The 2019 edition of the Indian Poker Championship concluded among much fanfare at the Big Daddy Casino in Panjim, Goa. It was the end of a grand tournament that featured some of the best players from the country, and few from outside India. The brand has started way back in 2010, and marked their entry into the calendars of poker enthusiasts in the country after a gap of three years.
Raj Talwar (remember the name) was crowned the champion of the main event. The man went off with a whopping amount of INR 49.25 Lakh, with then next participant, Ayush Garg, to follow him in the second spot.
Talwas clinched the top spot among a mammoth 777 entries in total, three days after the first event, the 35K Main Event began, started in Goa. Ayush Garg would have given himself a good chance, having started in the final table as the chip leader. Nevertheless, Garg ended with INR 34,53,900 by the end of the event.
Raghavendra Hada was the champion of the 15K head-hunter event, and pocketed a total of INR 7,39,000, along with other goodies. Behind him, was Arsh Grover, who received a total amount of INR 5,18,200. Rachit Parihar was to follow, busted in the third place.
In the 100K High Roller event, victory was for Pranay Chawla, who fought off tough competition, getting past Nitish Gupta, who ended on the second spot. Pranay Chawla bagged a total amount of INR 51.66 Lakh.
The Freezeout, on September 11, belonged to the man from Nashik, Siddharth Mundada, who had to get past a total of 437 contestants to mark his field and clinch the prize. He went home INR 8.80 Lakhs richer. At second place was Nikhil R, who could not reach the numero uno spot, but still pocketed INR 6.17 Lakhs for his scintillating show.
The tournament had no dearth of glitters, with a starry cast ensuring that the competition was bigger than ever. Bollywood and TV personalities Rannvijay, Kunal Khemu, Harman Baweja, Anita Hassanandani graced the event. Yet, the biggest name came flying from abroad.
Dan Bilzerian, poker player and Instagram celebrity, marked his maiden entry in India exclusively for the tournament. For the uninitiated, Bilzerian is known as the ‘King of Instagram’, and is immensely popular the world over for his larger-than-life extravagant lifestyle, and unparalleled charisma.
Surrounded by arm candy almost always, Bilzerian made a stunning appearance at the Big Daddy Casino, as the tournament’s special guest.
"We are very excited and overwhelmed to have the Big Daddy of Poker, Dan Bilzerian at Big Daddy Casino, Goa. Dan's visit to our casino for the poker event will surely intensify the excitement among Poker players and raise the stakes manifold", Lakhram Goyal, Director at Golden Globe Hotels Private Limited had told ANI.
With more than 28M million followers on Instagram, Bilzerian recently started his own new line of men’s grooming accessories by the name of Alister.
The success of the tournament this year only highlighted the might of the Indian Poker Championship, and it’s unmatched monopoly over the game across the lengths of the country.