Apr 09, 2020


A high stakes poker tournament is all about the skill level of a poker player. The higher the level of knowledge and in-depth understanding of poker, the better you stand in the field. This directly translates to the abc strategies of tournament poker not being effective every time. So, how do you skill up and take down high stakes poker tournaments?

With a high stakes tourney like the EndBoss (5Cr GTD) knocking at your doorstep, we are listing a few quick pointers so that you may fill any gaps in your current strategy and play a more confident game.

  1. It is common to steal blinds

    Poker players consider blind stealing at the nascent stages of a Multi-Tabling Tournament (MTT) pretty pointless. However, in a high stakes MTT, blind stealing does occur at earlier levels. In small and mid-stakes games, the blinds are too small to add value at the level at say 1-3% of your chip stack. However, in high stakes poker tournaments, a large chunk of the players raise in middle and early positions and bluff more pots. The key is to get more aggressive with your bluffs with less fold equity.

  1. Slow playing

    Slow playing and waiting for aggressive players to bluff is way more profitable in high stakes poker tournaments. Setting traps when you hit that monster flop is crucial in order to extract maximum values from your premium hands. Mid and low stakes games feature inexperienced players who might value shove and call your re-raise and therefore, not advised at these stakes.

  1. Less loose calls

    The skill level and proficiency of players at high stakes MTT games should not be taken for granted at any point during the game. Professional poker players certainly make optimal calls. No one’s ever calling the river with a flush draw! Brush up on your pots odds and value as you will see a lot of it in play at this level of the game.

  1. Hand reading

    High stakes MTT poker tournaments are all about the 3bets and 4bets now, even with poor hands. So, it’s important to hand read at this level and also keep in mind that a professional poker player will have an MTT toll running in the background to analyse your skill and ability and play you to it.

  1. Defend your big blind

    Every poker player knows the importance of defending the big blind. With real money at stake, you cannot be succumbing to the open raiser making an automatic profit. As a thumb rule, you should be 3betting or calling at least 40% of hands against late position opens.

  1. Deep stacks = 3-bet like it’s a good old cash game

    With deeper stacks, an opponent is tempted to continue against your 3-bet that leads to narrow escapes with marginal hands. In a high stakes poker tournament, a polarised 3 betting range when it’s a large stack-to-pot ratio is a clear winning strategy.

  1. Continuation betting is passé

    Check-raise bluffing does not work in high stakes MTT. Players no longer bluff in bad spots and certainly give thought to what they are representing. Besides, the basic level of thinking that goes on when you see the flop, it’s important in these situations to also ask yourself what your opponent’s range looks like and what your range looks like to your opponent.

  1. Do not wing it at any level – have a plan for future streets

    At this level of play, you ought to have a rough plan for each likely outcome before making any decision. You have to be one step ahead and know your action if your opponent raises or what turn cards you will be barrelling.

We hope these pointers will help you nail the next high stakes poker tourney you are going for. Those of you who are planning to ace PokerBaazi’s EndBoss (15th-19th April), check out the EndBoss page for all details.

Its satellites are already running chop-chop on the PokerBaazi app and you may join them for as low as INR 20 to win a discounted entry to this high stakes poker tournament. So, brush up those skills and don’t lose out on those bills!

Poker fans often take to twitter to follow their poker celebrities closely. However, poker celebrities also take to Instagram doling out both poker strategies and life advice. If you are a professional poker player in India and mean business, you ought to be keeping up with the international world of poker. Knowledge is your only weapon in poker and you should be quenching in its fountain everywhere you can. 

We know you poker players don’t like the hassle or links or multiple downloads, all you gotta do is click (since we know how much you love the click) follow on their Instagram profiles and you have an easy-breezy way of getting your daily download of poker news from poker's best.  

They are not necessarily the top 7 in every poker player’s list but their Instagram accounts churn some quality content for poker players, be it grinding cash games of online poker or going live in casinos to firing it up in tournaments! 

So, get ready to dive into the world of these awesome poker players and soak in all their live and online poker exploits at the world’s most exciting tables. It’s time to read their stories up close, know what’s lurking behind the scenes, check out their hand histories and maybe follow some high stakes poker action on the go. Who knows what might tick for your next game?

We also think Dan Bilzerian is not the only gramer to be following in the poker community. Follow these poker celebrities who are winners both on and off the felts!

Poker Infographics

Looking to collect some mega winnings through some amazing competition on the felts of PokerBaazi? Check out our upcoming online poker tournament, EndBoss (15th-19th April) to claim a shot at its monster prize pool of 5CR GTD. You may also join its satellites for buy-ins starting as low as INR 20 and finish at the top to get a discounted entry to EndBoss.

See you at the felts!

PokerBaazi.com, one of India’s most trusted online poker platforms have been the flag-bearers of innovative product offerings since its inception. One such brain child is the PPL (PokerBaazi Premier League), a series hosted every quarter by Pokerbaazi with whopping guarantees and hard to ignore Leaderboard prizes.

