India Poker Champion Aditya Sushant Talks to PokerGuru
February 3, 2011, 22:31:43
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Pokerguru: Congratulations on being poker tournament winners of the IPC Main Event to become the first ever India Poker Champion! How does it feel to become an India Poker Champion at such a young age and what does this win mean for your poker career?

Aditya: Thanx a lot! Well it obviously feels really great to have won the very first India Poker Championship Main Event. It's quite a euphoric feeling that I've got. The tournament was a pretty tough one as it was filled with a lot of good players. A 25k buy in event obviously brings out the cream of the crop, each one wanting to win it more than the other. 

I was really relieved on winning the Main Event. I'd been playing for quite a few hours and it had been physically and mentally pretty exhausting. This win is doubly special to me because it`s my first live tournament win and also because I came into the final table as the short stack with only about 6-7 big blinds to start with. For my first live tournament win to be an event of this size and stature, it obviously means a lot!

Poker career wise, this win is significant because it gave a good boost to my then depleted bankroll and it's just what I needed to get going. Obviously, I'm going to try and make an effort to take part in as many future events as I can. The One Year Sponsorship provided by the IPC goes a long way towards this goal. 

Pokerguru: How has been your experience playing in the IPC here in Casino Royale, Goa and any takeaways from this trip?

Aditya: First off, I'd like to say that I just love playing at Casino Royale, Goa. The atmosphere, the setting, the players are all amazing and just add to the wonderful experience one will always have playing there. I had a great time as usual this time as well.

Quite a few takeaways actually. Physically, a beautiful (not to mention heavy!) trophy, the IPC Winner's Medallion, champagne and of course the cash I won! Other than these, I've also learnt a lot more. Play texas holdem poker after all is a learning game for life and one becomes a better player with every experience.

Pokerguru: Do you play Poker back home and how is local poker scene back home?

Aditya: Yes, I do play a lot of poker back home in Chennai actually. We've got some really good home games going on almost everyday with a rotating group of about 12-20 people. The scene actually got going only around June-July this year but has picked up a lot since then.

Pokerguru: How long have you been playing poker and any specific tools or mentoring which have helped you?

Aditya: I think I've been playing poker for more than 3 and a half years or so now. I first found out about it when I was like 16 or 17 and was googling for online strategy games to play. I knew nothing about poker back then and became fascinated with the game immediately. The involvement of strategy and psychology together attracted me to poker like a magnet.

Well, I've learnt a lot and picked up a lot by reading a lot of strategy articles and stuff. Reading about the same stuff from different view points gives a new perspective each time. I've also watched quite a few videos of event telecasts and high stakes cash games. Haven't had any mentoring yet. Whatever I know, I've learnt pretty much on my own.

Pokerguru: Did you come into the tournament with any specific strategy?

Aditya: I didn't exactly have any poker strategy to begin with. I just decided to adapt my play according to the circumstances and take it from there. Everybody started with 200 big blinds which is reasonably deep stacked. This enabled a lot of play earlier on. I didn't feel the need to make any big moves early on simply because I felt that there was more value in waiting it out a bit initially, getting a feel for my table dynamics and the tournament flow in general before trying anything advanced.

Once the blinds started to pick up, I decided to make a few read based plays. A couple of them worked out really well including a hand where I made a strong ace high call on the river which turned out to be good.                       

By the time the final table began, I was the short stack, being 9th out of 9 people. Again, I started the final table with an open mindset. I made a couple of all in moves early on where I did not get called down. Things seemed to pick up after it got down to 6 people. Getting lucky a bit here and there where I needed to, and having most of my hands hold up when they needed to worked together to get me heads up with a massive chip lead and go on to win the IPC Main Event!

Pokerguru: What are your future poker plans and any tips or suggestions for aspiring poker players/enthusiasts?

Aditya: My future poker plans involve making an effort to play a lot more tournaments and cash games as well. I hope to be able to make some more good scores in the tournaments in the near future while also doing well in the cash games.

I'd like to be a good ambassador for the sport and do my bit towards promoting the game in India as well as helping out aspiring poker players/enthusiasts to play this game we all love so much. Poker is a game ridden with bad beats and suck outs. They should take them in stride and understand that it's all part of the game. Going on tilt is the key reason for the downfall of even great players. Tilt control is a very crucial aspect of having a good game.

I'd also like to advise them to play games that are within their level of affordability. Bankroll management is another crucial part of poker. It's important to play poker for stakes that mean something though because in my opinion, one only becomes a better player when the level of competition is that which gives him a run for his money each time. Only then can one evolve as a player.

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