With the 13.5 Crore GTD WPT Online India just a few days away, we decided to look back at some thrilling moments from the 2018 WPT India that took place from 13th to 19th November at India’s luxurious casino – Deltin Royale, Goa. The series turned out to be a record-breaking success as it drew 1800 + entries and paid out more than INR 6 Crores in prize money. The biggest highlight of the series was its 55K buy-in Main Event that pulled in a record 697 entries to collect a whopping prize pool of INR 3,62,49,576 and eclipsed the turnout record set at the 2017 WPT India Main Event.
Mumbai-based high-stakes cash game specialist Nikunj Jhunjhunwala topped the record field of the 2018 WPT India Main Event to win his first WPT title accompanied by a career-best INR 66.35 Lac.
As is often the case for poker players around the world, it turned out that Jhunjhunwala was playing for more than just the prize money. Post his win, Jhunjhunwala, who was coming off a three-week “poker sabbatical,” said, “Coming here, I had this prop bet with my friend that I was either going to final table the Main Event or the High Roller. So now that’s all happened it’s just starting to sink in.”
Jhunjhunwala also thanked for the support his rail provided throughout the contest. Giving tons of credit to his friends and well-wishers, he said, “My rail was behind me, egging me on. We have been playing cash games almost every other day together. All thanks to them, they kept me motivated.”
Extraordinary Journey From Being Shortest Stack To Winning The Title!
Jhunjhunwala’s journey in the Main Event was an extraordinary one. Entering it through Day 1B, he bagged 114,000 in chips to advance to Day 2. He began the 9-handed final table as the shortest stack with 1,460,000 in chips and was in need to produce something special to make his way to the top.
Jhunjhunwala had some tough competition facing the likes of the then Adda52 team pro Amit Jain, Vidur Singhal and Deepak Singh who had started the FT as chip leader. However, he managed his way to the top with patience and a solid game plan. Having chipped up, Jhunjhunwala (A-K) scored his first elimination after sending Amit Jain (A-10) to the rail in 7th place. Quickly thereafter, he then bested Akshay Nasa’s K-J with his Q-Q to narrow the field to five players. He continued doing damage later, busting Deepak Singh in 4th place to take a healthy lead with 9.600 million chips. In this hand, Jhunjhunwala had Ac-5c against Singh’s Jacks but was able to find a flush on the river to bust Singh.
Jhunjhunwala’s Experience Pays Off In Heads-Up!
After Sahil Mahboobani (A-10) eliminated Vidur Singhal (K-9) in the 3rd place, it finally came down to the heads-up where Mahboobani was slightly ahead of Jhunjhunwala. The latter had become short stack at one point but his years of experience came in handy. He managed two consecutive doubles to cripple his opponent and finally snatch the victory, earning his career first WPT title.
“There was a point in time where the chips were down, and he (Mahboobani) had a 3-to-1 chip lead on me, and my rail was just in his ears, it was fantastic”, said the eventual champion Jhunjhunwala.
Jhunjhunwala had a game plan for HU as he later said, “I just wanted to see how he was doing and get a feel for the player. I know if it’s a deeper structure in a heads-up match it’s better for me to be playing post-flop than pre-flop. He’s out and out an online player, so I just wanted everything to be postflop.”
Final Table Payouts (INR):
1. Nikunj Jhunjhunwala – INR 66,35,000
2. Sahil Mahboobani – INR 46,53,000
3. Vidur Singhal – INR 30,00,000
4. Deepak Singh – INR 22,07,000
5. Hidangmayum Somesh – INR 16,83,000
6. Akshay Nasa – INR 13,41,000
7. Amit Jain – INR 11,11,000
8. Kanishk Upreti – INR 8,84,000
9. Harsh Dembla – INR 6,63,976
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 the series will be the INR 2.5 Crore GTD Main Event. Featuring INR 11K buy-in, it runs from 16th to 22nd November and has 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.