly one of the most experienced players among the remaining three, his run came to an end in 3rd place and he was eliminated by none other than the eventual champ Raj Talwar. Pre-flop, Mudgal shoved 5.1 million with pocket threes and was called by Talwar who had As 5h. The board ran Ks 10c 2s Ac 10s, giving Talwar two pairs to bust Mudgal in 3rd place.
The heads-up battle lasted for less than an hour and eventually it was Raj Talwar who emerged victorious. The last hand of the tournament saw Garg (Qc 2d) shoving all-in 5.3 Million and Talwar called with Ah 3d. The board ran out 10c 6h Jd Kd 10s, giving Talwar the pot as well as the title.
Final Table Payouts (INR):
- Raj Talwar – INR 49,25,775
- Ayush Garg – INR 34,53,900
- Dhaval Mudgal – INR 22,27,100
- Sanket Arora – INR 16,31,300
- Ashish Ahuja – INR 12,46,900*
- Sam Anand – INR 9,95,100*
- Dinesh Singh – INR 8,24,200
- Pulkit Goyal – INR 6,56,000
- Kavish Kukreja – INR 4,92,600