Apr 09, 2020
PokerBaazi

PokerBaazi

The lockdown has not been easy on any of us. While some might manage to stay productive, a majority scramble with their unproductive hours. Yes, as a poker player, you have enough going on and online poker keeps you going. However,  we all need that break, a breather to take our mind off things, yet stay engaged and not utter the words ‘I’m bored’.

 Thanks to online streaming content platforms like Netflix, we have terms like ‘binge-watching’. Today, we thought we’d run by a few shows to watch during this lockdown. It could be the adrenaline, the suspense, the psychology or just the rib-tickling humor that qualified these shows as must watch for poker players. More so, they bring out the similarities of life skills and poker skills and how they could be used interchangeably in our everyday life.

Meanwhile, those who are looking for some fresh action in online poker games, check our PokerBaazi promotions hereScores of online poker tournaments and brand new series await you this month.

Returning to the subject, let’s tune right in!

 Money Heist

A must watch show during lockdown, this Netflix original tv series opened up the world’s eyes to great Spanish Television. The series is based on a criminal mastermind nicknamed ‘The Professor’ who meticulously plans to pull off the biggest heist in history – print billions of euros in the Royal Mint of Spain. The intricate, yet sophisticated plot makes it a must watch for every poker player. From studying your opponents (profiling the people who he will encounter during the heist), to planning for future streets (having a plan B in place when plan A didn’t go their way), to exit strategies (knowing when to stop and avoid getting caught), to our favorite, outwitting your opponent (getting hostages to wear the masks), this Netflix tv series has all the traits of a great poker player!

For all those following the series, part 4 is out on April 4th! Binge-away!

Drive to Survive

This adrenaline pumping Netflix original series follows the world of Formula One. Even if Formula One is not your thing, this show will make it a thing! Each episode covers a formula one team, the brand behind it, the technical team, the machine and the man behind it.  Similar to poker players, formula one drivers are making decisions in split seconds under tremendous pressure with plenty at stake! It’s all fair in love, racing and poker, as we say, losing is part of the game, you take it graciously and prepare for your next race (game). It is the survival of the fittest as teams (imagine your poker coach, your stable or even your rail) work endlessly to ensure their beasts perform on the tracks!

Ozark

This contemporary drama series captures the story of a financial advisor and his family who moves from Chicago to Missouri Ozarks after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong, forcing him to pay off a substantial debt to a Mexican drug lord in order to keep his family safe. The protagonist played by Jason Bateman is seen morphing from a smug arrogant finance advisor to a greedy money launderer as circumstances hurdle the family man into survival mode and test him repeatedly. 

The gut-wrenching plot makes Ozark one of the few shows to watch during lockdown as Marty Bryde played by Bateman is probably in the worst situation of his life and the lessons we take home from the series include finding the win-win in any situation (maximizing your EV), trusting your gut when you cannot trust anyone around you (instincts matter on the felts) and to never be sold on the ‘get rich quick’ promise, because real life cannot produce rewards all the time (be prepared for down swings)! 

The Spy

The Spy is a thrilling mini-series based on the Israeli intelligence community, Mossad. The six episodes tell the tale of Israel’s most prominent spy, Elie Cohen, who infiltrated the Syrian Government in the 1960s. Undercover operations require new identities, convincing people of those identities takes commitment and Cohen is seen subtly transforming from getting jacked in his training to shifting his way of speaking, demeanor and behavior to reflect how half-a-decade of spy craft can change a man. Very similar to the psychological warfare that plays out on the felts; from portraying a certain playing style to wearing multiple thinking hats to adjusting your moves as your opponent gets suspicious, it takes commitment and conviction to be successful in these roles. A gripping tale till the very end and a must watch!

Thanks to modern television, you aren’t just enthralled but also being educated. You never know when pop culture can open up avenues and insights for life. We hope that the above list keeps you motivated, entertained and brings out the better of you during these tough times.

Talk about entertaining, PokerBaazi just announced it’s Mini Prime Time Series. So, you now have the chance to play the mini version of all your favourite PokerBaazi Prime Time Tournaments (The Summit, The Endeavour and The Crest among others) at 4pm! All the more reason to begin your grind early and get your chunk of the INR 33 Lakh Guaranteed!

Stay Tuned in.

PokerBaazi’s PPL MoneyMaker is a high-value online poker tournament that is on every Indian poker player’s checklist. The PokerBaazi Premier League Main Event came at a Rs.10,000 buy-in and a 1 crore guarantee that drew players by the dozen. The 10th edition of the PPL MoneyMaker which now falls under the umbrella of the PPL series whipped up a monster prize pool of INR 10,760,000.  creating the most enviable win that a total of 1076 players had set their eyes on.

