Hailing from New Delhi, Kunal Bhatia aka ‘Alex52’ is an investment banker who has been playing and winning for more than 6 years on India’s largest poker site – adda52.com. He is a well-known name on India’s online poker landscape. The young gun of poker has already notched up several big wins and cashes on adda52.com. Recently, he came second in Adda52 Millions and had shipped Mega Suits in December last year. In between, he has also made several final table finishes.
On 12th July this past week, he took part in Adda52’s super-value tourney Godfather 4.0, which featured INR 20 Lac and a ticket to the 10 Lac Europe SNG in prize. The INR 5500 buy-in event saw a good participation with 199 players. After several hours of tough battles with India’s well-known pros, regulars, and the past winners, it was Kunal Bhatia aka ‘Alex52’, who emerged victorious winning an impressive INR 5,20,000 and a ticket to the 10 Lac Europe SNG on adda52.com. Bhatia defeated a tough player Varun Gupta aka ‘VnutsG’ in heads-up, who settled for a cool INR 3,30,000 for his runner-up finish. A total of 27 players were paid out with a min-cash of INR 12,000.
We caught up with Kunal Bhatia via an online chat to talk about his grand win, his thoughts on Godfather tourney, future plans in live and online poker and much more. Here is what he had to say:
OPN – How does it feel to take down Godfather 4.0?
Kunal – Of course, it feels great to ship it. It is my first Godfather win, so I am looking forward to playing the10 Lac Europe SNG with other winners and hopefully shipping that as well.
OPN – What are your thoughts on Godfather tourney?
Kunal – It’s a great concept. It’s different from the rest as it offers the winner an opportunity to travel to some of the worlds biggest live tournaments. A big driving incentive to any player!
OPN – How tough was the field? And how was your overall experience?
Kunal – You are competing against India’s best players, so it is never going to be easy. May not be the biggest field, but you can’t take it for granted at any point in the tournament. People have become so sharp that there’s little scope of making any mistake and getting away with it.
It was my 5th final table in major tournaments out of the 10 I’ve played in the last two weeks and the second major tournament I’ve shipped. So, I’m really happy.
OPN – Any special hand or moment from this tournament?
Kunal – In the middle stages, I almost busted the tourney. I was left with about 8-10 BBs at one stage. However, I told myself not to give up and continue playing well. I started chipping up from there. I got pocket Jacks and hit a full house to win a big pot to bounce back.
OPN – The final table had some tough pros. Who was your toughest competitor?
Kunal – The entire final table was pretty solid for a good 2-2.5 hours. I was 4th/5th in chips when the FT began and the pressure created by the then chip leaders was intense and real.
Thankfully, I was able to shift gears at the correct spots and re-exert the pressure back on them and get them to make mistakes that I capitalized on. After becoming chip lead, I just never took my foot off the pedal . When down to the final 5 players, I didn’t let anyone win a single pot without giving it a fight with a fightable hand. I didn’t take any unnecessary Gambles either.
OPN – Moving on to live poker, what are your plans and preparations for DPT July 2018?
Kunal – Yeah, I will play a few satellites and see if I’m able to score something to be there. I am really looking forward to the upcoming DPT event. It is always a wonderful experience. I believe Goa + poker can never go wrong at any time of the year.