Aug 15, 2018
Abhisek Panda

Abhisek Panda

Hey guys,

I have been playing poker on and off for 5-6 years now, but it wasn't until 2014 that I started playing seriously. Since then, played a bunch of live cash games in the many poker rooms of Bangalore with varying degrees of success. 2015 turned out to be a good year for me in live tournaments with a host of final tables and deep runs in IPC Goa.

However, juggling poker and a corporate job were taking a toll on me and I decided to take a break from the corporate grind in 2016 to become a full-time poker pro. Fortunately, I got the chance to join PokerBaazi around the same time. As a professional player, it has been an interesting journey with a lot of ups and downs.

2016 wasn't a good year for me poker-wise as I was on a prolonged downswing and had some health problems on top of that. I took to traveling to take my mind off the downswing and worked on improving my game away from the tables. I eventually managed to turn it around after the break, and this being my biggest downswing of my career helped me grow as player and person. Also, I can't stress enough on the importance of having a balanced lifestyle as a poker player. Poker players, in general, tend to live an unhealthy lifestyle and we let our results on the table dictate our mood. Having a good support network of poker players to discuss strategy/hands and the day-to-day swings of the poker-life also help.

For the last year or so I have been concentrating mainly on online PLO cash poker games on PokerBaazi.com. My Holdem’ background meant it was a long and expensive journey to switch to PLO. One of biggest mistakes I made was to jump to the same stakes as I was playing in Holdem. In hindsight, it would definitely have been better to start from scratch and gradually climb up the stakes.

The endless hours of playing poker and working on the game have been paying off lately and I wish I would have done the same earlier. Going forward I plan to play more live tournaments; you just can't beat the feeling of going deep in a live tournament.

On a final note, I am very excited about the upcoming PokerBaazi Premier League Season VI which begins tomorrow, 10th May. PPL Season VI, with its 1.5cr GTD prize pool, is the biggest Indian online tournament series ever and I am extremely proud to be part of the team behind it. Jasven (Saigal) and I have designed most of the structures and we are confident that this series will be one heck of a ride for every single player. I am especially excited about the 50 Lakhs GTD Main Event which has 10 Lakhs GTD to the winner.

So good luck to everyone. See you at the tables.

The Vegas season is more than what every poker player dreams of. This time around, PokerBaazi.com bombarded us with one after another mega promotion, giving away Vegas trips in prizes. The best and the unique part about these promotions was that each and every category of players had a fair chance to take home a Vegas package. It all started with two concurrent promotions, The Vegas Challenge & Vegas VIP Race.

The Vegas Challenge had three exciting challenges a) Completing a stack challenge on 5/10 to 50/100 tables b) Getting 5 paid places in tournaments & c) playing 10K hands. It was surprizing to see the first Vegas package being booked in the first three days itself! Hats off to Prateek Mishra ‘pratmish’ for this amazing feat. Two other Vegas packages in this promotion were soon to follow. Rohit Begwani & Rony Chowdhury both showed that there can be a marathon on the poker tables as well. Apart from the top 3 who won Vegas packages worth 3 LAC each, there were 7 more prizes including two iPhones & five 50K Bankrolls. I congratulate all these winners for completing all three challenges in such a short span.

The Vegas VIP Race, on the other hand, was for the high stakes players as the target involved generating 12 LAC VIP points. I was pleased to see Rahul Mittal, my fellow Bangalorean, & Abhigya Sagar, both noted players in the circuit, completing the target & taking away Vegas packages worth 4 LAC each. The next three prizes in this race are still open and I can see a those getting filled up soon.

With 5 Vegas packages being won in the first half of the month, PokerBaazi came up with another big promotion, adding 3 more Vegas packages worth 3 LAC each. The Vegas Tournament Challenge, as the name suggests, is a special challenge where you have to put your tournament skills to use and win two 2 LAC GTD Vegas Special tournaments happening every day at 10.30 PM from 17th to 30th April. If you are reading this & think this is something out of this world and not achievable, you would be amazed to know that not just one but two Baazigars have already achieved this. I must congratulate Akshay Nasa ‘sherlock52’ & Amit Singh ‘pokman875’ for proving what Baazigars are capable of. You also have to generate 1 LAC VIP points in the Vegas Tournament Challenge to win a Vegas package.

You can play each Vegas Special for free using deposit code VEGAS2L. Details are available here.

All in all, I can see a great Vegas trip coming up this summer. Vegas, beware!

There are 6 more Vegas Special tournaments to go. This is going to be as exciting as it can be. Join in with me and let’s take this challenge.

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