IPC August 2011 event roundup

Mere baap, iss baar please write the tournament report before the damn month runs out!

Now when someone resorts to making paternal references in order for a tournament recap to be posted, I think its only fair that one indulges such an individual. My work this time around becomes a touch easier as the leading poker website in the world has opened shop in good ole Bharat. So first off welcome to PokerNews India and we hope for loads of good things to happen with your presence in the niche but growing poker fraternity of this country.

Day 1 saw previous attendance records being shattered when 135 players turned out for the 6k Double Bubble tournament. This tournament deducts a small share (INR 1000) of the original buy-in and moves it into a seat prizepool so for every 20 players that participate in the Double Bubble, one seat is awarded into Saturday night's 20k Big Game. Therefore players are battling to survive the money bubble and subsequently the seat bubble, hence the tournament's name. The final hand of the tournament saw Meerut's Paawan Bansal take down the title of the IPC 6k Double Bubble.

Day 2
was the weekend kickoff i.e. the 10k Friday Night tournament . A total of 106 players participated in this tournament. It finally came down to three regulars in Varad Patil, Paras Kumar and Lawrence Sanjay. After Patil's knockout by Sanjay, there was virtually no difference in stacks between the two players in headsup. And in a hand-over-hand situation, Lawrence Sanjay's (9h 9s) dominated and held up against Paras Kumar's (4c 4d) giving Lawrence his first title at the India Poker Championship.

Day 3
was the big one! And appropriately, the featured tournament of the IPC weekend was the 20k BIG Game which drew 81 participants eventually. June's 20k winner Mubina Rattonsey who had been missing all weekend finally turned up to defend her title but wasn't able to go the distance busting out in 37th place. However her husband, Sameer Rattonsey (also a winner of two IPC titles) was very much in the hunt and was busted out in 3rd place by the eventual champion. And that champion was another regular finalist at the IPC tournaments, Shreyabha Pandey, an investment banker from Mumbai. The final hand which took place between Pandey and his opponent, master mariner Captain Kenneth Sequeira went like this:-

From the button, Pandey raised to 60k only to see the Captain moves the rest of his stack into the middle with Ac Tc. Pandey who held with Ad Qh quickly made the call. Both players hit their Ace on the river but of course Pandey's Queen kicker ensured that he would be crowned the winner!

Day 4
being the final tournament of the weekend has a lower turnout of 68 players who participated in the 12k Headhunters tournament on Sunday evening. The Headhunter is a bounty tournament where INR 2000 from each buy-in would go towards the knockout. Re-entries were also allowed in this tournament till the end of Level 4 in case a player lost all his chips. Rakesh 'Raka' Agarwal was the 3rd place finisher and this was his first cash in the IPC. Having done well at all the other tournaments held in Goa, a good finish at the IPC was the only feather missing from his hat. Headsup went on for a while between Jodpur's Aakash Khokher and Bangalore's Rishi BN who had much of the crowd behind him. Aakash though did not let that affect him and went on to take down the title of Headhunter!

As usual our players keep surprising us with the turnout. 135 was a monstrous number for the 6k Double Bubble and what it indicates is that people are getting out of their comfort zone. Players who've been playing home games or online for an extended period of time are now looking for that something extra. They want to challenge themselves and raise the bar higher. And the IPC is where they come to test the 'live' waters so to speak. We delighted and grateful that new players choose to bust their live-tournament-in-Goa cherry at the India Poker Championship :)
Next event is from 6th-9th October 2011 and you can visit our website or this link to register.

Till then, stay frosty!

Tournament report sourced from PokerNews India


IPC June 2011 event roundup

One of the best times to visit Goa outside the typical year-end celebrations of Christmas and New Year, is the monsoon season. The beaches, and the shacks on them, might be deserted but the rain adds a fresh, inviting look to all the natural greenery in this state which makes it wonderfully serene. But the rain-enhanced scenery is last thing on the poker player’s mind when he or she visits Goa. It's all about poker and there’s no bigger brand out there to test one’s skills than at the India Poker Championship. The seventh edition of the Championship took place from 2nd – 5th June 2011 in the card room onboard Casino Royale, the biggest off-shore casino located in the Goan state capital of Panaji (or Panjim). The four day event would see several different buy-ins with the biggest one being saved for Saturday night. 

