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.