Where there is a will, there is a way, and this turned out to be true for Deepak Bothra, the latest Full House winner who walked away with INR 20 Lac this Sunday. A chartered accountant and an MBA from IIM Indore, this sharp-minded lad from Pune picked up poker during his college days and immediately fell in love with the game because he always loved cards and mathematics. Gradually, his passion for the game grew so much that he had to quit his job in Finance to become a full-time poker player. He was a winning player right from the start, but it was only 4-5 years ago that he took poker seriously and began playing it professionally. Since then, it has been like a job for him.
An avid poker player, a chess lover and a cricket fan, Bothra is one of the most consistent and the happiest poker players on the circuit today with plenty of big wins and FT finishes to his name. While his live poker resume is impressive with two major titles and several FT finishes, the virtual felts is where he has been making the most. He has won big on all major Indian sites though, Adda52 has been his biggest hunting ground and he has already won so many marquee tourneys on the site, including Adda52 Millions (won 4 times), The Roar, Sunday Suits (won 2 times), Judwaa, Gayle Storm 5.0, Mega Suits, Godfather 8.0, Top Notch SNG II, PLO Highroller and Full House Finale this Sunday.
Bothra has achieved a lot in poker over the years but he has been going through downswings right from the start of 2020. However, he is back with a big score. His Full House win not only fetched him the best score on adda52.com but also helped him to regain his confidence and fill up the gap created due to downswings. We caught-up with him to know about his Full House win, his journey, what helps him to improve his game, his strategies for the MTTs and more. Here are the excerpts:
OPN: Hi Mr. Bothra, congratulations on winning the Full House! For those who don’t know much about you, could you tell a little about you and your educational background?
Bothra: Thank you very much! I am CA and MBA (IIM Indore) in terms of educational background and have worked in Finance field for about 8 years before moving full time to poker. I am playing poker professionally for the last 4-5 years.
OPN: When did you pick up poker and what attracted you towards the game?
Bothra: I picked up poker during my MBA days. I always loved cards and mathematics, so poker came naturally to me.
OPN: At what point did you become a winning player and what process aided that development?
Bothra: I think, I was a winning player right from the start. But what really helped me was one bad experience during one of my Goa poker trips that made me realize the importance of bankroll management. I made friends with people with the right mindset for poker. If I have to single out a few names, Nishant Sharma and Siddharth Mundada in particular really helped to improve my game a big time.
OPN: What is one of your most memorable moments throughout your development?
Bothra: WSOP trip is the biggest memory for me, although I didn’t do well there poker wise but it was great fun and also I came back with a lot of experience and learning about myself.
OPN: On a scale from 0 to 10, how happy are you in your life with playing poker?
Bothra: The happiest!
OPN: This Sunday was an eventful day for you as you won INR 20 Lac in the 1 Crore GTD Full House, which is by far your biggest score on adda52.com. How does it feel to get such a big score?
Bothra: I was going through downswings right from the start of this calendar year, so the score really helped to gain back some confidence and fill up the hole created due to downswings. And it always feels great to win any title.
OPN: It was a large field of 2000 + entries in the Full House with so many top pros and regs. How did you deal with the competition, and what eventually helped you to win the title.
Bothra: I made Day 2 through the last flight after firing many bullets but most importantly bagged Day 2 with huge (top5) stack overall which I believe is very important in large field tournaments. Towards shallow end, there were not many regs remaining, which helped me to win the title.
OPN: Any turning point, special hands or moments towards the end of the tourney?
Bothra: At the start of the final table, almost all the players had even stacks. Once I got the chip lead, I started applying ICM pressure which really helped me to amass chips.
OPN: When you reached FT, you were the most experienced player. What was going through your mind, and what was your strategy with the other players on the FT?
Bothra: I wanted to play small ball poker since the field was pretty soft but once I got chip lead, I started applying pressure, which helped me.
OPN: Your views on the Full House and the 7.8 Crore GTD AOPS starting on 7th May, 2020?
Bothra: The Full house is a good tournament which offers big prize money at a low buy-in (INR 5500) and yes looking forward for the upcoming AOPS on adda52.com.
OPN: How do you get yourself in the right mindset before and during a big online tourney?
Bothra: Right mindset would be to take all maximum plus EV decision without worrying too much about tournament life. I do exercise during breaks to avoid fatigue and keep my mind and body alert.
OPN: You are a CA and an MBA from IIM Indore. Do you think your background gives you an edge over others?
Bothra: I don’t think it gives any significant edge. Just that I remained disciplined and focused throughout my life which helped me in poker also.
OPN: What kind of a player are you at the poker table? How would you describe yourself?
Bothra: I try to take all the decisions for the highest EV to the best of my knowledge. Sometimes it looks spew aggressive and sometimes nitty to others.
OPN: How have you worked on your game in the past? How do you work today and what do you really want to improve now in your game?
Bothra: In the past, my improvement mostly came from discussions with my friends and looking at other good players’ play. But now I have started consciously to improve my game and putting in a lot of efforts compared to the past.
OPN: Who are the best people you’ve met in your poker career? The ones who struck you the most?
Bothra: I have made super friends during my poker career which not only helped in my poker career but in life too. Don’t want to name those as there are at least 10-15 very good friends.
OPN: In one of our interviews with Bothra, we also asked him – what is your one poker dream?
Bothra: I want to win World Series of poker (WSOP) event. I know it’s a big statement but dreams have to be big.
OPN: How beneficial has this lockdown been for you? Any change in your grinding routine after the lockdown?
Bothra: The guarantees are higher during lockdown due to higher semi pro/recreational pool which leads us to play more tournaments compared to what we usually play. I don’t think, anything specifically changed for my grind during the lockdown.
OPN: Finally, three tips from your side for new poker players looking to make a mark in poker?
Bothra: Follow bankroll management. Make right-minded friends and discuss poker with them. Also never-ever stop working hard on your game, if you really want to make a mark in poker.