Day 1 was the 6k Double Bubble (DB) which was the opening tournament for the event. The DB features two prizepools – one, the main cash prizepool and the other is a seat prizepool. A small portion of every buy-in would go towards seats into Saturday night’s 20k tournament and in this case 1 seat would be awarded per 20 players. Players would have to battle their way to first bust the money bubble and subsequently add to their earnings with an additional prize in the form of a 20k Big Game seat. By the time late registrations got done, there were exactly 100 players battling for the title and the top 5 finishers would also receive that seat into the Saturday night tournament. The eventual winner of the IPC 6k Double Bubble was Goa local, Husain Lakda who took home about INR 135,000 for his efforts. Prabhat Saini, who was runner-up in a previous IPC event made it two for two with his 2nd place finish. Chetas Shah (whose day job is that of a DJ… wait a minute!) made sure he got the means to buy a lot more vinyl with the green he won as a result of his 3rd place finish. 
Prabhat Saini (2nd), Husain Lakda (1st) & Chetas Shah (3rd)
Day 2 was expected to have more players since it was the beginning of the weekend with the 10k Friday Night Tournament kicking things off. By the end of the 2nd level, there were more than 100 players and the final count at the end of late entries, one level later, would be 104 players. The action was a bit slow in the early and middle stages but then the pressure of the blinds stated to kick in and there were a lot of moves made by the short and intermediate stacks. The final table of the 10k had several new faces. It was the first IPC final table for some of the regular players like Ketan Kurani and Amar Katharani. On the other hand past winners like Amit Jain and Farukh Shaikh once again showed why they are regarded for their consistency. It was great to also see a lady at the final table in the form of Padmasree Bhakta as well as IPC tournament newbies like Haroun Mirza, Vikram Singh and Sumit Asrani. In a massive pot, Amit Jain who was one of the bigger stacks on the table, picked up TT which managed to hold up against Singh’s AK. From thereon it was no turning back as Jain would make a clean sweep and pick up the IPC 10k Friday Night Tournament’s title in headsup battle with Farukh Shaikh. And rounding off the Top 3, a very commendable 3rd place finish for Padmasree Bhakta. 
Padmasree Bhakta (3rd), Amit Jain (1st) & Farukh Shaikh (2nd)
Day 3 was the big one or in this case the 20k BIG Game! The big money to be won would be at this featured event of the weekend. The last edition of the IPC in June saw 94 runners participate in this tournament and this time too it would not be an easy task as the final count of players was 91. In about 6 hours, the field was whittled down to a third once again several familiar faces made their presence felt at the tables. Prabhat Saini was hoping to make another solid run to back up his 2nd place finish in the 6k Double Bubble on Thursday Night. While Saini was unable to go the distance, his opponent and the eventual winner of the DB, Husain Lakda made it to another final table and was hoping for a dream weekend of winning more than one IPC title. The ladies were having none of it and once again we had another female player in Mubina Rattonsey make the last 9. It was going to be a cracker of a final table with the very first hand played being a Royal Flush for Stanley DaCosta who knocked out Varad Patil as a result. Stanley would knock out one more player, Navin James in the very next hand. It seemed like the big hands would not stop as Sumit Sapra hit quads with his JJ to knock out Husain Lakda and Arash Farsi in a double elimination! Stanley and Sumit finished in 6th and 5th while Mubina Rattonsey was hanging on gamely doubling up through Rajeev Raut and then knocking out Hemant Arora in 4th. She then finished off Rajeev Raut in 3rd place to go heads up against Bangalore’s Roshan Mampilly. That battle did not last more than a few hands as Mubina’s AQ went on to clinch the IPC 20k Big Game title for her. A superb performance by the first ever female winner of an IPC tournament, Mubina Rattonsey! Incidentally the Rattonsey household will add a second 20k Winner’s Medallion on their mantle as Mubina’s husband, Sameer Rattonsey won the same title in the April edition of the Championship. 
Roshan Mampilly (2nd), Mubina Rattonsey (1st) & Rajeev Raut (3rd)
Day 4 featured the final event of the weekend which was the IPC 12k Headhunters on Sunday evening. This was the only event of the weekend which allowed players to make multiple buy-ins in the form of re-entries. The re-entry period was for the first hour of the tournament and the format tends to make players a bit more aggressive than usual in trying to build a big stack for the later stages. The Headhunters, as the name suggests, is a bounty tournament where every knockout fetches a player INR 2000! By the end of late entries, there were a total of 78 players who would do battle to take home the title. It was a 10-handed final table although only 8 places paid out. It was Delhi’s Tanuj Moorjani who knocked out 2 players in a single hand and ensured that he along with the remaining 7 players would go home with a share of the spoils. And while players from the rest of the country fell by the wayside, it was the three lads from down South who kept the Bangalore flag waving high! Abhishek Goindi, Krishna SM and Aneesh Dabral were the final 3 and that’s the order they finished in with Abhishek taking home the IPC 12k Headhunters title. A long overdue victory for Abhishek who has put in some terrifically consistent performances which will no doubt see him at the top of the India Player of the Year (IPOY) leaderboard.
Aneesh Dabral (3rd), Abhishek Goindi (1st) & Krishna SM (2nd)
A fantastic four days of poker came to an end and what a weekend it was for the India Poker Championship! Great fields, fantastic prizepools and a bunch a new winners including the first ever female winner of an IPC. As players made their way back to their hotels or to the airport to catch the early flights, travel plans were already being made for the next edition of the Championship which will take place from 4th – 7th August 2011. More information can be found on the website – www.indiapokerchampionship.com
See you in August!

