2020 has been an eventful year for online poker, with all major poker sites coming up with bigger guarantee tournaments to cater to players in the country. We have seen so many marquee online poker festivals taking place right from the start of the year. One of the most-sought after online tournament series kicking off with its first edition in February 2020 was the Adda52 Online Poker Series (AOPS) that received an overwhelming response from players. The first AOPS edition began with INR 5.2 Crore guarantee and since then it has been constantly growing. The March and April editions of the series offered bigger guarantees with INR 6 Crores and 6.7 Crores respectively. Currently, the series is in its fourth edition and it offers a staggering INR 7.8 Lac in guarantees.
AOPS success pushed Adda52 to go the extra mile to serve MTT grinders in a bigger way and that is why the site recently launched Full House, a super-value tourney that brings a chance to win from INR 1 Crore prize pool at a small investment of INR 5,500. It is a weekly tourney that runs every Friday-Sunday, features 5 flights and attracts players in big numbers to chase fame and fortune.
With AOPS and Full House becoming hugely popular among the MTT lovers, some new players come up to us, asking for advice on how to succeed in the online MTTs. Instead of we giving advice, we thought we would share some words of wisdom from previous AOPS and Full House champions.
Recently, we interviewed and asked some AOPS and Full House champions to share their strategies and advice for the newbies looking to succeed in poker. Take some cues from these champs who have a thing or two to say about their strategies and advice to help you do well in poker tourneys.
Siddarth Singhvi – AOPS Leaderboard Winner
Pune-based Siddarth Singhvi ended the April edition of AOPS as the most consistent player of the flagship series. Singhvi’s amazing run saw him conquer the 15 Lac AOPS Leaderboard and he was rewarded with 5 Lac prize for his consistency throughout the series. A winner of several marquee tourneys and leaderboards on adda52.com, he shared a lot with us during the recent interview.
We asked Singhvi about the qualities required to become a winning player and he said, “There are lot of qualities required to be a winning player but for me the most important one – Be true to yourself!”
Sharing his advice for the aspiring players, he said, “Analyze/introspect your capabilities, behavioral tendencies and skill – then go for it by all means. If things work out for you- Great!! But if it doesn’t, you can always play the game recreationally.”
Ashish Ahuja – AOPS Leaderboard Runner-Up
The lawyer-turned poker pro, Ashish Ahuja from Chandigarh has been killing it online especially at the AOPS. He won several AOPS tournaments in April and eventually finished runner-up on the AOPS Leaderboard for 3 Lac prizemoney. He is also faring well at the ongoing AOPS with already several deep runs across various marquee events. Recently, we interviewed the talented pro and asked how he prepares himself for a big online tourney. He came out with the following reply.
“Before any big tournament online, I always start the session with a positive mindset. Before starting to play, I try to go through any recent hand history of mine to find any leaks in that tournament and tell myself not repeat any mistake I find in there. I go take a hot shower right before beginning of the session because hot water helps me get in to the zone and focus completely on game. I put on music along during a session because even if you get sucked out during a tournament, music helps you get off the tilt and to remain focused on your game”
When asked about his strategies to succeed in online MTTs, he said, “Every player have different strategy towards the game. I mainly try and play aggressive during initial phase of a tournament and try and build a healthy stack because in the later stage of a tournament when blinds increase and stacks become shallow, I can put pressure on smaller stacks. But if I’m myself short at that stage, I can’t do much and wait for the right spot and play straight forward.”
Tilt is common in poker and almost everyone goes through it at some stage. Sharing his tips to control tilt, he said, “During continuous downswings, one needs to understand that he needs to pay much more focus on his game because you might start making irrational mistakes and may blame it on variance. You can start meditating or listen to some soothing music to calm your mind down. You can also take a break from poker, if need be, for 4-5 days and do something to pamper yourself so that next session that you grind your mind is at calm and you put in best effort in the game.”
Deepak Bothra – 1 Crore GTD Full House Winner
Deepak Bothra is a sharp-minded lad from Pune who picked up poker during his college days and immediately fell in love with the game because he always loved cards and mathematics. A chartered accountant and an MBA, he has plenty of big wins and FT finishes to his name. He began this month on a high note by winning the Full House for INR 20 Lac, by far his best score on Adda52.
