IPC Colombo Live

18th July 2013



Amit ‘bblacklegend’ Jain wins IPC March Main Event

11th March 2013


It could easily have been a wasted trip for Amit Roshan Jain that weekend. But just like in many of our favourite movies, there was a happy ending.

That Saturday evening seemed like any other evening except that the Big Game was starting in a couple of hours in Goa and one man who waiting on his already delayed flight was ruing that he will not be able to make it as his flight from Mumbai got delayed by a couple of hours. As the final level of late registration began, one of Jain’s buddies bought in for him and he started getting blinded out even as he made his way into Panjim. By the time late registrations were done, Jain had already blinded out half that level and was starting to blind out the next one too. He finally entered the poker room and took his seat and the rest, as they say, was history.

He kept building it up over the course of Day 1 and eventually entered the final table second in chips on the following evening. By the time he came into headsup against Kanishka Kapoor, he had a 3:2 lead over his opponent. In the final hand of the night, Kapoor limped in from the small blind and faced the all-in shove from Jain. A snapcall from Kapoor who was well ahead with his AsQs against Jain’s Kh4s. The eventual board Ks 7c 2d 3c 6d which put out a King in the window for Jain kept him ahead and won the pot and the title of Big Game champion for him!

The second edition of the India Poker Championship this year took place from 07-10 March onboard Casino Royale in Panjim Goa. The start of the weekend was the 5k Warm Up event which saw a healthy turnout of 92 players take part. Heads-up play commenced with Mumbai’s Deepak Bhambhani taking on Rajesh Vallabhaneni from Andhra Pradesh. Bhambhani made it 24,000 to go and he got re-raised by Vallabhaneni to 50,000 which got tank called by Bhambhani to see a flop of 9c2cjh. Both players checked the flop to see the turn 8h. Bhambhani now bet out 50000 and Vallabhaneni tanked for a bit before making the call. On the river 8s, Bhambhani fired a third barrel of 50000 which was again tank called by Vallabhaneni. Both players had King high but Bhambhani’s kh6d was outkicked by Vallabhaneni’s kcqs. Crippled to 48000, Bhambhani got it in kcqc this time but unfortunately for him Vallabhaneni’s ac4h held on to finish the job and land him the title of 5k Warm Up champ.

Saturday evening saw another Mumbai pro Jasven Saigal taking down a field of 81 players to win the 10k Weekend Kickoff event. He’s been in good form off late by winning a title at the recent Golden Aces event a couple of weeks ago. So the confidence levels were certainly high coming into this IPC weekend. After slowing grinding his way through the field, Saigal made it to this final table 6th in chips. After knocking out three players from the final table, he entered 3-way action with a substantial lead. In the final hand of headsup with Ali Merchant, Saigal from the big blind makes it 20,000 to go. A re-raise to 50,000 by Merchant saw a flatcall from Saigal to see a flop of Td8c3c. A bet of 40,000 from Merchant gets an all-in shove from Saigal KcJc who has a flush draw against the former’s AcKd. Brick 3d on the turn but a third club on the river Tc gets Saigal his flush and with it the title of 10k Weekend Kickoff.

After busting out on the money bubble in Thursday’s 5k Warm Up, Ahmedabad’s Ankur Agarwal went the distance in 5k Deep Stack Turbo overcoming 71 entries to emerge as the winner of the final event of the India Poker Championship weekend! Three handed battle was a pretty up and down affair with all players being evenly stacked at a point, and when Kavish Kukreja was eliminated in 3rd place, we expected headsup battle to go for a while considering both Zarvan Tumboli and Ankur Agarwal were fairly even stacked. After a round of headsup, it all came down to this hand where Tumboli with 5d3h moved all in and was called by Agarwal who had 4s4d which held up, giving him the win and title of Deep Stack Turbo Champion!


Lankan Anu Meddegoda is crowned India Poker Champion 2013

28th January 2013


The first edition of the India Poker Championship for the 2013 season took place from 23-27 January onboard Goa’s Casino Royale .This season opener would see the IPC Main Event crown the new India Poker Champion. We will get to the coverage of the Main Event and its eventual winner but first let’s take a look at the tournaments leading up to the big one.

23rd January saw a Mega Satellite to the Main Event take place which would award 1 seat into Saturday’s event for every 10 players who took part. Departing from the usual norms for a satellite, the organizers decided to give more play to the participants by adopting almost the same structure of the 5k event in terms of starting stacks and blinds. However in order to drive the action, this was announced as a re-entry event, so players who wished to play an aggressive style could also take a few risks in the early stages. In event of a bust, they were able to re-enter as many times as they wished until the end of Level 4 after which no more entries would be accepted. A total of 76 unique players eventually took to the felt and by the time late entries were done, a total of 100 entries had been made which would translate into 10 seats into the Main Event being awarded to the final table of ten players.

Thursday evening saw the first of the side events in the 5k Freezeout. Chaotic scenes in the early stages within the poker room as a large number of people were crowding the registration desk in hopes of getting seated. Fortunately no one was disappointed as all 126 players did get to play in the event. Players receive a starting stack of 5000 tournament chips towards their buy-in and play blinds levels of 25 minutes each and the final 14 players would be making the money in this event. Young Goa pro Danish Shaikh who’s been enjoying a rich vein of form was the unfortunate bubble boy busting out in 15th place. The ladies made their presence felt in this tournament with two of them, Mriga Solanki and Minissha Lamba making it to the money. The former would bust shortly after the final table of 10 assembled whilst Lamba’s run extended all the way to a second runner-up finish.