IPC April 2011 event roundup

Tom had this problem of getting up late in the morning and was always late for work. His boss was mad at him and threatened to fire him if he didn't do something about it. So Tom went to his doctor who gave him a pill and told him to take it before he went to bed. Tom slept well and in fact beat the alarm in the morning by almost two hours. He had a leisurely breakfast and drove cheerfully to work.
"Boss", he said, " The pill actually worked!"
"That's all fine" said the boss, " But where were the hell were you yesterday??"

And that, all ye poker faithful, is exactly how late I am writing this particular trip report for the April edition of the India Poker Championship. Due apologies to all the readers who take the time to visit this blog to get some information about the recently concluded event and found none for April. There are no excuses and I'll keep this post short and sweet just to make sure a record has been kept of what has been an exceptional event by our standards. And with that let's just dive straight into it...

Day 1 was the IPC 6k Double Bubble (DB) tournament, a new introduction which replaced the customary 5k Freezeout tournament which would usually take place on Thursday evening. the concept of the DB is simple - a small portion of the buy-in is set asides towards a seat prizepool so for every 20 players, one player would get a seat into Saturday night's 20k Big Game! The IPC directors were looking to provide players, especially the smaller stakes players, a chance to compete in the bigger tournaments. The name Double Bubble arises from the fact that participating players need to bust the first bubble to make the money and the subsequent bubble to score a seat into the 20k Big Game. It seemed that the new tournament went down well with players in the run-up to the event from feedback received through our online mediums. And finally on Thurday evening, a massive 123 players took part in the inaugural IPC 6k Double Bubble! Action was fast and furious and eventually it was Yogendra Saboo from Mumbai who took down the title with Nipun Kumar from Hyderabad and Shreyabha Pandey also from Mumbai taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Shreyabha Pandey (3rd), Yogendra Saboo (1st) & Nipun Kumar (2nd)
 Day 2's turnout was expected to be pretty good given the large number of players that had attended the opening event of the weekend. Also the second tournament i.e. the IPC 10k Friday Night Tournament is the classic Freezeout which really starts off the weekend so many players were expected to fly in after work that evening. And so it was... with a total of 109 players taking part in this weekend kickoff tournament. Bollywood was in the house once again with Harman Baweja and Minissha Lamba participating in this tournament. The tournament had just crossed the 6 hour mark when the final table gathered around to play down for the title. It was a long, protracted headsup battle between Philip Raju and Ramu Mahto. However Philip was on the hottest streak of his life and so it came as no surprise when he eventually triumphed against a very determined Mahto and took home the IPC 10k Friday Night tournament title. Good performances by Ramu Mahto and a commendable 3rd place finish for tournament regular Vikram Verma.
Vikram Verma (3rd), Philip Raju (1st) & Ramu Mahto (2nd)
 Day 3 was the featured tournament of the weekend - the IPC 20k BIG Game! Everyone was vying to win the biggest prizepool of this Saturday night tournament and in fact there were a number of players who had flown in to participate in just this one tournament! This evening too saw a record-breaking field of 94 players, the first time ever that there's been over 90 players in a buy-in of this magnitude. That magical 3-figure mark is not too far away from the look of things. Repeat final tables for Nipun Kumar and Vikram Verma whilst we had a past IPC title winner in Sameer Rattonsey also looking to add another Winner's Medallion to his existing 10k one (from IPC June 2010). And it seemed like the dream might come true when he made it into 3-way action with Anish Dedhia (Mumbai) and Boston native Ian Moskowitz. Anish gets eliminated by Sameer when his A 4 is bested by Sameer's A 10. Headsup between Ian and Sameer lasts for exactly one hand when Ian who hits bottom pair moves all-in which is snapcalled by Sameer who hit his Ace. No more help for Ian on the board and Sameer wins the IPC 20k Big Game! A superb finish for him coming on the back of making the previous evening's 10k final table as well.
