Online poker sensation Eka ‘gettingthere’ Vedantham is our final guest in the ‘Play like a Pro’ series leading up to the PPL Spring’18 Edition scheduled for February the 13th. The young poker pro seems to have cracked the code and his moniker ‘gettingthere’ seems to be on every final table!
Probably one of the hardest working poker players today, Eka Vedantham has shown some brilliant commitment and dedication towards the game, and his results speak volumes. He is the highest earning poker player on Indian sites from Oct’17- till date, and 16th over-all on the list of highest earning Indians on PokerStars. Team IPN managed to catch up with Eka for some invaluable insights on the game – here’s what he had to say:
“Hey guys! The upcoming PPL Spring Edition is guaranteed to be an exciting one, with a massive 4.1 CRORE to play for! The featured event being a 1 Crore GTD ME where the winner takes home 30 lakhs – that ladies and gentlemen, is a life changing sum of money which is the beauty of poker in a nutshell. On an investment of 16500, being able to win 30 lakhs is an ROI of 18000% + which in terms of value is the maximum any one of us could hope for in the period of a day. The above return justifies the shift from cash games to tournaments for most players which is why today the Indian poker market is heavily weighted to tournaments. In a tournament you know before going in that your losses are capped as you have a set number of bullets decided prior to the event. Your ROI multiplies further if you manage to clip a satty or step-satty to the event!
When it comes to the bigger events with huge guarantees, I would advise people not to play any smaller events at the same time. Quite often, the result on one table affects the game-play on the other and you can end up losing your stack in a way you usually wouldn’t have. With regards to strategy, the biggest edge you can have is based around adjusting to your table. Knowing who you’re up against in any given spot is a huge edge so if you don’t know your table mates, ask others if they recognize any of the monikers at the start of play. Target certain types of players instead of people you know are good and have proven success in the game. Leave your ego and all thoughts outside of the game at the door. A clear head is my biggest tool while playing. I’m not thinking of anything outside of the stuff I’m playing in that moment.
It’s important to know when to change gears mid-game but the key is survival. First you survive till you run deep, then you make the money, then the final table and still the hardest part is yet to come because now you’re playing for lakhs! You can have the perfect game till the final table and one mistake can see you fall from 2/8 to 6/8 and another one can see you eliminated in 8th place where you would cash for around 1.5 or 2 lakhs instead of the 30 lakhs that you could have got for first or the 20 lakhs for second, or even the ten lakhs for third. For the bigger events when you know you’re going to be playing for a period of 10+ hours if things go well, make sure you’re comfortable and don’t have to deal with the stress of an aching body or a hungry belly. Pre-game prep is a real thing and I think it would be useful to people to clear their mind before actually playing. Ask yourself what you want out of the day, set yourself up to achieve it and more often than not, you will.
I would tell people not to be so attached to the outcome of every given hand. For every beat you receive you’ll take the same call a hundred more times so you’re only really harming yourself by going on tilt. Especially in the early stage of a tourney because the idea is to minimize your investment and if you tilt after losing your first buy-in, you’re likely to lose a few more than you had planned to. When you’re faced with a field of 800+ people, nothing that happens till there’s 200 left even matters, so step away from the immediate outcome to appreciate what that outcome might lead to.
Choosing your bet sizes in games is a huge factor into a building a good stack early on. In the late stages, the folds you make are more important than the flips you take because more likely than not, your tournament life is going to be at risk. Patience is an underrated part of the game and sometimes just waiting is the best thing you can do for your game.
During the previous PPL edition, I was fortunate enough to win 3 events on the same day, the megastack, PLO HighRoller and another event which cumulatively was worth about 13 lakhs. The PLO HR was a unique experience and I knew the hours put in at the cash games would make my life a lot easier. I didn’t have a set strategy in mind prior to playing as my PLO sample size is pretty small when it comes to tournaments. I knew it was 6 max which meant we would be playing more hands than usual so I made it a point to be pretty active at the start. Once we made the money, I made a ton of folds until we were down to the final two tables. When there were 12 left we were probably running 9/12, where we busted two guys in one round to take pole position and were set to finish in the top 3. Heads up was with Vishal Tulysan and we had made a deal where he got more money as he had a 2.5:1 chip lead over us. Once the deal was struck the heads up ended in a few hands and we came out on top to secure a sum close to 5 lakhs. This still tops some of my bigger scores as I got a surprise package in the mail over the next few days with a trophy which was sick!
On a final note, we have 7 days, 42 events and a prize-pool of more than 4cr to make something happen. Approach it as what it is, a series, so it’s not just about how you start, but more so about how you finish. Good luck to all the grinders out there, see you’ll at the tables real soon ;)”
Thank you Eka, and good luck for the upcoming PPL!
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