The Final Table narrowed down to Sandeep Singh and Samay Singh Modi who battled it out for the big bags. After a heads up nerve wrecking run fight, it was Sandeep Singh who had the run of his life time to bag an attractive sum of INR 33,32,755. Samay Singh Modi aka “Sammybigstac” had to settle for a close second with a sum of INR 29,45,651.

Taking the hot seat this week is none other than Sandeep Singh, the newly crowned PPL MoneyMaker Winner! The jovial Singh traverses through his PPL MoneyMaker journey and his poker stride in India, spins a few tournaments tips our way and shares some personal anecdotes that’s made this interview scroll worthy till the very end!

The thrill of a poker win is unparalleled. Tell us how you feel!

It’s a great feeling. It’s probably one of India’s biggest online poker tournaments to win and taking it down is definitely a key achievement of my poker career!

Take us through your PPL MoneyMaker experience on PokerBaazi

The PPL MoneyMaker and other online poker tournaments on PokerBaazi have a certain novelty to them. They are great to play and the games grow progressively given the time limit. Having Day 2 and the final table on the next day is a real relief for poker players. PokerBaazi has definitely been a game changer for online poker.

Every player has that one memorable hand that changed the game. Do you recall yours?

Just before the final table of the PPL MoneyMaker with 14 - 15 players left. A Limp from UTG, I would usually open that but I  limped because of a hunch with Ace 7 from the button followed by limps from both small and big blinds. The Flop opened Ace, 6 ,7. The UTG bets and the next opponent on the table who had his eyes on me for a while decides to 3 bet.

PPL 2020 MoneyMaker winner: Sandeep Singh

Since I hit my two pairs, I flat called him. He goes all-in on the turn and I matched him since we were almost even big stackers at that stage. This hand gave my chip stack the necessary boost and propelled me into being the chip lead on the final table.

 A game of poker has an interesting way of making its way into your life. Care to share your anecdote with us?

I was introduced to poker during my final semester IIM in 2010. We used to play low stakes tournaments with friends. After that, I spent a few years in Gujarat and there were no active poker scenes there. Then, I moved to Bangalore and became aware of the legality of the skill game and active live poker games.

However, I didn’t start until a live tournament was held by Golden aces at the Casino Pride. Not being aware that the venue was Goa, I was notified at midnight and decided to fly down to take part and ended up coming 4th! I’d say I attributed this to a little more to my luck than my game, however, this gave me confidence and I continued playing cash games in Bangalore.

I have been traveling to Goa and playing the DPT tournaments ever since 2015. I was always learning on the go with games up until last year when I decided to study the game and since then, I have noticed exponential improvement in my online poker results.

Moving to more pressing matters, the novel COVID 19 pandemic. How have they plagued the poker felts?

The impact is mainly on the live games. The online poker scenario has remained the same, in fact, online poker is one of the pandemic proof professions to be in at the moment.

Bringing us straight back to live or online. Where do we spot you more often?

Earlier, it used to be live. Considering there are more games online now, my preference has shifted to online poker.

What’s the difference between playing live or online?

The main difference is obviously that your opponent is in front of you. Online poker players are using poker HUDs, although I haven’t studied any yet, I have the most rudimentary form of it, player notes to help me with my online games. Online poker helps you multi-table and the games are fast paced compared to the live ones. So, yeah, online all the way!

Tell us about your motivations to excel in this skill-based mind sport.

The game itself. Poker always fascinated me and for the sheer love of the game, I always wanted to pursue it. When I moved to Bangalore, opportunities came knocking twice.

Further travelling to Goa and seeing players consistently perform motivated me to think of what I could do differently. Interacting with fellow players who are successful definitely drives us to pursue and improve our game.

The Indian poker community has some great players to be looking up to. Who are your role models?

PPL MoneyMaker Winner

There was a time when I feared Aditya Sushant being on my table, purely for the psychological edge in his playing style. However, I continued to work on my game and now I prefer an aggressive table and trapping my opponents at their own game. Ashish Ahuja has had a great run and it’s probably the kind of consistency I want my game to reach.

Time to get personal! Is poker full time for you?

No, I am a working professional and work in the US mortgage service company. I play poker over the weekends. There are a few online poker tournaments I play over the week but I have professional ambitions as well and limit my games to the weekend and try striking a balance. So far, I’ve been managing to do well in both. It’s tough for sure and leaves me with little time for myself.

How’s the journey been with your friends and family accepting poker?

It’s been a Rollercoaster ride. Considering I entered the game with no mentoring and was losing, I've had people confront me about the late hours. During one New Year party in Goa, I took my wife, sister and brother-in-law to the casino and my poker stars were aligned well and I happened to win on all the four consecutive days that I played cash games.

