In the country of poker players dreaming about Las Vegas, we have Anant Purohit who is crushing Live and Online Poker on a daily basis. Based in Vizag heading operations department in a private firm, Purohit is giving us poker goals to balance work life and poker life with great wins.
Recently, we saw Purohit traveling for international events and grinding online too. Poker industry can understand the craze for poker especially if you are from IIM institute and Purohit is from IIM Ahmedabad being introduced by another tourney lover and a renowned poker player from India, Anirban Das.
Pokershots correspondent had a great time in speaking with Anant Purohit and asking him about his poker journey, game mix and also we played some rapid-fire round. Here are the excerpts;
Hi Anant! Congratulations on making an impressive finish in the recent tournaments. Please tell us how did you pick up poker as a career?
Thank you so much. I haven’t picked up poker as a full-time career. I’m currently working as an operational head in a private firm in Vizag. Having said that, I take poker quite seriously and it’s very close to my heart. My tryst with poker started in 2011 during my college days in IIM Ahmedabad.
One of my friends, Anirban Das introduced me to poker and I instantly fell in love with it. I have played other card games as well, but what makes poker so irresistible is the fact that there are multiple variables at play.
When playing poker, it’s not just about your own cards, the stack and opponents’ play are few of the factors that drive the course of the entire play. And, that brings in infinite possibilities making every situation unique and interesting. There’s always a new challenge awaiting you at the tables!
Could you tell us about your poker playing in the early days, what did you learn initially, the mistakes you used to make, and the challenges you faced?
So, initially, when I started playing poker, I wasn’t so serious. I enjoyed and played a lot, but didn’t really have a well-thought-through approach. This was from 2014 until 2016, when, after a streak of bad beats, I decided to go for a session with a poker pro. And, that changed my perspective completely.
I realised that I was restricting myself to looking for cards in my favour and not analysing other prevalent factors, like other players’ strength, the stack, the role of probability etc, that are dominant in poker. After professionally coaching for poker, I also realised the importance of studying the game. It doesn’t matter whether you’re winning or losing, you must study the game to understand its nuances.
What is your game mix like?
It’s 90% hold’em tournaments, only 10% cash games or Omaha.
What is it that made you a better player?
I think the ability to define my play and strategize accordingly are playing a big role in making do better and better each day. Also, I strongly believe in the process of learning, I watch tutorials to understand the different types of play and also closely follow national and international players at various poker events.
Who are your role models in the poker fraternity?
Aditya Sushant, Aditya Aggarwal, Dhaval Mudgal, Sahil Aggarwal. I follow them closely.
How does your family feel about this career choice?
It took some time for my parents to understand that poker is not gambling, and it is a skill-based sport played by some of the best minds in the world. Honestly, I didn’t expect, but once they understood that poker is a skill-based game, they’ve been more than supportive.
My wife knew about my association with poker and has always been supportive. She encourages and helps me focus on my game. In fact, she has even picked up the game and won a few small stake tournaments.
What’s your advice to a newcomer in poker?
Don’t just look to get lucky. Poker is not about that. You have to study, stop, and reflect your play. It’s very important to analyse whether you played correctly. If you cannot do it yourself, hire a coach to help you with that.
People underestimate the importance of getting a professional coach, but it’s a worthwhile investment in yourself. And, last but not least, create your own strategy. What works for one player may not work for another- that’s the beauty of poker.
What are your plans for the live and online space?
I play live at Goa, whenever possible. I played at the EPT Sochi and APT Manila this year. I am looking for more international exposure and experience as I am planning to travel to Las Vegas in the next couple of years. Therefore, you can say, the prep mode is on.
Also, I want more hands-on at the live felts ‘coz the range here is tighter. When you play online, it’s easy to call, bet, or bluff. At live tables, you got to know how to get past the presence of people around you and focus on your game and strategy.
Any message for our readers?
Always remember, it’s a mind game and if you’re losing, that’s probably not because of a downswing.
Rapid-Fire Round with Anant
1. Proudest Achievement
Spartan Poker’s India Online Poker Championship – Super High Roller in July 2019.
2. Live poker or online poker?
Live because I want to master it and online because I simply love it!
3. Favourite Live Poker Destination, Indian and International
4. Poker by day or poker by night?
Poker by night
5. Weirdest poker moniker you’ve heard of
6. Biggest pet peeve at poker tables
abusive language after losing a hand or pot.
7. Favourite poker app
PokerStars. The interface is very intuitive.