The past two weeks have predominantly been about the 2020 July edition’s India Online Poker Championship (IOPC). The 18-day long series on Spartan Poker gave away an astounding INR 25 Crore in prize pool guarantee. Jam-packed with 121 events, all of which went down in the history books last night with the record-breaking INR 11,000 buy-in IOPC Main Event, a perfect conclusion to July 2020!
One of the highlights of the series was ME boasting INR 3 Crore GTD, producing the biggest-ever prize pool worth INR 4.8 Crores in the history of the series! A total of 884 survivors including poker pros and circuit regular made to Day 2 of the tourney and among them was a 24-year-old, Harshit Sanghi aka ‘HeroCaller’ who worked tremendously throughout the week, especially on the ultimate day. Thundering his way on the final table and climbing to the top of the list, Sanghi took away a whopping INR 47+ Lakhs!
The six-day long tourney pulled in 4,081 entries and money reached the top 495 players, securing a min-cash. At 4:21 am, the final three players struck a deal that saw Kunal Bhatia aka ‘Alex52’ in the second place and poker pro Sumit Sapra aka ‘Sands Myth’ finishing third.
This windfall must have been quite a memorable one for the players and especially for Sanghi who after pocketing the life changing amount is also the owner of the marvellous 18K pure gold crown! Originally from Kanpur, the champion has been playing poker since 2017 and only recently after finishing second to Siddharth Karia in INR 3 Lakhs GTD Hexagram, Sanghi rode past the field the very next day to take down the featured event.
Gutshot caught up with the champion who is also a tennis lover, understanding how he felt in that moment, playing the final table and becoming one of the India’s biggest online poker champion on Spartan Poker. Keep reading to know more about Sanghi’s Sunday run…
Hi Harshit, Congratulations on winning the IOPC INR 3 Crore GTD Main Event. The luxurious 18K pure gold crown belongs to you now. What was your reaction after taking down the title?
“I lost it! I literally lost it! Couldn’t believe that it actually happened, I called up a friend of mine, woke him up in wee hours asking him to confirm again if it was real! I am overwhelmed.”
Who were your toughest competitors? Did you adopt any particular strategy for this tournament? Who initiated talks of a deal on the FT?
“Everyone. Anyone who was deep in the tournament in a field of 3,400 odd people must have done something right to be there. But if I have to take particular names, I was a bit cautious against Siddarth Singhvi aka ‘PeterPunter’ and ‘Cassandra’ because they were running hot. Also, I think it was Kunal Bhatia aka ‘Alex52’ who finished second, initiated the deal on the final table.
Can you share some interesting hands that you played in the tournament?
“Well, there were a lot of interesting hands but one particular hand that I must mention was against ‘Cassandra’. I was in the chip lead and he was there in top 5. The board ran 5-6-8-9 and I had pocket Kings and I was trying to play it slow. After which 7 appeared on the river and we split the pot. Eventually, he showed K-7 and I breathed a sigh of relief to be honest!”.
How does it feel like to be among India’s biggest online poker winners? How did you family react?
“My family was ecstatic. The feeling is surreal! I still have my heart beating faster than ever before. Also, the love from the industry is also overwhelming.”
The coronavirus pandemic means people are tied down to their homes 24×7. How has that affected your poker routine and mental game?
“Enough time to sleep and rest time definitely helps in keeping the mind fresh in order to grind for hours. The outside world is a hot mess right now and I am glad that the poker industry is there for the people to survive and help the others in need.”
So, you are the IOPC Main Event champion now, any plans with the prize money?
“Not really. It would be a collective decision for sure. My father and my mother have the first rights over it, definitely.”
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