The National Poker Series on PokerBaazi brought a lot of new players and players that have been out of the spotlight, into notice. One such player is Ashwani Vishwakarma, the man who finished runner-up in the INR 3 Crores GTD NPS Main Event and earned himself the silver medal as well as an insane payout!
The man from Satna, Madhya Pradesh, opened up about his poker journey and his National Poker Series grind!
Let’s check out what he had to say
IPN: Tell us something about yourself, where you’re from, childhood, studies, college life.
AV: Hi, You all might know me as Leokarma but that obviously is not my real name, I’m Ashwani Vishwakarma, I hail from a small town in MP i.e. Satna. I moved to Indore for my engineering and then to Bangalore and Hyderabad for my Job.
I’m a business Analyst by profession but like playing poker whenever I can find some time. Since the pandemic started, I moved back to my hometown and continue to be here.
IPN: How did you get into poker?
AV: A friend introduced me to zynga poker around school time and I would enjoy playing that alot. Eventually, a friend in Bangalore introduced me to Baazi where I learnt that Poker is not banned in India and I actually started playing with Baazi in 2016.
IPN: Tell us about the NPS Main Event and what was going on in your head during the event.
AV: I had earlier cashed out a decent sum in Highroller 1 cr tourney and was in some decent form as well. This made me confident of a chance to at least cashout in the Main event. I made only 1 buy-in and was 3rd in the Flight 1B with stack access of 3l chips.
Going into day 2, I was only focussed at playing good poker and not worrying too much about the result. I was 1st from most of day 2 when i lost on AA to a 66 hand that reduced me to 1/3rd of my chips.
Fortunately, with some good next hands i was able to rebuild and made it to the final table. If you talk about the feelings, i was overjoyed since my highest cash out earlier was ~1lac and this is far from what I realistically thought of.
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IPN: Tell us about the hand which brought the Silver Medal for you.
AV: There was no one hand that brought me to the silver medal. It was more the process and strategy that I followed that got me to the medal. However, 1 hand that almost crushed my chances was the loss on AA to 66 where the opponent hit a 6 on turn after we went allin post flop. This reduced me from top 3 to 23/24.
IPN: How has the NPS experience been? What all aspects of the NPS did you like the most?
AV: NPS was a great platform to assess and showcase your poker skills. The buy ins were very affordable and the GTD was over the roof. This obviously comes with larger player pool but that’s what makes it interesting. You get a variety of players from Seasoned players to part timers to absolute starters.
Hence, the playing style is completely different. This made NPS very interesting and a dream platform for me. I would suggest players to look out for next edition of NPS and this could change your life too.
IPN: What are your views on the new PokerBaazi app?
AV: Simply Amazing, I have played on some other platforms as well but the simplicity you have in Pokerbaazi app is unmatched. I wish to see some updates in the windows app too to make it as awesome as the mobile app.
IPN: What are 3 essential things for you while playing online or live poker?
AV: Music, Snacks and someone to talk to when you get unlucky.
IPN: What has been your greatest extravagance?
AV: I don’t have wild imaginations. The biggest but i made was my royal enfield signals bike. With this win, things might change though!
IPN: Which is the one thing you want the most?
AV: It keeps on changing. With this win, i wish to have a farmhouse somewhere in Goa
IPN: Are you a better poker player online or live?
AV: I haven’t played live yet, This is still unexplored but hopefully, this will become a reality very soon
We’re hoping to see more of Leokarma on the online felts and as soon as the casinos reopen, we’ll most definitely be seeing him play live as well! Finishing 2nd in the Main Event of the National Poker Series is an incredible achievement for someone who can only go upwards in the sport! India Poker News wishes Ashwani the best of luck.
For more interesting interviews with poker players and the latest poker news, keep reading India Poker News!