Ian Moskowitz (2nd), Sameer Rattonsey (1st) & Anish Dedhia (3rd)
Day 4 is always a bit of a downer for the Crew. It's the last tournament of the weekend and the long wait till the next edition tends to give us the blues. But excitement levels were palpable because Sunday night would see the introduction of the 2nd new format of the IPC weekend. This was the 12k Headhunters tournament which was a Bounty + Re-entry format. So a player would receive INR 2000 per knockout and for the first one hour re-entries were allowed but only if the player lost his/her entire chipstack. So they would re-enter as a 'new' player altogether. This, the IPC Directors felt, would reduce the shovefest that rebuy tournaments invariably tend to become. The final count of players in the Headhunters was 93 including re-entries. Belgian pro Mihail Stoykov who'd been making waves recently on the Indian poker circuit showed exactly why his game is regarded so highly by taking down the IPC 12k Headhunters title. Anosh Patel from Dubai put up a good fight for his first runner-up finish and Harman Baweja finished a commendable 3rd.
Anosh Patel (2nd), Mihail Stoykov (1st) & Harman Baweja (3rd)
And that was it for the April edition of the India Poker Championship. The next is set to take place from 2nd - 5th June 2011. Our thanks and appreciation to all the players who turned up for the event. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and look forward to seeing you at our next. As I say 'Adios amigos' and take your leave, here's a final look at the big winners of this particular IPC. 


Waiting for the flight

This is gonna be one of those short and sweet posts only because we're gonna start boarding in about 15 minutes and my laptop's already started its pitiful I'm-gonna-shut-off-on-you battery bleat. Lots of excitement at this time's India Poker Championship!
The main reason for that is the introduction of two exciting new formats which we expect will become popular with the poker faithful. The first tournament to kick off the IPC weekend will be the 6k Double Bubble where players will play not just for a share in the main prizepool but also vie for a chance to score a seat for the 20k Big Game on Saturday night. Think of it as a mega Cash + Seat satellite if you will...

No major changes in the Friday and Saturday games. The weekend crowd comes for its fix of the two deepstack tournaments and why knock it if it ain't broke?! The Sunday night game though has been revamped. This is called the 12k Headhunter tournament which is a Bounty + Re-entry tournament. Knock out a player and you get 2k in cash and for those who become unlucky you can buy back into the tournament in the first one hour if you get knocked out. I can hear the question, "But isn't this exactly like a re-buy tournament??!".
Well upto a point it is. However a re-entry tournament, we feel, reduces the donk-style shoves that is usually prevalent in a regular rebuy format. In the IPC Headhunter tournament, you must lose all your chips before you are able to buy back in. And since there is a time limit on the re-entry, we expect players won't get too crazy and will treat it like any other deepstack tournament.

Well they're calling out my name on the overhead speakers, and since I'd rather not see 200 pissed off faces upon entering the flight late, I will say Adios for now.
Oh if you were unable to make it for this time's IPC, remember you can catch the updates on our website at www.indiapokerchampionship.com under the Live Tournament Update module.
Till later this evening then...


