Adda52 Team Pro Nikita Luther does not need any formal introduction. She is India’s top female poker player with a whopping $333,041 in live cashes till date. Currently ranked 15th in ‘India All Time Money List’, she is the sole Indian woman with a WSOP bracelet and two WPT500 Aria FT finishes to her name. She has been making India proud, especially for the last three years. The Delhi girl recently finished runner-up in the WPT 500 Aria in Las Vegas for her career-best live cash of $109,300 and it was her second final table in WPT Aria in 3 years as the talented pro had already finished 5th in the same event in 2017. Just a year ago, she along with Germany’s Giuseppe Pantaleo had won the 2018 WSOP Tag Team Event for $87,902, which happens to be her second best score.
2019 is turning out to be a break-out year for Luther. She began the year in style by taking down the DPT 15K Deep Dive in February and then followed up that score with a runner-up finish in the WPT500 Aria in June and a 13th place finish in the WSOP Bracelet Winners Only event this month.
Given her current form, she is now very confident and fully prepared to make it big in the DPT series starting tomorrow at the Deltin Royale in Goa. We caught-up with the superwoman of the Indian poker to know about her recent runner-up finish in the WPT500 Aria, her plans and preparations for the DPT, her advice for the younger lot of players and a lot more. Here are the excerpts:
OPN: Hi Nikita, congratulations for your runner-up finish in the WPT500 Aria! What was the experience like? How did you feel to have final-tabled it twice in three years?
Luther: It feels pretty amazing to have final-tabled the same event twice in three years. I actually mentioned in a recent interview with Gutshot Magazine that this was actually one of the most special moments of my poker career to have final-tabled WPT500 Aria Main Event because there were around 3,700 runners and I made the final with the chip lead. And I was just starting out in tournament poker. You know, I was just learning and it was so special and so close to my heart to make a deep spectacular run. And to come back to defend the final table two years later and go all the way to heads-up, I cannot even describe in words how special this entire experience has been. It has been literally like the epitome of my career.
If there was one way to describe bittersweet, it would be this exact moment – because to go heads up with the chip lead, I won a bunch of hands back-to-back, big hands, heads up, and so I was chipping away at my opponent, and then I ran ace-king into ace-queen and I 4-bet jam. I opened, he 3-bet and I 4-bet jammed, yes I 4-bet jammed, and he calls off with ace-queen, and the queen turns on the land for the trophy, title and 50K US dollars, so that was a pretty pretty harsh blow to take.
OPN: You started 2019 with a win in the DPT 15K Deep Dive in February and so you must be very excited and confident now for the last DPT of 2019, which is starting on 31st July 2019. Could you share your plans and preparations for the DPT?
Luther: I am super excited for DPT starting on 31st July because it is always amazing to come back and play in familiar environment with friends, and you know, it is a tight-knit community. So, everybody knows almost everyone. It is great! And you know how
everyone plays and so that is a big advantage. And to win that is a pretty sweet victory. So, I am looking forward to my first DPT Main Event title maybe or a high roller title, something major. I am fully prepared and feel very confident. I feel like I am in form, so I am very excited to go back to Goa. DPT is the best tournament series India has and I am
excited to be representing.
OPN: A lot of pros will be participating in DPT. Who are your favourites to win the Main Event?
Luther: Yeah, a lot of pros will be participating. However, I would like to be a little biased over here and choose my fellow Adda52 Team pros as the favourites to win the Main Event. So, I will choose Kunal Patni, Minissha Lamba and Tarun Goyal as my favourites to win the Main Event.
OPN: What would be your advice for the younger lot of players playing DPT for the first time?
Luther: My advice to the younger lot of players playing for the first time would be that don’t be results-oriented. I know, it is a very cliche advice to give, but you know, it is a quick series. It is only 4-5 events and it is not a lot of volume. So, all you have to do is try to make the best decisions that you are capable of making. If you are making mistakes, then learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them. Go, there are so many tournament pros and the Indian pros are so approachable. So approach them, ask questions and discuss hands and figure out what could you have done better as long as you are open to learning and you are sincere about improving. You can ask me, my fellow pros or any of the pros that you think can help you out.
OPN: What resources would you recommend for new players who are just starting out in poker?
Luther: I have always said that runitonce.com is the best resource to start out or even for the advanced level. It is useful for all categories – beginner, intermediate and advanced. Runitonce.com is the place that I would start with and go on to keep improving my game. It is so amazing. The membership fee is totally worth it. So much content and it is all from the best , best poker minds in the world. It is really a goldmine of poker knowledge.
Thanks for your time, Luther! We wish you good luck for the DPT starting tomorrow in Goa!