In Conversation With The AOPS Godfather Champion – Naresh Veeravalli

The past three days have been predominantly about the Adda52 Online Poker Series (AOPS), the flagship offering by India’s no.1 poker site – The 11-day extravaganza boasts a whopping INR 7 Crore GTD prizepool plus a 15 Lac leaderboard. The series started on April 2 and it got off to a flying start with all 6 tourneys on its first day schedule drawing massive turnouts and crushing their respective guarantees. The most prominent event on the first day schedule was the 30 Lac GTD AOPS Godfather that saw a stacked field comprising of some of the biggest names in the business. Coming out on top was the Hyderabad-based pro – Naresh Veeravalli, who bested a large field of 896 entries to take down the event for a hefty INR 10.30 Lac, his best score on

Veeravalli faced tough competition on the final table where he eventually came up against a tough opponent in Ashish ‘rocky3705’ Ahuja, who did exceptionally well but it was ultimately the in-form Veeravalli who prevailed to win the title, while Ahuja banked INR 5.91 Lac for his runner-up finish.

Also Read: AOPS Day 2: Goonjan Mall, Meherzad Munsaf, Aditya Kulkarni & Chirag Bhardwaj Dominate Friday Events!

Veeravalli is a live cash game reg but has been putting in a lot of volume playing online MTTs especially after the lockdown. He has been unstoppable of late and has already won several tourneys. Some of his recent exploits include winning Adda52 Millions AF, Hexagram and AOPS Godfather that he shipped this past Thursday night and kicked off the AOPS on a very high note.

We had a chat with Veeravalli about his AOPS Godfather victory, his spectacular run, his introduction to the sport, poker players he looks up to, his grind routine and a lot more. Here are the excerpts:

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OPN: Hi Veeravalli, thanks for speaking to us! How does it feel to win the AOPS Godfather?

Veeravalli: Obviously, it is a great feeling. It was a tough field…so great feeling to win it.

OPN: How was the field and your overall experience in the marquee tournament?

Veeravalli: The field got tougher as the tournament progressed. The FT was a tough one with well-known pros but I built an early chip lead and was able to apply maximum pressure to finally win it.

OPN: Of late, you have been killing it online. Your comment on the spectacular run?

Veeravalli: Well, the lockdown has provided ample time to study and be focussed. Hence, the scores are coming my way.

OPN: Coming back to your AOPS Godfather win, your heads-up rival was Ashish Ahuja, one of the best in the business. What was it like playing against such a solid pro?

Veeravalli: Ashish is a formidable and very tough opponent and one of the best talents in the country. In heads-up with him, I was able to hold due to the big chip lead. He got a couple of double-ups and then I took few chips back. Finally, he jammed his last 13bb with QJ and I called with K8ss, which held.

OPN: Besides the Godfather, you were also in the hunt for the title in the AOPS 11th HR PKO. You were nearly there but ultimately finished runner-up. Please tell about your run in that event?

Veeravalli: It was a fun event. I was playing on the side and went deep in that as well. I was focused more on the AOPS Godfather, so I made a few mistakes especially when I was in the heads-up.

OPN: What are your thoughts on AOPS? Upcoming AOPS events you are looking forward to the most?

Veeravalli: Overall, the numbers have been great across all poker sites due to the lockdown and more influx of new players. Adda52 has done a good job with new tax system in play, which is very valuable to high volume players. The AOPS is a great series and amazing value for players. I’m looking forward to all the major events in the AOPS, especially the Mega Suits & the Main Event.

OPN: Tell us a little about your poker journey. And who are the players you look up to?

Veeravalli: I started playing in 2007 in the US recreationally and began playing full time in 2011 after moving back to India.I am also a member of PokerGuru staking. So, Aditya Agarwal’s guidance and mentoring has been a great motivation and positive factor in my MTT game. I also look up to Kartik Ved, Madhav Gupta and Vikram Kumar who have been instrumental in motivating players and being consistent.

OPN: What is your daily grind routine like?

Veeravalli: My daily routine include a couple of hours of study in the afternoon, lunch and break for a couple of hours, and I start playing around 8 PM.

OPN: Finally, any advice or a message for players looking to take up poker professionally?

Veeravalli: My message to the new players is – stay focused on what you want to achieve, be disciplined and be more process-oriented than results. Good luck at the tables!