IPC Feb - 13/2/2011 - 5k Freezeout

The final day of the IPC weekend has a slightly more relaxed atmosphere which is expected of a Sunday night game. Those who needed to make it to work the following day had left earlier so most left were there for a long weekend with no worries about the Monday blues. After triple figured fields on the first 3 days, it seemed like Day 4 would also go the distance but fell just the tiniest bit short at 98 players. Poker is getting even more popular among the Bollywood. At the last IPC event in December it was Harman
Baweja who in fact went on to take 2nd place in the 10k tournament. This time around it was Minissha Lamba who dropped in to play the 5k tournament. Two ladies on the final table and both of them looking to take it down:-

1. Sudha Kedia – 76,000
2. Kashyap Kejriwal – 71,000
3. Sangeeth Mohan – 71,000
4. Paras ‘Perry’ Kumar – 61,000
5. Ayush Mehrotra – 60,000
6. Sunny Thakker – 49,000
7. Anjali Pandey – 40,000
8. Varun Victor – 38,000
9. Manish Jagwani – 24,000

But Mrs. Kedia wasn’t able to do better than 6th place when she was knocked out by Anjali Pandey in a double elimination along with Perry. Anjali would eventually finish in 3rd place followed by Sangeeth Mohan in runner-up. And the spoils would go to casino & tournament newbie Varun Victor who would take down the IPC 5k title!

That was it for this edition but the action from the India Poker Championship continues at their next event from 7th – 10th April 2011.   

IPC Feb - 12/2/2011 - The 20k Big Game

And the highlights of the weekend is here... tonight is the 20k Big Game! And as the name suggests this will be the biggest game of the weekend not just in terms of the buy-in but also the prizepool. When we had the 25k Main Event in December last year, our expectations were to cross the 70 player mark. That would be a clear indication that the scene, and therefore the IPC, had grown progressively. Eventually we had 87 runners in that tournament and that made us a touch wary as we weren't sure if this number was an anomaly brought about by it being peak season time in Goa. So while preparing for the Feb event, we kept the same number of 70 in our minds as an indicator. If we hit or crossed 70, it would reconfirm that we and the scene had indeed grown.

So we were justifiably pleased that when the Alternates hour came to an end, there were 77 players who would play for the title of the 20k Big Game. The deepstack nature of this tournament means that players tend to take it nice and easy in the initial rounds as there are lots of chips to play. Others like India Champion Aditya Sushant believe aggression is the key from the get-go. While it has helped him in the past, this time around his flush draw did not get better against his opponent's flopped 2 pair. And just like that dream of making another big score on the weekend was gone... As the game went on, one began to see the more regular faces still remaining in the mix. People like Anil 'The Machine' Gulati, Bobbe Suri, online poker phenom Aditya 'Intervention' Agarwal and others. And so it came to be at the final table as well that many of these names made another appearance there. Here's the final table with the respective chipcounts:-

1. Amit Raheja - 144,000
2. Minica Chhabria - 118,000
3. Rahul Melwani - 99,000
4. Bobbe Suri - 83,000
5. Amit Jain - 72,000
6. Abhishek Goindi - 71,000
7. Aditya 'Intervention' Agarwal - 67,000
8. Shreyabha Pandey - 46,000
9. Gaurav Mehra - 38,000
10. Anil Gulati - 32,000

Of course since only the top 10% of the field would there would be only 8 payouts which means 2 players will walk away from this final table without anything. And the unfortunate 2 were one-time chipleader Amit Raheja and Anil Gulati. Raheja who had a commanding chiplead at the start of the final table was unable to capitalize on his big stack and as is the case sometimes, all it takes is a few hands for things to go badly wrong. The Machine on the other hand played his usual brand of tight solid poker but wasn't able to convert it into a final table money finish. What was interesting and heartening to see was a girl finally making it to the final table and that too in the big game. Mumbai’s Minica Chhabria was second in chips and looking to be the first woman to take down an IPC title. Since this tournament was only paying out 8 players, the unfortunate bubble boy was local pro Anil ‘The Machine’ Gulati whose solid tournament play was unable to see him to the money this time. 

In the end it was an all-Mumbai 3-way for the title with Amit Jain, Bobbe Suri and Gaurav Mehra gunning for the 20k title. When he entered 3 way action, Bobbe Suri Suri was on the short stack but in a matter of hands he gained the lead, lost it and then gained it back again! Gaurav Mehra would then get eliminated to make it headsup between Amit Jain and Bobbe Suri. Jain, primarily a cash player, was playing his first big tourney and looking to make a big score but it would be a repeat final tablist Bobbe who would prevail and take down the IPC 20k Freezeout title. The deepstack event was a long and exhausting one with the game winding up at just past 8am. Tomorrow is the final tournament of the weekend and expected to be a little more chilled out than the previous games.


