“It’s never over till it’s over!” – Endeavour Winner Kiran “4betScarface”Nair

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Endeavour Winner Kiran “4betScarface”Nair

PokerBaazi.com’s popular weekly tournament The Endeavour produced yet another winner who has all the traits of a star in the making. This week it was Bangalore-based Kiran “4betScarface” Nair who took down the prestigious event, adding a whopping INR 2,41,876 to his growing bankroll.

Team IPN caught up with the youngster following his win, here’s what he had to say:

Congratulations Kiran! Could you tell our viewers a little about yourself?

Thank you! I graduated from BITS in 2012. I was working as a Business Intelligence Consultant for a UK based consultancy till December 2016. Since then I have focused majorly on Poker. I am a big fan of strategy board games.

Interesting! How did poker find its way into your life?

Like almost every other poker player, I learnt it during my 3rd year of Engineering. I was immediately hooked on to it. For a long time, I just used to play Rs 100 SNGs with friends. I continued it even after moving to Bangalore for work, playing recreationally over the weekends. I was always fascinated about the game and was always reading blogs and strategy articles to improve my game. A big turning point was the PSL season 1 Qualifiers in December 2016. I had just quit my job when the qualifiers started. My interaction with the Pros there lead me to take this more seriously. I was predominantly a live cash game player till Jan 2018, when I decided to shift to online tournaments. I grinded the lower and mid stake tourneys on all the sites.

My first big milestone was DPT July 2018 edition. I decide to participate in just 1 tournament for the feel of it (also because it was way beyond my bankroll). I played the 15K bounty event and came 6th out of 186 entries, playing the final table and cashing out 79K after a 12 hour grind. That led me to taking shots at the slightly bigger online tourneys and in the last two months I have had good number of ships, top 2-3 finishes and ITMs. The Endeavor is my biggest win till date.

Brilliant! How does it feel to win The Endeavour?

Honestly, I was not planning to play it that day. I had sold action privately for the first time but I got late at work, so had almost made up my mind to cancel the pack. But one of my investors just convinced me to play it and I registered 90 mins late! For a long time I was very short stacked and at one point I was 143/146 with a 9 BB stack. But one thing I have learned by playing, reading and watching other Pros play, is that it’s never over till it’s over. I have come back many a times from similar positions and so I had a belief that all it takes is one double up. Fortunately I survived and then consolidated. Soon I became the top 3 stack out of 90 odd remaining players. Once I got that big stack, I started accumulating chips playing a low variance strategy and I had a massive chip lead on the final table.

It’s an amazing feeling. I can still feel that adrenaline rush after winning the final hand and shipping it!

True! There’s nothing quite like it! Anyone you draw inspiration from?

I am greatly inspired by the Indian Pros like Aditya Sushant who are making it big on the international scene. I read his interview sometime back about how he worked on his game night after night post-work for two years before he got the results he wanted. This in itself greatly inspires me to continue on my path and keep studying and grinding till I get the results I want, consistently!

What are your views on the booming poker industry in India and where you see it in about 2 years?

I feel that the poker industry is definitely on an exponential growth trajectory. On one side we are seeing a large number of poker sites coming up, each competing with the other to offer better deals for players. While on the other side, the game is getting acceptance as a skill game in a wider community of working professionals and students alike, who are inspired by the success stories of other players. That’s precisely the reason I left my comfortable consultancy job to work as the product manager at an upcoming online poker startup.

Brands like DPT, WPT India, GPL, PSL, Match IPL are also doing their bit to increase awareness and acceptance of Poker as a skill game. If the industry is able to create a strong lobby and keep pushing for official recognition of Poker as a skill game, and better taxation rules, then we will witness a tremendous growth in the coming years.

Any Poker travel plans?

DPT July 2018 was my first foray into Live Poker Tournament travel. The result was very motivating, but I think as it currently stands, live poker tournaments are not very positive EV for mid-stakes players like myself if you include travel/accommodation costs and TDS. But even then, every Poker enthusiast should occasionally travel once a while for the feel of it! Nothing beats the experience of a live tournament in casinos. I will be looking to build a bigger bankroll first and if everything goes well, I will look to participate in WPT India 2019.

What advice would you give to a newcomer?

Well, stick to the basics (Good Bankroll Management) first. Be realistic in the assessment of your own skill, strengths and weakness. If you aren’t honest with yourself and attribute your loss to variance, your will never work on your mistakes. If you don’t work on your mistakes, you will never learn from them and you will never grow. The game is continuously evolving and top pros stay on top by adjusting their game and strategy rigorously. If you can’t list at least one new aspect of the game which you learned in the last one month, you are not growing.

Don’t blindly follow the game as played by Pros on the you tube videos, the meta game there is completely different from the games we play in. Instead talk to good players who are playing and winning consistently in the games you play and understand what they are doing differently. Also read a lot, good poker books improve your game at a very strategic level.

Wow! Thank you for that insight!

Congratulations once again Kiran, and we wish you the very best for the coming year!