This certainly set in a level of comfort for my wife that the sport is a lot more than just gambling and that you can also win. Comforting her was my priority. I promised her last year that if I didn’t become a winning player in a year, the game was not meant for me and I would stop. I knew I would turn it around. Quitting was never an option for me because of how much I love the game.

P.S: My wife ended up trying her hand at a few womens’ tournaments in Goa and shipped a small tournament 2 years ago! (Now, that’s a winning story for sure!)

Poker as a game teaches you a lot. Do you take these poker lessons back home or to work?

Patience has been my biggest learning from poker. Learning not to overreact and control yourself in situations is something poker has taught me and I implement it at work very often. This has certainly increased my ability to think through a situation before reacting in all walks of my life.

What does the future hold for you in terms of poker and professionally?

Besides playing online poker, I wish to travel the world and play on some of the world’s live felts. I would like to pursue my professional ambitions as well and reach the top in both worlds.

Talking about the future in online poker, will we be seeing you at PokerBaazi’s EndBoss tournament? What strategies will you be bringing to these felts?

Yes! And like every tournament, I come in with the intention to win. The bigger tournaments give us sufficient time to prepare. So, I set a target and practice by taking part in smaller online poker tournaments during the run up to the main one. This has been my strategy and since they’ve shown results, I think I’ll continue with this for EndBoss.

At PokerBaazi, it gives us tremendous pride to see winners like Sandeep Singh in the making. This pokerholic has not just won the PPL MoneyMaker but also bagged himself a new job and is celebrating his wife reaching the finals of a Mrs. India pageant. What a sweet home run!

Congratulations once again Sandeep! 

The next one to feature in this winner interview could just be you! PokerBaazi has a host of online poker tournaments and games coming your way during these testing times. From the EndBoss to the PMVS Special Edition to the brand new Mini Prime Series, it’s no fooling around April homies, just go the right kind of nuts!

This April, don’t let the 21-day lockdown period drive you nuts! All you folks working from home and squandering away those free hours, consider a stimulating game of online poker! Hit the right kind of nuts in a skill-based mind game of poker on PokerBaazi.com. The specially crafted edition is all about giving you a chance to test your online poker skills and multiply those bills while you stay safe at home.

Introducing the Special Edition 2.1+ Crore GTD PokerBaazi Monthly Value Series (PMVS).

 The 5 day value-milking series hosts a gamut of new games, multi-flight online poker tournaments, stellar leaderboard prizes that make you fight tooth and nail and an additional tournament every single day to make sure you hit the right kind of nuts!

 The line-up looks irresistible no matter the level of poker you are at. Save the dates!

Wondering who your average opponent is in this high stakes online poker tournament? We’ll help you profile them to prep better for this special edition of PokerBaazi Monthly Value Series.

  • Engages in a fair amount of deceptive play with level three thinking + I know what my opponent thinks my cards are and what my line is.
  • Levels opponents and exploits meta-game, planning future hands.
  • Able to recognize and avoid ego-tilts.
  • Characterizes play with thin value bets and disciplined checks – Able to recognize when their marginal hands are good enough to value bet and when they are weak enough they have more value as bluffs.

Here’s an example: Player A has a pair of Kings and he’s up against player B’s Ace-King. Your average player will hesitate to value-bet an overpair with a four card straight on the board and the odds of a set and two-pair combinations. Here’s the difference, Player A, a level 3 thinker, realizes that Player B will expect few of these hands to be in his pre-flop range.

Therefore, he makes a big bet for value, goes forward with his overpair knowing very well his level 2 thinker opponent will misinterpret that as either a straight or a bluff and end up calling with a worse pair.

  • What he doesn’t know? How to maximize EV every hand.

Say, you have a small pair. The opponent knows that I see he’s in an early position and has raised, so he’s of the belief that I think he’s strong. I’ve been portraying a weak-tight profile while playing the last few hours. Here’s the thought flow:

  1. If we decide to 3 bet pre-flop as a bluff, he’s likely to give me a lot of respect and think I’m strong and fold out the bottom of his range.
  2. If he 4bets, I can re-evaluate the implied odds.
  3. If he calls, I can still semi-bluff him by firing multiple barrels on the turn and river.

Final action: Instead of a 3 bet, I realize I can get the desired action from my opponent and will raise only 2.25x his bet and re-evaluate based on his reaction. Therefore, maximizing EV.   

Be aware of your field composition when entering an online poker tournament. It helps you tweak your playing style to be a winning player. The PokerBaazi Monthly Value Series Special edition is all that and more. Take a look at what’s in store:

Staying indoors just got a whole rewarding this April! Hover your cursor on the online PokerBaazi tournaments and open up a world full of poker possibilities. What are you waiting for, click away!

Online multi-flight poker tournaments are a delight for any professional poker player and by far the most preferred format of the game. So, what makes multi-flight poker tournaments such a chip magnet?