The PokerBaazi Premier League has a gamut of big tournaments under its name and The Endeavour is one of its major crowd pullers standing tall on it’s INR 50 lakhs guarantee. Well, it’s a clincher with a lustrous INR 8.76 lakhs payday for the winner.

With over 1000 plus entries, The Endeavour journey to victory was no walk in the park. The event recently concluded with some of the big names of Indian poker finishing in the money namely Vaibhav Sharma aka ‘WakhraSwagNi’Sahil Mahboobani aka 'ImHighIshove' (23rd), Arjanveer Chadha aka 'holdbaby' (28th), Goonjan Mall aka 'gmtesting' (29th), Manish Lakhotia aka 'thekid' (34th), Hitesh Batra aka 'hiteshbhai' (56th), Sreekanth Narayan aka 'n0thing' (80th) and others.

Coming a close second was Danish Shaikh aka ‘pagla’ with a payout of INR 5.64 lakhs. Surviving that heads-up battle and acing the gruelling felts to be crowned the poker champion was Vaibhav Sharma aka ‘WakhraSwagNi’. We managed to chat up the winner and talk to him about his tournament journey. Here’s what he had to share.

That’s a not so modest paycheck you have to your name now. Any thoughts on how you plan on spending it?

*Chuckles* Nothing specific actually, I will probably reinvest part of it into poker for another tournament buy-in.

Tournaments like PokerBaazi’s Endeavour are a long grind, do you have a routine in place for 24 hours before tournaments like these?

When I reached day 1A with a comfortable chip stack and knew this online poker tournament had a decent structure and good top money, I just had to stay focused and continue the momentum. I often do take a quick walk or quick jog in the park but mainly stayed focused on the win and made sure not to play out of line for this one.

Was there a turning point for you in the tournament?

Not specifically. I ran great, came in as chip leader on day 2 with 30 or 40 people left.  Held my guns and kept the chip lead till the final table with a 1.5x lead. From here on, despite losing a few pots, I focused on levelling, grinding it out and finding the right spots to take.

As a professional poker player, tell us what you thought of The Endeavour structure?

The structure was brilliant. Even during heads-up and the final table, everyone had decent chip stacks with 40-50 blinds and a great top prize only made the game more interesting. The final table of this online poker tournament also had a great line up with some of India’s best poker players like Danish, Bansal and Chirag putting immense pressure on the table.

MTTs are the name of the game, what’s your take on it?

 The Endeavour Winner

I was in fact playing a few of the other major PPL tournaments with decent guarantees while playing The Endeavor. As a regular poker player, I play 5-6 tables at a time, but don’t go overboard.

We can’t resist asking, Cash games or Tournaments?

I mostly play tournaments. Only if I’m up for it and there are no tournaments running, I occasionally play a cash table.

Walk us down the memory lane to your yesteryears of poker

I was probably 24 when I dabbled with some online poker and had a regular 8-10 work life. Since then, I grew passionate about the mind sport and I thought I could make a decent living out of it. I took a break for a year to test the waters with online poker and luckily had a supportive and understanding family.

Tilt is probably the most dreaded poker term, how do you cope with yours?

It’s not something new for a regular poker player. Sometimes you run good, sometimes you lose. It doesn’t affect me too much now. It gets to me for a couple of seconds, but I don’t hold on to it and continue clicking because what happened cannot be changed.

Poker is all about skilling up to survive, are you reading any poker books currently?

I’m not much of a reader, but I’ve certainly skimmed through Matthew Janda’s ‘Application of No-limit hold’em’ andNo limit hold’em for advanced players. Both are theoretically sound poker books poker players must read.

Pokerbaazi’s The End Boss and NPS are around the corner, will we be seeing you on the felts?

Certainly considering taking part in the upcoming End Boss and NPS series.

Being a known figure in the poker circuit, what are your thoughts on the future of this skill-based mind sport?

Poker has a great future in India. The game is certainly booming with great payouts. I only see more and more players joining the Indian poker community.

You have been playing on PokerBaazi for over 4 years now. Care to share your experience with us?

I started clicking on Pokerbaazi and never stopped. The customer service, the people behind it and easy accessibility are a definite win for me. I feel so connected to the team and that’s crucial for a poker player. PokerBaaziLive has also always been a great experience, thanks to the great hospitality and the helpful nature of the team. 

Behind every successful poker player is a great rail, tell us about your support system

My mom’s been of great support allowing me to play in the comfort of my home. She even makes me home-cooked food for my late-night games and makes sure it’s easy to eat since I’m busy clicking away with my other hand.

The same is followed by my coach, mentor and backer Giraf Gagner who has been my one army all the way and encouraged me to play poker full time. I’m also fortunate to be surrounded by some great poker players like Danish aka ‘pagla’, Harsha aka and Rajath aka ‘lungfakeer’ who I often discuss my hands with and of course, we continue to share that great bond outside of poker as well.

Well, you’ve heard it all from the man himself, Vaibhav Sharma aka ‘WakhraSwagNi’, the winner of PokerBaazi’s PPL Endeavour Tournament.

