Once Just A Poker Believer And Now An Achiever: Sameer Tavanandi Wins The Endeavour Once Again


The Endeavour series which happens every Tuesday on India’s most trusted poker website, PokerBaazi.com, saw Sameer Tavanandi aka ‘killersam’ better his record as he added one more to his previous Endeavour victory. He gracefully walked off with a prize money of 3.6 LAC.

Sameer Tavanandi, born in Mangalore, has lived all his life in Mumbai. He has an Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering degree and started playing poker about 6-7 years ago when his friend introduced him to it. Currently, he is indulged in playing poker professionally since the last 4-5 months after leaving his job. His future plan is to have a good enough bankroll which will allow him to travel and also play poker simultaneously.

We interviewed him about his experience in Indian poker.

Let’s get started!

Q- How did you land playing poker?
When I started playing poker, initially used to play very micro-stakes poker (House games) for fun with friends but as I played it more, I got more and more interest in it as the game had a lot of variables and lot of depth. Last year, when I played the Baazi Poker Tour Main event on Deltin Royale and stood 2nd, I thought that I could have a future too in poker and started learning poker more in-depth by watching poker videos, reading books and discussing hands with friends.

Q- Experiencing such a great fortune, how does it feel to hold a sought-after title “The Endeavour 15 LAC GTD” twice?
Yes, I am very fortunate to win The Endeavour 15 LAC GTD, very few get a chance to win it and to be able to do it twice feels wonderful and icing to it is the fact that I get a chance to play against other winners of Endeavour in the Endeavour Finale on 20th Dec 2017 and winner wins an Australia package during Aussie Millions 2018. I am looking forward to it and hopefully, I will win it.

Q- How tough was the field? How was your experience in the tournament?
There has been a boom in poker from last 2 years, with a lot of players playing poker. Players, in general, have a better understanding of the game. So, the field is quite tough nowadays. I was lucky enough to have position over  “Shravan FishStars Chhabria” who is a well-reputed player in Indian poker community and also a previous winner of Endeavour on the final table of Endeavour. I came to the final table 2nd in chip count and ran quite well on the final table. My heads-up lasted only 2-3 hands when my pocket 7s held against FishStars AJ when both of us were all in preflop and I won the title.

Q- Any special moment/hand in the tourney?
On the Final Table, there were 2 big hands, which made a huge difference.
1. Against Luna who covered me in chips.
He raised and I called 10 9 off from big blind. The flop came QJx, I checked, he bet and I called. The turn came 8 and I hit the nut straight. I checked again, he bet and I check-raised him. He went all-in and I called. He had set of Queens vs my straight. The river came blank and I won a huge chip pot while he was left with a very short stack.

2. Against Darsh1310
FishStars opened from the hijack, I 3-bet from cut-off with Pocket Aces, Darsh1310 called from Small Blind and FishStars also called. The flop came Queen high to which Darsh1310 bet pot size, FishStars folded and I called. The turn flipped King, to which Darsh bet pot size again which was an all-in call for me and I called. Darsh1310 had AQ with a pair of Queens and I had Pocket Aces. River blanked out and I won a huge pot after which I had more than 2 times the chips than the 2nd player in chip count.

Q- Do you plan to play more tournaments on PokerBaazi.com?
I love to play tournaments and PokerBaazi.com has one of the best tournament structures. So yes, I will continue to play more tournaments on PokerBaazi.com.

Q- What are your thoughts on the upcoming mega event on PokerBaazi – ‘The MoneyMaker 2.0′? Will you be joining it?
The MoneyMaker was a huge success with highest prize pool I had seen in Indian online poker tournament. I expect ‘The MoneyMaker 2.0’ to crush the prize pool again, so, it is a definite yes for me and all players should play and try to win a life-changing amount.

Q- What are your thoughts on the positive and quick-growing numbers in poker?
We saw a boom in Indian poker when IPC brought back their live tournament series 3 years back and we have seen a huge growth in numbers playing poker both in online as well as live. With the growth in numbers, quality of players has also increased which is a positive thing. More and more new players are starting to learn poker and take it up professionally. With increasing numbers, we are seeing huge guaranteed tournaments like the MoneyMaker and I feel this is just a start for many big things in Indian Poker.

Q- Have you previously played the other big events such as The MoneyMaker 1 Crore GTD and the PokerBaazi Premier League? If yes, how was your experience?
Yes, I played ‘The MoneyMaker’ where I just bubbled before the ITM. I have played many previous PokerBaazi Premier League seasons including the PokerBaazi Premier League Winter’17  Edition and have had quite good success in those.

Q- Any words of advice for fellow Baazigars?
I have won Endeavour and you all can too. We all need to put in efforts and keep learning and all of us can be successful. Hard work pays off!

Thank You Sameer for responding to us calmy. It was a great time interviewing you. Best wishes to you and keep grinding!

You too can win big, PokerBaazi.com is all set to roll out India’s biggest online poker tournaments – The MoneyMaker 2.O for 1 Crore GTD prize pool. The winners will be rewarded 30 LAC and 20 LAC for the first and second place individually. Get ready to win enormous!