The 2019 World Series of Poker is currently underway in the Sin City, Las Vegas and it will run till July 16. Tens of thousands of poker players from across the world will be participating in the 50th WSOP series. A record-breaking Indian contingent is attending the world’s biggest tournament series this time, with many first-timers and over a half-dozen female players, including Adda52 Team Pro Nikita Luther, Adda52 Celebrity Pro Minissha Lamba and India’s first female poker player Muskan Sethi.
Players like Aditya Sushant and Nikita Luther have already won the bracelet for India and this time we expect Indians to bring back bigger accolades than before as a bigger Indian contingent heading to be a part of WSOP. This year, WSOP has raised the bar by adding a record 89 bracelets compared to 78 bracelets last year. These include 80 live events and 9 online bracelet events. The structures have been made very deep for most events this year, plus more than a dozen new events have been added to make this year’s edition more exciting and special for the players from across the world.
As there are lots of Indian players making their WSOP debut, we bring them some valuable tips from some of the most talented and skilled players – Dhaval Mudgal, Nishant Sharma and Abhishek Goindi. Since they all are capable of making a mark at the 2019 WSOP, their advice may work wonders, especially for debutants descending on Vegas in the hope to win life-changing prizes.
Dhaval Mudgal – 2018 WPT Vietnam Main Event Champion
Mudgal is one of the veteran poker players from India with plenty of cashes and wins in his name. Currently ranked 9th in India All Time Money List with $370,337 in live earnings, the Delhi-based musician turned poker player has made a mark in international poker arena, apart from picking big scores in India. While he has several big poker titles under his belt, his best live cash came just last year when he shipped WPT Vietnam Main Event for a whopping $104,418 in the top prizemoney.
This year, it is his first full summer in Vegas and he is very excited about it. He will be playing everything under 2k this summer, including the Main Event. He will be looking for a big score at the opening event – The BIG 50, which is currently underway at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Vegas.
We caught-up with Mudgal to know about his advice and tips for the Indian players attending WSOP for the first time and he said, “There are a lot of tournaments out there and it’s easy to get carried away, so just take it one a day at a time. Try to avoid table games and the very enjoyable party scene, rather take some time out for it. Check out some other casinos for low buy-in high value events there.”
Nishant Sharma – WSOP 2018 Main Event Best Indian Finisher
The young gun Nishant Sharma is again a very talented player and he is capable of navigating through massive fields. Of late, he has been in good form and had finished runner-up in the DPT Colossus 50K Warm-Up event early this month. Last year at WSOP, the Mumbai pro had ended as the best Indian finisher at the Main Event, finishing 34th to claim his best score $230,475. Currently ranked 11th in India All Time Money, Sharma is one of favourites to win the bracelet for India.
At this year’s WSOP, Sharma will be playing all events upto 3k and might play some bigger ones if everything goes well. According to him, WSOP will be crazy this time with some crazy turn-outs and he will be playing the whole series. We managed a chat with him to ask for some tips for the first timers at the ongoing series and he came out with some handy tips, which include the followings:
1. Firstly, prepare yourself for WSOP. If you are a PLO grinder, then detox it and just play and work on your MTT game for at least 15 days prior to entering high-value events at WSOP.
2. Be selective. Select only tourneys which suit your gameplay and you are comfortable at. There will be more than 15-20 tourneys happening there and one can easily get carried away, so control your emotions.
3. Take a break. There will be tourneys happening everyday with some crazy GTDs, so don’t exhaust yourself by playing each everyday and take a break after 5-6 days or after any big deep run.
4. Play cash games and satellites after bust out, instead of playing any other smaller tourney as it’s super soft and super-value.
5. Carry zero emotions. Before I go for the live series, I should think as that I’ve already bricked the series. It might sound very negative, but trust me, it’s the best way to approach it and it helps me to have zero emotions while playing and focus is only on to play optimally.
Abhishek Goindi – DPT February 2019 High Roller Champion
Goindi is one the earliest players and has been playing since the times when poker was in its nascent stage in India. His first live cash as per thehendonmob had come in 2010 when he finished 6th in the INR 25K NLH Event at IPC. Since then, there has been no looking back and he has been consistently performing in tournaments in India and on international felts. The talented pro from Bangalore has made several runner-up and FT finishes in both live and online events. He was the only Indian player to have finished runner-up in the 2012 MPC Red Dragon Event for his best live cash of $136,245.
Goindi is well-known for his high roller scores in India and abroad. Earlier this year, he had won Adda52 65K High Roller at the DPT February 2019 for INR 14,50,000. However, his biggest High Roller cash had come when he won the ₱ 100,000 + 8,000 buy-in High Roller for $39,773 at the APT Manila in 2012. The same year, he had won the INR 1 Lac buy-in Indian Poker legend tournament for INR 16 Lac, apart from finishing 2nd runner-up in the 50K buy-in 6-Max High Roller of PokerGuru Season 2.
Goindi will be playing all key events at this year’s WSOP and given his recent form, he is capable of winning the bracelet for India. Given below are some tips from him for the WSOP first-timers:
1. If you are a poker player heading to Vegas for the first time especially during the World Series, you are going to be like a kid in a candy store. It can be highly overwhelming the first time you go there! You can get lost in the action. Go with a budget! Plan out what you want to play and stick to it. It’s very easy to get caught up with the action. Try to get in 30 minutes of exercise everyday. It’s a long grind there. It’s easy to lose a lot of money very quickly because of the number of tournaments and games available. There are a bunch of value tournaments outside of the RIO too that are of super value.
2. Don’t get caught up with someone else’s success or deep runs. Stay focused! Avoid the strip clubs. This will make a hole in your pocket.
3. Vegas can be costly. If you are there for a long time, book an airbnb, load up on groceries and try to use the free shuttles whenever possible and uber pools. Renting a car is not a bad option too, depending on the length of stay. If you are grinding cash games at the Aria, you can get rooms to stay in at a poker rate. This will come in handy.
Hope these tips help Indian players making their WSOP debut this year. Good luck to everyone!