Hoping to feature in a winner interview soon? Check out PokerBaazi’s upcoming poker tournaments, The End Boss and National Poker Series (NPS) and stand a chance to win that life changing paycheck!

May the best man/woman win!

Goal setting in online poker games, being a prime essential in your poker strategy needs to be done the smart way so that you tick all the right boxes at once. Playing 1000 hands a day or spending 10-12 hours on the felts of poker alone won’t help, instead, it might ruin your game altogether. 

Hence, if you really have eyes on the big win in an online poker tournament, it is important to set goals that are relevant, achievable and are entirely under your control to see positive results in your next game of poker.

With the big guns such as the EndBoss and the National Poker Series knocking around the corner this season, it’s vital that you set clear goals and form relevant poker strategy that includes not just reviewing your online poker game or playing a certain number of hands per day but also deciding important elements like the stakes you wish to play for.

Meanwhile, if you are on the lookout for high stakes tournaments with great buy ins, check out our upcoming tournaments, EndBoss and National Poker Series (NPS) and take home some big winnings. 

There’s a fine line between a busy and productive poker player. This infographic contains small but relevant pointers to ship your next online poker game or tournament in the right direction. So, let’s welcome a healthy dose of inspiration to kick-start your game this week on PokerBaazi and get rid of any potential flaws in your current poker routine, if any. 

Busy vs Productive Players


A game of poker like any other card game has different structures and wager variations. As a poker player, it’s important you understand the formats and their differences because you don’t want to be that fish trying to climb a tree. The two main formats of a poker game are cash games and tournaments.

Check out here: Poker Cash Games or Tournaments

Here’s the basic difference between the two kinds.

Poker Cash Games

Poker Tournaments

Played only on one table

Played on one table, but can have multiple tables.

Players exchange real money for chips (Rs.10 = 10 chips, or 1 chip of the denomination 10).

Players exchange real money for a fixed denomination of chips. Example: The buy-in for a tournament can be Rs.100, but everyone will receive a fixed denomination of 2000 chips).

The entry has a minimum and maximum buy-in amount which depends on the stakes.

The entry is fixed and everyone is required to put in the same buy-in amount.

The blinds in cash games of poker remain the same.

The blinds increase as per the poker tournament structure.

If you lose all your chips, you can rebuy-in and continue on the table.

If you lose all your chips in a tournament, you are eliminated (freeze outs). Unless the tournament structure has a rebuy-in option for a stipulated time period (rebuy tournaments).

The chip count at the end of cash games equalizes your cash out.

The chip count at the end of the tournament does not equalize your cash out. The cash out in poker tournaments depends on the prize pool and guarantees and are fixed amounts depending on the place you finish in.

A player can sit down and exit the game whenever they like. Most cash games of poker require a call time, indicating that you will be exiting the table to the other players, usually 30-45 minutes.

In poker tournaments, a player must play continually until he/she runs out of their chips.

Moving on, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both poker game formats.

Poker Cash Game

Poker Tournaments



Does not take up too much of your time, you can sit and leave a table anytime you want

When you win, you win BIG!

Much more analytical game play focusing on the post flop action

Will be playing against both recreational and regular poker players

Lesser variance


Smaller bankroll




Playing against regulars will require an in-depth understanding of the game

Higher variance

Lack of pay jumps which means you won’t be going from rags to riches in a single game.

Time consuming

Will be raked for every pot won

High bankroll requirements


How to Choose The Right Poker Game for You?

With this understanding of the two popular formats of a poker game, here’s a checklist of questions to help you with your game selection:

Poker Game Check List

At the end of the day, you know best, take time to understand your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to a game of poker and choose one that will play out your strengths.  Don’t force yourself to play a format that you do not enjoy. After all, mental satisfaction and enjoying the game inevitably helps you play better.

  1. What are the poker games available?

    It’s important to be aware of the kind of poker games announced both online and live. Check out our online poker platform to understand the various  game formats being offered on the app. If you want to play live in goa, you can visit our state of the art PokerBaazi Live Room aboard Casino Pride  II and enjoy playing cash games of poker.

  1. Where does your poker bankroll stand?
    Poker tournaments require a higher bankroll commitment than cash games. If you are under-rolled for a tournament, you might want to stick to cash games and tweak your bankroll.
  1. What’s the rake?
    Another deciding factor to choose a poker game is the rake. A rake is nothing but a commission fee collected by the operator for the poker game. It’s usually an average of 2.5%-10%. A live game will naturally have a higher rake since the operator has fixed expenses to cover for. If you are starting off,  micro stakes tournaments are a better option.
  1. How much time are you willing to commit?
    The time you set aside for a poker game is crucial for your game selection. If the hours are not flexible, you should be considering cash games. Poker tournaments are played over a longer duration that may last for hours and as such, demand increased attention of your time and patience. If you have neither at the time, we recommend not registering for it.
  1. What are your poker skill sets?
    At the end of the day, you know best, take time to understand your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to a game of poker and choose one that will play out your strengths. Don’t force yourself to play a format that you do not enjoy. After all, mental satisfaction and enjoying the game inevitably helps you play better.

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