Heads up with WPT India MAIN EVENT Runner-Up Sahil Mahboobani

Sahil Mahboobani

The World Poker Tour recently concluded its second edition in India aboard the Deltin Royale Casino in Goa, and boy was it a massive success! The Indians didn’t disappoint with the numbers, and after an extremely successful series, the WPT has announced that India will now be a permanent stop in their International schedule.

November 13 – 19 saw 8 events being played out at WPT INDIA, including an INR 55,000 Main Event and an INR 100,000 High Roller Event. The Main Event provided 3 starting flights, followed by another two days of play – recording a massive field of 697 entrants. The top 88 players were paid out but everyone was chasing the surreal first place payday of INR 66,35,000 and of course – glory, the trophy and bragging rights!

After 5 days of grueling poker, Mumbai-based cash game regular Nikunj Jhunjhunwala finally found the trophy in his hands, but his road to victory was anything but straight-forward. He started Day 2 with a below average stack, and came into the final table as the second shortest stack. However, he played a steady and patient game, and has had tremendous success in such fields prior to the WPT. Back in 2015, Jhunjhunwala created history by taking down the DPT Main Event and the DPT Highroller Event back to back!

“Nikunj played well, I had heard before the heads up had started that he had won two big live events before, and also was a high stakes cash game player so I did not underestimate him. We had started the heads up with even stacks, I was extremely confident at the time and was able to bring it to a 3:1 chip lead in my favor at a certain point. Unfortunately I got unlucky in crucial moments and it just wasn’t meant to be” said Sahil Mahboobani – runner up in the event.

Sahil is a prominent figure in the online MTT circuit in India, having recorded a multitude of titles and massive scores in the past. The Hong Kong based gamer turned poker pro now resides in Gurgaon, and after a slightly disappointing start, enjoyed an extremely successful series!

“The series overall was a great experience. I had not played many live tournaments in the past nor did I attend WPT India last year, so this year I was extremely focused and dedicated. Early on in the series I had a deep run in the kick-off event finishing 16th, then having another deep run in the bounty event, finishing as the bubble boy. To have finally converted in the main event felt great after all the early disappointment.”

Sahil took home a second place payday of INR 46,53,000 – his highest recorded thus far. Heads up play went on for over 2 hours and it was literally Team Online VS Team Live! The rails at both ends made the match-up all the more interesting, with the chip lead swinging from one end to the other. Finally, Sahil moved the remainder of his chips in holding Kc 8s and was snapped off by the massive stack of Jhunjhunwala holding 9s 5s. A 5 on the flop followed by the turn 9 sealed the deal for Nikunj, who also recorded the biggest cash of his career with this win.

When asked about his love for online poker as opposed to live poker, Sahil said:  “I’d like to congratulate Nikunj for the win and thank WPT for hosting such a great series. Being primarily an online player, this experience has really inspired me to travel the international circuit and why not – that’s one of the many perks of this profession! I plan to attend WPT Vietnam in March 2019 and let’s see, hopefully that is the first of many for the year!”

Congratulations to both Sahil and Nikunj for their wins!

Team IPN would also like to thank Sahil for taking time out to talk to us!

Here’s a look at the Final Table Payouts:

1st: Nikunj Jhunjhunwala – 6,635,000
Sahil Mahboobani – 4,653,000
Vidur Singhal – 3,000,000
Deepak Singh – 2,207,000
Hidangmayum Somesh – 1,683,000
Akshay Nasa – 1,341,000
Amit Jain – 1,111,000
Kanishka Upreti – 884,000
Harsh Dembla – 663,976


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