Raghav Bansal, Ashish Ahuja on Final Table of Event #42
As time passes, India is firmly announcing itself at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). 2017 saw India winning its first WSOP gold bracelet thanks to Aditya Sushant and this was followed by another bracelet in 2018 from Nikita Luther's win in the same Tag Team Event. With India sending a record field to Las Vegas for WSOP 2019, the chances of winning a bracelet three years in succession are very high.
Three weeks into the 2019 World Series and we're here to report what is our best chance at a bracelet so far this year. After top 30 finishes for Shravan Chhabria and Kartik Ved in BIG 50, a 13th place finish for Aditya Sushant in Event #28 and a 15th place finish for Ashish Ahuja in Event #34, we have two Indians among the final 8 players in another tournament, hunting for another piece of gold in Vegas.
Event #42: $600 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em / Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack is the tournament underway at the moment and a massive field of 2,403 entries registered on the opening day, with several Indians participating but only 4 moved on to Day 2 among the 195 Day 1 survivors.
Indian players who cashed on Day 1 itself included Romit Advani (223rd for $1,198) and Nishant Sharma (299th for $961). Early on Day 2, those who busted from the 4 to progress were Yudhister Jaiswal (132nd for $1,357) and Kartik Ved (164th for $1,357). This left only two Indians in contention - Raghav Bansal and Ashish Ahuja.
Over the years, Bansal has widely been regarded as one of India's best poker pros, with several titles and cashes across the globe and nearly a million dollars in live cashes. He was the largest stack on Day 1 among Indian players, and he rode the advantage to position himself as chip leader of the tournament in the late stages of Day 2. However, he had to give up that lead a few minutes before play halted having lost a 3+ million PLO pot to Rainer Kempe.
Bansal accumulated 723k chips at the end of Day 1 but has now bettered himself to 9,300,000 chips at the end of Day 2, while Ahuja is also in the mix with 6,975,000 chips. The Final Table of 8 players was formed and play halted on Day 2 when Simon Samokovski was eliminated in 9th place for $16,603, by Day 1 chip leader Adam Lamphere.
India is in a strong position to bring home its third WSOP bracelet when these players return on Day 3. Given the size of his chip stack, Bansal is most likely to do so, having also executed a few eliminations towards the end of the day, knocking out Brandon Lamora in 14th place and UK's Samad Razavi in 10th place.
However, let's not rule out Ahuja's chances either. On his first trip to the poker capital of the world, Ahuja has already managed 4 cashes in WSOP 2019 and this 5th one could very well become the best of his career till date. When players return on Day 3, the minimum prize ensured is $21,469 (~INR 14.94 Lakh) for 8th place. However, everyone will have eyes for the top prize of $194,759, which of course comes with an elusive WSOP gold bracelet.
Current chip counts:
- Adam Lamphere - 17,200,000
- Dan Matsuzuki - 14,000,000
- Raghav Bansal - 9,300,000
- Rainer Kempe - 8,000,000
- Aristeidis Moschonas - 7,325,000
- Ashish Ahuja - 6,975,000
- Stephen Ma - 6,325,000
- Daniel Moravec - 2,950,000
GutshotMagazine.com will be following the progress of our two Indian players in Event #42 and you can keep checking back here to find all the latest updates from this tournament. Remember, the Final Table will also be live streamed, so stay tuned!
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