From Telecom Executive to Cash Game Pro, this is Moneel’s Poker Journey

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We always wonder what happens moments after a player wins an online tournament. Their victory is celebrated. For a cash game player like Moneel Doshi, things are and have been pretty different since his initial days of online gameplay, essentially the transition from a telecom executive to a full-time poker player.

‘I play mostly 6 tables at time so there are days when I make more than 1.5L in a day… I’m happy with how my grind is helping me financially’, says Moneel.

Moneel doesn’t normally play tournament poker. He’s gained everything and more through cash games online and he’s more than happy to go down this route, at least for now. Hailing from Bangalore, Moneel’s journey with poker began in 2017, right after his 9-month stint at Vodafone as a Junior Executive. Routine home games with his colleagues turned into a real passion when one of his co-workers introduced him to online poker with real money. In fact, back in college he played Zynga with his mates which unknowingly, added to his poker database and now fuels his gameplay even more. The strive to become the best has been on since!

Read on to know the inside scoop of how Moneel went on to secure his 2nd place win (₹2,00,000) in Cash Game Bonanza Leaderboard:

  1. Hi Moneel. Congratulations on your 2nd place win in Cash Game Bonanza Leaderboard! Must be a great feeling, but would you say that cash game winners don’t get enough exposure as tournament winners in the industry? Is it true in your case?

Yes definitely! I am a mid-stakes player so I may not deserve the same amount of credit as a tournament player, but to put it in perspective, if a tournament player wins about 1.2L up top prize he can share that on his social media platform, people would notice him. I play 10-25 and 25-50 and play mostly 6 tables at a time so there are days when I make more than 1.5L in a day however there is no way for me to share my winnings anywhere. A tournament player can show his results and he may get staking deals and such, but a cash game player with possibly better ROI wouldn’t get that kind of recognition. Having said that, I am happy with how my grind is helping me financially and I’m not looking forward to jump the stakes till the end of this year, hence I’m not looking for staking. 

  1. We want to know your thoughts on the very promotion by Pokerbaazi? When did you decide to make an effort and go for the win? Did you use any other promotion like deposit insurance and TDS free withdrawals?

Yes of course! I did opt for deposit insurance and the best part about TDS free withdrawal was that there wasn’t any opt in required. This is one of the things I love about playing on Pokerbaazi, your team really makes it simple for us players. I’ve generated close to 2000 points, so I can easily withdraw all my winnings from the cash game promotion before 31st July.

I wasn’t actually focusing on the cash game leaderboard for the first week. When I checked at the end of the first week, I was probably in 9th or 10th place. Eventually, I thought that it is doable after all. After the first week, I started chasing the top 3 position and I am so glad I managed to win the 2nd spot.

Just before this interview, I was calculating the prize money + reward points exchange I’d received and I’ve made 116% rake back. This cash game promotion was highly beneficial for me!

  1. How many hours would you say you played in a day? What was your schedule like?

Starting from the second week, I usually logged in around 1.30-2 PM and played till 11-12 at night, sometimes even 2-3 AM next day depending upon how fresh I’d be. And as I mentioned before I played 5-6 tables at a time. It was a long grind but worth every minute. At the end of it, I realized that the player in 3rd position was not playing anymore and I was also hitting a little bit of a rough patch. Since my 2nd position was secured and the difference between 2nd and first was just 50K, I decided to take a break and didn’t even play for the previous 2 days. I was almost 1600 points ahead of the guy in 3rd position. There were no surprises in those last few days else I would have joined back and made sure I was securing the top 3 spots.

  1. So, is it safe to say that you are definitely a contender for Cash Game Bonanza starting from 1st of July? It is going to run a month long and your best 20 days will get counted!

Yes, it is going to be a cut throat competition as I expect to see more and more people will take part in it. Because only the best 20 are getting counted, I’ll need to make an effort and keep track of every player in the top 10, adjust my game play hours accordingly. It’s going to be a lot of fun towards the end, probably after 22nd July or so. This time I am sure I won’t have the liberty to take a break so my strategy is going to giving my best every single day. I am very much excited to get back in the race and hopefully win it this time!

  1. We’d like to know what do you actively take part in aside poker? Do you have a regular job?

No actually, I play poker full time. I used to work for Vodafone back in 2017. Soon after, I got introduced to real money poker with colleagues and I already had some experience playing Zynga, plus back in my BBA college days I was easily winning in those games. Eventually I realized I loved the game way more than my job. I found out about online poker and decided to play professionally and guess what, it’s been great for the last 3 years!

  1. We’re assuming you like cash games more than tournaments? What is it about cash games that reel you in?

I’ve tried both actually. I’ve won value town once and I still play all the flagship tourneys but I find that my cash game results are way more consistent. If I play 8-9 hours of cash games, most of the time, I can guarantee making anything between 20k and 100K. In tournaments though, I find the variance to be very high. Even after 6-7 hours of grind, one is not guaranteed anything and they can still finish without getting in the money. I just make sure to use all deposit codes for big 1CR GTD+ tourneys but my bread & butter is still cash games.

Thank you Moneel for your time. Congratulations again on your second-place finish. Hope to see you win more on cash game felts!

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