We are here with Chirag Sodha, winner of The Endeavour 15 LAC GTD tournament on PokerBaazi.com. Here’s what Chirag has to say about the super Tuesday night on PokerBaazi.com where he made close to 5 LAC overnight. That’s huge, isn’t it!
We congratulate Chirag!
The IPN team had a chat with Chirag over his great performance. Check out what ‘miyagi’ had to say:
Question- Our readers who don’t know much about you, could you introduce yourself?
Chirag- Sure! I am a Bangalore-based recreational poker player, and was introduced to the game about 11 years ago when I went to London for my undergrad. It was my cousin who taught me the rules of the game, and once university started I made some friends who shared a common passion for the game. We would play home games amongst ourselves, and eventually started playing at the casinos in the city. Today, I play a lot of poker online and at the PokerBaazi.com Live poker room in Bangalore
Q- How do you feel after winning The Endeavour 15 LAC GTD tournament?
C- To be honest this win means so much to me for a couple of reasons. Although I have been playing poker for so many years internationally, this is the first big event that I have managed to win in the Indian circuit. We talk about taking spots, playing solid, avoiding mistakes, but the thing about tournament poker is that doing everything right doesn’t really guarantee anything! Variance plays a big part and although knowing this fact is one thing, it is a different matter altogether when you need to console yourself after an opponent hits a one outer on you deep into a tournament. The only way to level with it is by putting in the volume, but sometimes when you don’t get results for a while, it can be a little discouraging.
What I am trying to say is that although the game is based on skill, mathematics and intuition, a vital element in shipping a tourney is the #rungood factor, and such a long ‘dry spell’ had me questioning a lot of things. I have some great friends and mentors who have stood by me and pushed me to keep at it, and this win is solely because of these guys! For me personally, the win stands as proof to the fact that enough hard work, dedication and a consistent effort will definitely reap rewards.
What made the win sweeter is the fact that I got a free ticket to the event when I deposited 20k on the website, and that I stand a chance to win a package to Melbourne during the Aussie Millions!!! That’s a pretty sick promotion! Kudos guys!
Q- What are your hobbies?
C- I absolutely love sports- cricket, football, and snooker. I’ve always been a sports enthusiast all through my school and college days. I don’t play as much as I used to, but some friends and I get together for a game of football a couple times a week. Besides sports, I love travelling and exploring new places. I make an effort to travel at least once every one/two months. Life’s too short, and the world’s too big- there’s just too much to see! Oh, and beaches over mountains, any day!
Q- What’s your poker story, how did you start playing poker?
C- I started off with cash games back in the year 2006. Since I was very young when I started playing, I was extremely reckless with my money (pocket-money was hard to value). I could say that I was absolutely wild in my younger days, and found myself broke way too many times. The thrill is what attracted me to the game, and I was blinded by it. It took a while to come to terms with the reality of the game, and understand that discipline is an absolute requisite to play the game successfully. I do still consider myself below par when it comes to managing a bankroll, but the way I look at it, as long as I am learning, improving and bettering myself constantly, I’ll be okay.
Q- What’s your background- education, profession, age, and birthplace? What are your future plans??
C- I’m 29, and was born in Enfield in London. I did my undergrad in International Business from Brunel University in London. I went on to try many different jobs over the years, including real estate, advertising, cricket coaching and finally content writing. Today, I do some freelance writing and have a fair amount of involvement in our family business.
My future plans, well, that’s a tough one! My ideal plan is to have a business that is my own, which would serve as a steady and comfortable source of income. Poker will be a part of my life no doubt. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about myself in these last 10 years it’s that poker and I are inseparable!
Q- How tough was the field? How was your experience in the tournament?
C- The field in most Indian tournaments today is tough. We have so many great players in the country, and so many new faces that continue to turn heads. It’s great for poker in India! That being said, there are plenty of players who seem to be waiting to give you their stacks! I think it’s important to know who you are playing against at the table, as gameplay and dynamics differ from player to player. The software is great! I absolutely loved it!
Q- Any special moment/hand in the tourney?
C- Oh plenty!! Tournaments can’t be won without winning those crucial flips! Of course big hands that you win towards the latter stages of the tournament mean so much more. I was one of the shortest stack when we were down to the last two tables, and managed to survive and make it to the Final Table in 7th position (I think I had about 8 or 9 bb). There were 3 hands that I can remember that took place on the final table:
- Sumit Sapra opened to 2.5x with a healthy stack and I shoved KQdd against his AT and hit a flush on the river.
- After chipping up over the next half hour or so I was chip leader with 6 players to go, button opened, SB (Sumit again) 3-bet and I 4-bet shoved AK. He called off with JJ and I managed to clip an Ace on the flop.
- This one probably set the tournament in my favor. Button opened again (Nishant Sharma), I 3-bet with AK and called his all in to see him holding TT. Again, I managed to clip an Ace on the flop! This was not only the biggest pot of the tournament but it was against a good player who was probably the only real threat at the time (based on stack sizes too). I’m pretty certain he would have gone on to take it down had his TT held.
Q- Do you plan to play any more tournaments?
C- Yes. I have shifted my attention from cash games to tournaments in the last year or so, and have put in decent volume. I enjoy the grind, and love the (new found) satisfaction of outlasting such a large and competitive field. I love the new set of tournaments on Baazi and have been playing them every evening. Apart from that, I am eagerly looking forward to the PokerBaazi Premier League Winter edition, which has a crazy guarantee of 2.6 CRORE in just 6 DAYS! It’s got a pretty sick lineup of high-value tournaments, and I intend to take full advantage of my #rungood!
Q- Any tips or suggestions for fellow Baazigars to keep them going smoothly?
C- Haha well I wouldn’t consider myself the best person to take tips from, but like I said, friends who are an integral part of the poker community have always stressed upon good bankroll management and keeping emotions off the table. After playing this long, I believe that I have made fair progress in this aspect, and believe that anyone can. Personally, I believe a lot in a positive environment and mind-set when I am playing, and I try to refrain from conversations centered on bad beats or suck-outs. It’s a part of the game, we knew that when we signed up!
Q- What are your views on the ongoing promotions at PokerBaazi.com for the festive season?
C- I actually came across the Diwali Cash League promotion yesterday and decided to give the cash games a shot. I think I played for maybe two hours and managed to win close to a LAC! The action has picked up tremendously from when I last remember (since I don’t play too much cash), and I also played a couple of the Double or Nothing tourneys, which are great fun! The PPL Winter Edition looks amazing, and I’m looking forward to cash in on the ridiculous prize pool on offer! Like the rest of the country, I think The MoneyMaker 1 CRORE GTD tournament is what I’m really looking forward to! I was absolutely thrilled when the second edition was announced, and am certain that this is only the beginning of bigger and better things to come!
All in all, I am extremely happy with my performance and consider myself lucky. To be honest, I was very skeptical during the early days when PokerBaazi.com had issues related to software, and was quite vocal about it too. But credit where credits due. They have come such a long way and today I would recommend the site to anyone without a second thought! Their commitment to customer satisfaction has won me over, and I’m certain that I am not the only Baazigar who feels this way!
Thanks again guys, and Happy Diwali!
Thank You Chirag for such an amazing and informative interview. We wish you All the Best for the further tournaments!
You too can make your weekdays amazing with amazing tournaments on PokerBaazi.com. Sign Up using promo code IPN to get Rs 200 FREE!!