During a recent interview, we asked him how gets himself in the right mindset before or during a big tourney, he said, “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.
Sharing his advice to succeed in poker, he said, “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.”
Sahil Agarwal – 2 Crore GTD AOPS Main Event Winner
A renowned poker pro and coach Sahil Agarwal is a big name on the Indian circuit and needs no introduction. He took the game more seriously after getting coached by India’s poker icon Aditya Agarwal and it paid off well as he has consistently been cashing and winning in poker since then. On April 12, he grabbed big headlines for winning the AOPS Main Event for a whopping INR 50 Lac.
We caught-up with the AOPS Main Event champion to ask several questions regarding his big win, the strategies he followed to rise to the top and a lot more. Talking about the strategies towards the win, he said, “FT was interesting. I got seated to the immediate right of the super aggro chip lead who was putting tremendous pressure on everyone. So I mostly just played tight and waited to for good spots to pick up a few chips. Once I managed to build a stack I started putting some pressure on the others.”
In one of our interviews, we asked him about the three qualities one needs to become a winning MTT player and he said, “Basic understanding of the game, patience and definitely some luck”.
Sharing his advice for the new players in one of our interviews, he said, “Poker looks like an easy way of making money, but it is not. Especially tournament poker comes with a lot of ups and downs and will make you question your abilities every other day. If you want to take poker seriously, you have to put in a lot of work in studying and get better at the game. Also, getting a coach always helps. We have trained a lot of such players who have taken the game seriously and are doing really great.”
Chirag Sodha – 1 Crore GTD Full House Winner
An avid MTT player and also a passionate poker operator, the Bengaluru lad Chirag Sodha is a well-known name on the Indian poker circuit. While he has already won big on almost all major India poker sites, his Full House win in April was his biggest score in any event, be it online or live.
We recently interviewed the talented player and asked so many questions. When asked about the strategies he adopted to rise to the top in the Full House, he came out with the following reply.
“Different strategies are required for different parts of a tournament as you progress. I think, there were 230 odd players who started Day 2. Once you are done with the survival part, you need to focus on moving up, playing solid, sticking around and trying to maintain 30-35 big stack, which you will have to do differently based on what kind of players and stacks on your table. But note making issomething which is really important. It is always crucial to know what kind of players are sitting across the table and that will for sure help you to make the right decisions. Also,one of the things which I tried to do earlier was not to take too many high variance spots and wait for only good spots to take down a few crucial pots. And the strong hands that I had, I played rather aggressively and that kind of worked out for me during the initial stage when there were 230 odd players. When you are down to the final 2-3 tables that is when the real game beings and the guys who play better poker than others make the real difference. Because now you have reached a stage where you can not rely on getting good cards any more. At this point of time, you need that ‘run good’, no matter how good you play or what you do. If you don’t run good in the last few tables, it is going to be extremely difficult for you to win a tournament. I had a fair amount of ‘run good’ towards the end and this, I think, helped to win it.”
When asked about how he gets into the right mindset before a big tourney, he said, “the mindset, the positiveness and the approach you follow is what makes the difference, even though there is no measurable way how much impact it makes. I always like to be in a good state of mind and positive atmosphere.I believe in good vibes and I believe in that kind of stuff. While there is no measurable way to prove the difference it makes, it definitely helps you to avoid tilting,recover from certain bad beats you may face and take better decisions. So, if you are in a good frame of mind, that is good for you and that is true for anything or in any line of work in the world.”
Sharing his advice for newbies, he said, “Understand what kind of lifestyle will be involved when you play poker. There is also a struggle involved with maintaining your bankroll and becoming a good player. If you do things the right way, poker is beautiful in terms of a profession and in terms of making money.”
Naresh Veeravalli – AOPS Godfather Winner
Hyderabad-based pro Naresh Veeravalli is a live cash game reg who has been putting in a lot of volume playing online MTTs especially after the lockdown. Some of his recent exploits include winning Adda52 Millions AF, a couple of Hexagram tourneys, AOPS Godfather and several FT finishes in events at the ongoing AOPS, including AOPS Panjim where he finished 8th for INR 87,500.
We interviewed him last month and asked several questions. When asked about his advice for new poker players, he said, “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!”
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