With the first-ever WPT Online India (WPTOI) being around the corner, we decided to look back and relive some of the best moments from the inaugural WPT India 2017 hosted at the Deltin Royale casino, Goa. The series running from 7th to 13th November 2017 is remembered as a trailblazer in the history of Indian poker tournaments. From the first day itself, it saw unbelievable player-crowds and its headline 55K Main Event running from 10th-13th November turned out to be a historic one with a record field of 527 entries. With each player paying a buy-in of INR 55,000, the mega event generated a whopping INR 2,74,08,216 in prize pool, which was shared by the top 54 finishers.
The culmination of the inaugural WPT India had a dream ending for Vikash Mantri from the city of destiny Visakhapatnam who could not have asked for a better destiny as he took home the historic WPT India Main Event title for a mammoth INR 60,30,000. Mantri bested a massive and tough field in the marquee tournament that attracted players from all corners of the country and had even some renowned international names like Bryan Huang, Pete Chen and Daniel Weinman in attendance.
“It is amazing, I can’t believe it,” said a very happy Mantri after his historic main event win. “Thanks to my friends who kept cheering me up all the time, thank you so much, it’s awesome to have you.”
A Roller-Coaster Ride & Thrilling Heads-Up For Title!
Mantri entered the final table as the chip leader, but lost his lead in between and was behind when the heads-up play against Arjun Arora began. The heads-up was a thrilling affair in which Mantri picked off two big bluffs from his opponent, including one on the final hand of the tournament.
“Basically, I knew I was ahead, but to get the money in, I had to make an inducing bet, which is what my friend told me,” Mantri said of the final hand. “‘When you have a good hand, induce a bluff.’ I did exactly that, I thought I was good and therefore got my money in. The entire reason for this was coaching from a friend.”
Holding a commanding chip lead, Arora went into the final showdown as the overwhelming favourite but could not go all the way with the enthusiastic Mantri eventually bagging the title to become the first-ever WPT India Main Event champion. On the final hand of the tournament, Arora limped and Mantri checked his option to see the flop 9h 8d 3h. Both players checked the flop to see the turn card Qs. Mantri led out, Arora 3-bet and Mantri called. The river brought 4s. Mantri led out once again and Arora moved all-in for 3.15 million. After giving it a little thought, Mantri decided to call. Arora showed Jc 6s for nothing, while Mantri revealed 8h 3s for a flopped two pair to win the title.
Did That Special WPT Card Protector Play Any Role In Mantri’s Victory?
As you may notice in the winner’s photo that Mantri is holding a card protector in his right hand. In fact, WPT gave all FT players a card protector but Mantri was the only player to use the protector and he later claimed it was a lucky charm for him. From being the short stack to winning the title, the card protector played its role for him. Here is what Mantri had to say regarding the card protector:
“I’m not a person who is superstitious, until today, and things changed when the WPT gave us a card protector,” Mantri said. “Now let me tell you, none of the other players used it, but I used it for all my hands, and it worked! I’m a bit superstitious now. I think I should get more of these, please (laughs).”
Final Table Results (INR):
1.Vikash Mantri – INR 60,30,000
2. Arjun Arora – INR 39,47,000
3. Manish Lakhotia – INR 25,20,000
4. Gaurav Chuahan – INR 19,20,000
5. Anil Adiani – INR 14,80,000
6. Pavan Jain – INR 11,51,000
7. Kiran Kumar – INR 9,32,000
8. Sunny Vijaywargi – INR 7,13,000
9. Arjun Wadhwa – INR 5,76,000
Get Ready For 2.5 Crore GTD WPT India Main Event On Adda52!
For the WPT fans out there, WPT is back with a bang! After hosting three successful editions of WPT India in 2017, 2018 & 2019, the globally renowned poker brand is returning to India this November with their first-ever WPT Online India series powered by WPT’s exclusive India partner, Adda52.
Running from 5th to 22nd November, the series boasts a whopping INR 13.5 Crores in guaranteed prizepool and 35 Lac in leaderboard prizes. Headlining it will be the INR 2.5 Crore GTD Main Event, the INR 11K buy-in tournament that runs from 16th to 22nd November has a whopping 10 starting flights. And it comes with some sweet surprises as the champion will not only walk away with a life-changing top prize but also receive a Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Titanium timepiece valued at $10,400 and a $5,000 WPT Passport, which can be used to enter any live WPT event anywhere in the world.