A couple of days ago we had a fantastic finish to the stellar 2020 July India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) on Spartan Poker. Bragging INR 25 Crore in prize pool guarantee throughout 18-days, the glorious poker series crowned its biggest champions with the ultimate Main Event winner taking home the 18K pure gold crown!
Interestingly, IOPC that is known for breaking its own records every now and then, once again managed to outdo the second edition of 2020 that highlighted a jam-packed schedule of 121 events crushed its overall guarantee. Collecting a breathtaking INR 32+ Crore in prize pool, making it the largest online tournament series in the history of online poker in India. With over 85K+ participation on Spartan Poker, the poker fraternity has gone gaga with the success!
Well, like any other major poker series, the leaderboard winner takes away the maximum limelight. While one player wins the biggest tourney and another wins a several small ones, the leaderboard winner is usually the one who stays consistent throughout the series, cashing in number of tournaments.
Along with the mouth-watering prize pool guarantee, the series offered a never-before-seen INR 1 Crore leaderboard that went to a long-time circuit grinder Bhanu Prakash aka ‘spectre’ who accumulated 16,296 points. The mid-stakes grinder has been performing quite well in leaderboard contests since years and this has to be his best-ever finish! Apart from the whopping prize money Prakash also bagged two titles in IOPC #51 Monster Stack as well as IOPC #94 Destiny. Gutshot caught up with the champion who spoke about his entire IOPC journey…
Tell us about the overall IOPC journey. Would you say this was your best online poker performance till date?
“It has been a crazy grind throughout the 18 days of the series, play, sleep, repeat was the routine. Pulling it off, day in and day out was not an easy feat. Yes, this would be my best online performance in terms of persistence and grit.”
At what point of time did you decide you want to grind out the IOPC leaderboard? When did you think it was possible to take it down?
“I had decided to grind the IOPC leaderboard the moment it was announced. As the event approached the final 4 days, I thought I could go all the way as the point difference was large enough for a breather. That said, I did not take it easy because I was well aware that in a game of poker, anything can happen.”
You had a tough competition form Deepak Bothra and Siddarth Singhvi. Any specific strategy to overpower them?
“To be honest, even ‘bluffer’ and ‘armitrage’ were neck to neck along with Deepak Bothra and Siddarth Singhvi. I did not have a strategy against any specific player. They are top regs with great results so I was only focusing on things I could control, which was my game. Collecting points was my sole target and my experience in grinding leaderboards helped me a great deal.
What do you think of the massive INR 1 Crore IOPC Leaderboard?
“I have been grinding IOPC since its first edition. I was the runner-up in the first edition and have been on leaderboard many times. Considering the growing poker scene in India, this was the best. I am sure the next one will top this. The INR 1 Crore leaderboard was a fantastic reward from Spartan Poker. Unfortunately, I am mainly an MTT player, so I can only utilize 50% of my prize.”
With the lockdown situation in place, how has life changed for poker players like yourself?
“The lockdown has helped me as a poker player. The extra time available has helped me to put more hours into the grind because the options for distractions are limited. The results, however, were not profitable for me and I was on a downswing before this series. Hope this pandemic ends soon and we can go out and enjoy some good times with friends.”
It’s a huge amount of money. Any plans with it yet?
“I don’t want to be like the poor lottery winner who went around the world, blew his money, and returned to his old state of affairs. Given my recent downswings, I intend to save the bankroll for the rest of the year.”
Closest to Prakash in the competition were Deepak Bothra aka ‘chimpoo’ who picked up majority of the titles in the series and ‘bluffer’ with 15,512 and 14,368 points, respectively. Following ‘bluffer’ were other well-known industry figures like Siddarth Singhvi aka ‘PeterPunter’ (4th), Armitrage (5th), Sanat Mehrotra aka ‘avneed’ (6th), ‘GODSENT’ (7th), Anant Purohit aka ‘Pro’ (8th), Siddarth Singhvi aka ‘schemer77’ (9th) and Kunal Patni aka ‘TiltAtma’ (10th).
The 18-day program on Spartan Poker has crowned several notable winners but the one’s who took down the major events include Manish Lakhotia, Raghav Bansal, Anuj Yadav, Sriharsha Doddapaneni, Anant Purohit and the ultimate crown winner Harshit Sanghi!
For more updates on online poker in the country, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com and stay tuned!