Kushal Agarwal is September Millionaire at Spartan
Exactly a year ago TheSpartanPoker had launched its signature tournament The Millionaire guaranteeing INR 10 Lakhs for the first place with a buy-in of INR 5,500. On its first anniversary, the Millionaire now guarantees INR 20 Lakhs for first place and INR 10 Lakhs for second place!
This game changer of a tournament for not just Spartan but the poker industry as a whole has grown tremendously and has surged Spartan to the top of anyone’s choice as far as online tournament play in India is concerned. This 13th edition of the Millionaire saw Chennai based Kushal ‘Backdoor11’ Agarwal take down the tournament outlasting 1,089 players to win INR 20 Lakhs. The anniversary tournament could have seen its first ever double title winner however July Millionaire winner Vikash ‘Vikinse’ Khaitan fell in second place coming agonizingly close to win this prestigious title twice.
Heads-up battle ended in Level #46 with blinds running at 70,000-1,40,000-14,000. ‘Vikinse’ with pocket eights (8h 8d) and ‘Backdoor11’ holding Ah Kh went all-in pre-flop. The showdown saw 3s Th Qs Jh Kc giving a straight from Ten to Ace to ‘Backdoor11’ and also the Millionaire title. Agarwal, who was born in Dhanbad and did his graduation from JD Birla, Kolkata, came back to Bangalore to pursue post-graduation from CMS business school.
He has worked with two corporates in Mantri Developers and Piramal Group as Real Estate Consultant advising investors on the best value for their money. From a long term perspective, Agarwal is looking forward to setting up his own business and want to contribute his share in growth story of India.
Speaking about his introduction to poker he said, “Unlike most of the players, I did not start on Zynga. To be honest, I have never really seen the interface even. I started playing in small home games with friends and family. I was then introduced to high value Indian online tournaments like the Spartan’s ‘Millionaire’ by my cousin.
I don’t dedicate too much time on poker being in a full-time job but I enjoy playing the weekend tournaments and occasional PLO on Spartan. This has been my biggest accomplishment in poker and of course came as a pleasant surprise. I have no intention of playing poker full-time currently but I really do want to travel and play a few international events every year.”
There were some turning points in his journey to the title, “Before the rebuy period ended, I was taking a lot of value spots to run up my stack and ended up firing 4 bullets to get there. Luckily with the last bullet, I managed a good stack to get into the real game. After rebuy, I pushed myself to play good poker. I ITM-ed with a short stack of 10-12 BB’s and after few hands, SB jammed on me and I ended up calling BB with King high and it held! After this, I got a reasonable stack and a good shot at the FT. I have spoken to a few tournament regulars and as advised by them, I broke up the task ahead of me instead of thinking of it as a whole.”
It could have all come to an end in the late stages for Agarwal, “When there were around 60 players left I got crippled in one hand where my AA got cracked by a flush draw. I had to really convince myself not to tilt and continue playing well as I still was left with 12BB after losing the hand. After that, it was pretty standard and I kept getting into spots where I could chip up and made it to the FT 3rd in chips. ‘Vikinse’ who is quite popular in the circuit kept eliminating players in the last 2 tables keeping things interesting.
After a few more quick eliminations, we got down to final 4 where the real game started. I didn’t let the pay jumps affect my thinking too much and played good aggressive poker. The HU was very interesting as the pay day is double between first and second and of course the bragging rights. So it was a 10 Lakh HU match with us at a chip disadvantage but we were lucky to finish on the river.
Final hand was when Vikinse jammed on my button open with 88 and I called with Ace-King of hearts with 60% of my stack. The board ran in our favour leading to a sweet ending. I would like to thank TheSpartanPoker by introducing ground breaking promotions and taking the Indian poker Industry to the next level. I look forward to playing more and more poker.”
Congratulations to Kushal ‘Backdoor11’ Agarwal for shipping the Millionaire tournament and also other ITM finishers.
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