Definition: Multi-flight poker tournaments are phased tournaments with more than one entry day. Each starting phase plays up to the same point and all remaining players qualify for the final phase. The final phase comprises of players from all other starting phases.

Here’s a look at the upcoming EndBoss online poker tournament flight schedule to help illustrate the above:

 Flight Schedule

What’s more?

  • Players can choose to qualify to the final phase by playing any one of these starting flights.
  • Players cannot register for the final phase directly, they can only qualify for it from one of the starting phases.
  • A player can take part in more than one starting phase as long as he/she is not registered in more than one flight at the same time. Effectively, a player cannot qualify for a final phase twice.
  • A phased online poker tournament has only one prize pool which is gathered by all the starting phase tournaments and summed up to the final phase. The prize pool distribution occurs only in the final phase.

The best feature of multi-flight poker tournaments is that any time a player fails to qualify to Day 2 through a particular flight can take another shot at the same tournament by playing another flight. Now, isn’t that great?

With that set in stone, let’s get to enjoy some bites from the poker pros themselves. We asked professional poker players and serial crushers on PokerBaazi.com for some poker gyaan on multi-flight poker tournaments, here’s their dope.

Poker Pro Talk

Laksh Pal Singh

“There are definitely multiple factors to consider in multi-flight poker tournaments. Tanking a bit if you’re short in the final level helps. Putting pressure on shorter stacks who are looking to bag is also a strategy you can use towards the end of Day 1”

“Strategy is obviously to go into Day 2 with a big stack. Generally, go ham in the starting flights and try to bag big. Also, if I bag, I don’t fire again (re-buy in), since it’s the biggest stack forward and as it is pretty hard to bag.”

Waiting to see this gunner at the End Boss Series and check what new poker tricks he has up his sleeve.

Vinod Megalmani

“In multi-flight online poker tournaments, keep track of those bullets. The aim is to make it to Day 2 and from there, stack size doesn’t matter. But, if you do make it through day 1a with 50BB, I would advise you to not fire again, at least I wouldn’t. I discipline myself to one bullet each flight and probably go crazy last flight, if needed.”

Can’t wait to see this Bangalore pro set the End Boss felts on fire!

Gaurav Sood          

“Just play the best you can and take all the spots you can to make a worthwhile stack and even if you don't have a big stack for Day 2, it's a new day, new possibilities. Good luck! :)“

Eager to watch this young gun blaze the End Boss felts!

Well, you have it from the pros themselves. So, what are you waiting for? Make your way to the End Boss satellites right away and guarantee yourself a seat for India’s much-awaited online poker tournament of the year. Literally a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ at poker glory with 1Cr guarantee for the top spot, so make each hand count!

 Irrespective of your skill level in poker, the felts are competitive at every stage. With real money on the line, each player wants that cut throat edge. The edge can come in various forms and one such weapon you can use to your advantage is poker tools. A lesser explored weapon in India, poker tools like poker HUDs are certainly the name of the game that carries great value in professional poker. 

So, why not be ahead of the curve and learn the basics of the tool today. Diving into the fundamentals of Poker HUDS, we shall see how they can be beneficial in India’s biggest online poker tournament like the End Boss 5Cr GTD (15th-19th April, 2020). With a whopping 8 figure guarantee, everyone’s going to want to put their skin in this game. What’s your game plan?

 What are Poker HUDs?

 A Poker HUD (heads-up display) is an application that allows you to collect data and displays essential usable statistics on your opponent.

The HUD gathers data from a player’s hand histories and churns out statistics in the form of percentages that you can view as you play. The application does not mean your game of poker is on auto-pilot mode. It’s more of a co-pilot, guiding and steering you towards making the right decision on the table.

Why use a Poker HUD during an online poker tournament?

  • Ability to exploit opponents

 You certainly have an upper hand and can play more exploitative poker.

  • It’s kryptonite for multi-tabling

MTTs are the new grind now. When toggling your attention between tables, there’s often an overload of information which does take a while to assimilate and process. HUDs provide with just the right amount of aid so that you can focus on the important decisions.

  • Great way to fix your own leaks!

The Poker HUD data also allows you to review your own game, your statistics and any deficiencies. 

 If that hasn’t got you curious, here’s a look at the tools that might just help you unlock your full potential in online poker!

Poker HUDs

 High stakes tournaments like PokerBaazi’s End Boss are already luring an enormous number of registrations to the felts, so you can fairly anticipate players outwitting one another with the sole intent to grab that monster guarantee of 1Cr GTD.

 Moreover, online poker has been always anonymous and as such, sees a lot of math behind each player’s decisions. Enjoy this simple tool to explore your game during your poker warm up routine and wrap your mind with the perfect math for India’s biggest ever online poker tournament, End Boss 5Cr GTD.

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