Inspired by the success stories of female poker players like Adda52 Team Pro Nikita Luther and Muskan Sethi, a lot of Indian women are joining poker to showcase their skills, win and make money.
Be it online or live, poker has been a male-dominated game. However, given the money the game offers, Indian women are now breaking through the glass ceiling of the once male-dominated game, and betting it big on the game in the country. OPN spoke with the last night’s Godfather 6.0 winner, Smita Agarwalla aka ‘coconik’, who defeated a tough field of 408 entries to eventually take down the tournament for an impressive INR 5,05,920, after recently finishing runner-up in the same event.
“Absolutely amazing! Adda52 godmother winning Godfather is a different feeling altogether. Winning Godfather was a personal dream. I used to always wish that Adda52 Godmother wins Godfather:)).”
To build her victory, Agarwalla beat a strong field and a tough final that had good regs in Sagar Choudhury aka ‘alwaysnutz’ (2nd for INR 3,06,000), Abhishek Garg aka ‘thegrinder’ (3rd for INR 2,14,200), ‘Bit2Easy’ (5th INR 1,06,080), recent Gayle Storm 4.0 winner Ritam Bhattacharya aka ‘RitamB’ (6th for INR 71,400), and Deepak Singh aka ‘Peacelover’ (9th for INR 32,640). Top 43 players shared the INR 20,40,000 final prizepool with the lion’s share of INR 5,05,920 going to Agarwalla.
Talking about the field and FT, she said, “The field was pretty tough, especially in the late stages of the tournament with peacelover, bit2easy, thegrinder, alwaysnutz, and other known regs. I was taking few spots here and there to collect chips by 3-betting as I had a very tight image on the table. When last 3 tables were left, I changed gear and went aggressive on short stacks and that really paid off!”
Agarwalla’s Poker Journey
Having stellar talent for poker, Agarwalla is one of the most successful female poker players on adda52.com with several wins, runner-up finishes and ITM scores to her credit. She has notched up several notable scores this year, finishing runner-up in the Godfather tournament, making two final tables in Whale and cashing out two times in PayCheck. Besides all this, she has cashed out across several smaller-to-medium buy-in tournaments on the poker site. 2017 was also a great year for her as she scored several victories, around a dozen of the final table finishes and close to 18 in total cashes. So, she has been rocking all the way ever since she registered on Adda52 in 2016.
An avid poker player from Gurgaon, Agarwalla came across poker in 2007/2008. Today, poker is pretty much her life and she spends several hours on poker every day. “I’ve known how to play poker since 2007/2008. My husband and I had gone for a holiday to Las Vegas and all we did was party and I sat behind in a chair and watched him play. I enjoyed watching and found the game thrilling. So, when we returned, I started playing Zynga poker as I really fell in love with the game” said Agarwalla.
“Poker is pretty much my life now. Besides that, I spend time with my family and friends and love dogs. I spend anywhere between 2-8 hours on poker, mostly everyday.” she further added.
When asked if her family supports her playing poker, she said “I learned poker from my hubby and he loves the game too. My daughter learned the basic rules when she was just 9-year old. Yes, they are extremely supportive and sometimes advise me not to play when they feel that I am tired. ”
Show Me The Money
Poker is a good way to earn money and Agarwalla, who has been making profits out of it, agrees to it saying, “Poker is an excellent way of making money as long as one can stay disciplined, which includes studying, ensuring bankroll management and taking care of one’s own health and keeping you mind fresh.” Since there is a good money in poker, more women are expected to join in the game.
Practice And Patience Essential To Succeed
Agarwalla, who plays both cash games and tourneys on adda52.com, feels that both patience and practice are key to success in poker and one cannot succeed in the game without these principles.
“Practice makes perfect and yes experience is always the best teacher. The more you play, the more you learn, mostly from your own mistakes. One cannot succeed in poker without patience. It’s vital to be able to fold often and be patient in spites of bad beats and to keep one’s mind calm and composed”.
Is Poker Really On The Rise in India?
Sure, poker is rising in India. The number of men and women players is increasing every year. When asked about the poker boom in the country, Agarwalla said, “I feel kids are starting to learn and play poker at a much younger age. Most of the college population in metro cities are aware of the game and the rules. I am sure there will be a huge surge in the player pool with kids learning the game early. The tax rules need to be revised and poker unlike roulette is not gambling but a game of skill.”
Talking about many women taking up poker as a career and achieving success in the game, she said, “It’s always nice seeing women excel. I’m always happy whenever I see a lady ship a tournament or a new name along with existing female players. I just want to say “let’s go girls”! We can do it. Hahaha”
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