Headsup action took place between Rohit Madhur and another young pro in Rajnish Kumar. In preflop action, Rajnish Kumar made it 20000 to go and he got called by Rohit Madhur to see a flop of 6c 6d 2s. Madhur checked and Kumar bet out with 20000. Madhur made the call and saw a turn of 2h. Madhur bet out with 26000 and Kumar tanked for a bit before raising it to 60000 to go. Madhur called to see the river 9c. Madhur moved all in and Kumar made the call. Kumar’s Cowboys KhKc were beaten by Madhur’s 9h6h which flopped a set, turned a full house and managed to river an even better full house. With that, Kumar finished just short in 2nd place as Rohit Madhur goes home as the India Poker Championship’s 5k Warm-Up winner, after outlasting a field of 126 players.

The start of the weekend signaled the start of the 10k Weekend Kickoff on Friday evening where once again the 3-figure mark was breached with 108 participants turning up to play. While the blind levels were the same for this event as the previous evening’s 5k event, the starting stack was increased to 8000 giving players more bang for their buck. Danish Shaikh managed to go one better in this event by squeaking past the money bubble and busting out in 12th place. Once again we had one lady in Chennai’s Bharghavi Chari making the final table and then getting eliminated in 10th when her AhQh was eliminated by Mohammed Aadil’s pocket Jacks. Jacks seemed to be working well for Aadil as he made a double knockout of Rajat Jain (Eights) and Shravan Chhabria (Fives) to get into headsup with Rohit M. In the penultimate hand, he doubled up through his opponent Rohit M when his [AhAc] held up against AsKc with the board showing 5c 2h 6h 2c Qs. In the very next hand, the shorter stacked Rohit moved all in holding AcTd and Aadil insta-called holding AdKd. No suck outs on the board of 3d 4c 9c 2s 8d meant that Mohammed Aadil shipped that pot and went home with the 10k Weekend Kickoff title.

Saturday evening would be the big one – the Main Event of the India Poker Championship. The winner of this event would be crowned India Poker Champion 2013. A total of 70 players ponied up the 30k buy-in to take a shot at the prestigious title. Last year’s winner Sameer Rattonsey was looking to defend his title and certainly hoping to make a deep enough run. By the first break he was looking in good shape having chipped to 23000 from the starting stack of 15000. But a few levels later with the blinds at 500-1000, he got into it with Sikandar Berry in two hands which ended his run in the Main Event. And this meant that Sunday evening would see a brand new Champion being crowned. Berry was looking good to make a run at that title ending the day 3rd in chips. He would have to contend with some tough competition though in the form of online phenom Aditya ‘Intervention’ Agarwal and Goa regular Husain Lakda, the latter coming off a runner-up finish in the Asian Poker Tour Goa’s Main Event in December.

15 players returned the following Sunday evening to play down to the final table of 10 and therefore the money. There were other pros like Manoj Singh (9th) and Jasven Saigal (6th) who were also vying for the title, valiantly battling with their shorter stacks, but ultimately falling short. Former chipleader Husain Lakda too was unable to hold onto his lead eventually getting knocked out in 7th place. By this time an unknown face that had been quietly scooping in chips started to come to the attention of the viewers. Hailing from the island nation of Sri Lanka, Anuruddha Meddegoda was quietly going about his business, accumulating chips and with a doubleup courtesy Aditya Agarwal, leaped into the chiplead. He consolidated that lead further when he knocked out Amit Jain in 4th place. After a crippling hand against Berry that resulted in Agarwal being reduced to just 3 big blinds, Meddegoda helped by a lucky river eliminated Agarwal in 3rd place. The chiplead changed hands a few times before Berry with big slick, put his tournament life at risk against Meddegoda’s pocket sixes. A board of Qc Js 4c 9d 6c did not complete Sikandar Berry’s straight draw and with a set of sixes on the river, we have the new India Poker Champion of 2013 in Sri Lanka’s Anuruddha Meddegoda. This is not the 23 year old’s first victory in the Indian subcontinent, having won a World Professional Poker Tour in Colombo in 2012, but it is certainly his biggest. And while he does have the Vegas, WSOP APAC and Macau on his travelling agenda (See Interview), we should see him return to the IPC over the course of the 2013 season.

And while that was it for the excitement of the Main Event, there were still a couple of side events remaining to close out the weekend. The first of these was the 7k Time Tourney, a live adaptation of a popular online format of tournaments. Here all players play it down like a regular Multi Table Tournament, the only difference being a time limit being in place for the duration of the tournament, in this case 9 blind levels or 3 hours. At the end of that time, the survivors would chop up the prizepool according to the size of their stacks. Damien Charuf from Spain was the leader amongst the four survivors which included Rajesh Sitlani, Chetan and Mukesh Jethwani.

As the final table of the Main Event was heading to its conclusion, the 12k Headhunter event was well underway with a total of 42 entries battling in this bounty event where every knockout would rewarded in the form of an encashable bounty band. Sridhar overcame 42 players and emerges as the winner of the Headhunter event at the India Poker Championship! The action blazed past till it got down to three handed battle which ended up being a longer-than-usual affair. That eventually turned into headsup when Mumbai’s Kunal Shewaramani was eliminated in 3rd place. And the lengthy nature in 3-way extended into the headsup battle as well with K Sridhar and Abhishek Rathod unwilling to give an inch. After being even stacked and trading pots for almost an hour it all came down to this hand where Sridhar with QhTh moved all in and was called by Rathod who had 7h6h. A good flop of 3h Ks Jh for Sridhar, who already ahead preflop, now adding a flush draw into the mix. And while he missed the turn (Kc), the Kh completed the flush draw giving him the win and title of Headhunter!

An action filled weekend thus came to an end at the India Poker Championship. And for those of you who missed out, the IPC will be back at Casino Royale from 07-10 March.