IPC Feb - 11/2/2011 - 10k Freezeout

The second day of the India Poker Championship dawned bright and sunny... we think. For the first time in 3 events we actually left the casino with the sun still not having risen. An accomplishment of sorts and an indicator of just how smoothly and quickly the 5k tournament had been run. After logging in the bare minimum hours of sleep, it was time to head back to the casino again for Day 2's 10k Freezeout. Given the long hours people tend to spend at the table during our events, it really makes me wonder just how the pros do it night after night. I suppose jab rozi-roti ka sawaal hai, then you'd have to.
 The evening of the 10k began with lots of satellites, Superturbos and One-handed, being held prior to the featured tournament. By the time the tournament was underway, we had 100 runners battling it out for the chance to take down the 10k title. There were a lot of ladies in the house for this tournament. Seeing this the IPC Directors decided to sweeten the deal a little more by offering a free seat into the Sunday 5k tournament to the last lady standing. And the ladies returned the favour with many of them outlasting the men when we were down the latter stages of the 10k game. The final count of players at the end of the Alternates round was 105. A superb number to hit for a Friday night! Four hours into it, we were down to the last 3 tables. Eventually there were 2 girls left in the fray when it was down to the final 20 players and it was Mubina Rattonsey who claimed the free 5k seat when Anjali Pandey got knocked out in 20th place. Mubina's great run would however end just short of the final table where she got busted out in 14th place. But it wasn't the end of the road for Anjali however as she would soon make her mark on this particular IPC weekend...
Tonight too there would be a 10-handed final table with all these players making it to the money and this is what the final table looked like with their chipstacks:-
  1. Kenneth Sequeira - 125,000
  2. Rajiv 'Rocky' Motwani - 118,000
  3. Jasven Saigal - 116,000
  4. Rishabh Jhunjhunwala - 89,000
  5. Kavin Shah - 74,000
  6. Ratan Chawla - 64,000
  7. Sangeeth Mohan - 62,000
  8. Piyush Singh - 54,000
  9. Shreyabha Pandey - 43,000
  10. Dhaval Mudgal - 34,000
Our chipleader Captain Sequeira was making an appearance at the IPC after the June 2010 event where he had come 3rd and it seemed like he wanted to go one (or two) better than that finish. The shortstack on the other hand, Dhaval Mudgal of Cardplayer India has started his consistent run of making final tables ever since making the Main Event final table in the December 2010 event as well last night's IPC 5k. However he would be unable to improve on his 9th place finish from last night by busting out first on the final table. Piyush, Shreyabha and Ratan are the next three to go taking 9th, 8th and 7th place respectively. Tournament regular and Goa pro, Rocky takes 6th place while Sangeeth who claimed this was his first MTT poker event scored 5th place. The blinds caught up with Kenneth who shoved with his Q 9 and got called and then busted by Jasven's bullets! It was then down to Jasven, Kavin and Rishabh who would do battle for the IPC Winner's Medallion. Once again it was Jasven who busted out another player and Rishabh finishes as second runner-up.

There would be no consecutive 10k titles going to Delhi as Jasven and Kavin, both from Mumbai would go headsup. Headsup went on for a while primarily because both players play regularly against each other back home and are clued in on the other's game. Jasven had a chance to close it down when he hit trip 8s but Kavin did not take the bait. It had to come down to two big hands going up against each other for this headsup to come to an end and so it came to be:-

Jasven - 8 8
Kavin - A Q

Board - 8 2 10 10 10

And with his flopped trips turning into a fullhouse, Jasven Saigal wins it! He is the new IPC 10k title holder and a commendable 2nd place finish to Kavin Shah who is starting to make Top 3 finishes at the IPC a habit.
For Jasven, it has been a long wait to his first IPC title having come close in our inaugural event in March 2010. He final tabled the 20k event then but could manage only a 7th place finish. No surprise as to why he had such a big grin on his face at 7am in the morning! The Big Game takes place tomorrow and it is going to be fun!
See y'all on the other side.