Player Interview: Gurpal Nanda


Hearing It First from the MEGASTACK Runner-Up Titlist, Gurpal Nanda

Hailing from Delhi, Gurpal Nanda is beating the odds at poker with his unshaken spirit and a passionate urge to get better and win at life. The IPN Team interviewed the PPL BSS Megastack runner-up champion who won a hefty prize amount of INR 127,875, while in a heads-up match with Abhishek Rathore who won 1st place in the online event.

Gurpal talks to us about his early poker days, his winning tactics and even lets us in on some fellow poker mates who’ve helped him become the poker player he is today! Scroll on down to read an in-depth discussion with the man himself.


  1. Hi Gurpal, thank you for your time! Can you first tell us a bit more about yourself and your poker background?

I used to play poker around 5-6 years back but I took a break for a year in the middle. Now I’ve started to play the game even more seriously, putting in volumes and trying to play it the right way and learning the game simultaneously.


  1. Congratulations on your BSS Megastack runner-up win! What was going through your head when you were declared the runner-up champion?

I was in the heads-up match with Abhishek Rathore and I realised the fact that I was messing up at that point of time, although somehow I grabbed the runner-up place. Indeed, it was a nice feeling, and I’m learning better each step of the way with every game I play.


  1. How do you manage to keep your cool and stay focused in the game?

I’d say your control is in your mind. You have to be cool and calm-headed if you want to play great poker. Sometimes even I lose my temper but I mostly keep my cool during a tournament.


  1. Do you think experience has more to do with your success in several poker tourneys rather than technical knowledge of the game?

Indeed, I’ve played a lot for years. But I’d say you still have to study and learn about the game – watching videos and tutorials, and of different poker players as well if you really want to become a master at the game. In fact even I’ve been putting in volumes and learning more about the game for the past 6-7 months and now I can actually see the results.


  1. Are you friends with any poker players and if so, how have they helped you improve your game?

When poker was still new for the Indian industry, I’ve been a constant player since that period. And I know all the stalwarts of the poker industry as well for instance Aditya Agarwal, Aditya Sushant, etc. When Aditya Agarwal started PokerGuru, he selected three batches for coaching the game and I was in one of the batches, probably the 3rd one. So he was the one who I would say improved my game a lot!


“Bankroll Management is a must!”


  1. How beneficial has your background been when it came to learning poker?

I’d say my math skills have supported me to ace many bad beats in poker plus my instincts aren’t all bad as well. That has helped me to become a better player as well plus the fact that I keep up to date with poker videos, training classes and tutorials, making me even better than i was before in the very beginning.


  1. How does your family feel about your passion for the game?

I guess they’re pretty neutral at the moment since they don’t say much to me about poker being my passion. I’m waiting to receive better results from my performance in the game and probably then, they’ll understand a bit more of why I’m inclined towards my passion so much.


  1. Tell us about the one thing/ things that have helped you ace many tournaments.

Just study and watch videos, as much as you can. That will only help your game to get better. And ofcourse, bankroll management is a must! You should start from the lowest stake, then go higher as and when it’s required.


  1. Any plans on attending international tournaments in the near future?

Currently I’m trying to build up my bankroll as much as possible. Then I’ll definitely aim for the biggest poker destination instantly – which is Vegas!


  1. Since the beginning of your poker career, how has the way you work and your game evolved and changed?

I never studied or learned the game initially. In Fact I just played the game and went steady with it. I was never really bad at the game since I won some and lost some along the way with many online tournaments. But for the past 5-6 months I’ve been concentrating on the game a lot and studying more and more so the results are pretty evident.


  1. Do you focus on live tournaments the same way as online?

No, I really prefer online because I can comfortably lay in bed and play the game. Live Tournaments are too slow for me to play in, calculating my opponent’s chips and my own is quite difficult for me as well. I haven’t played live that much and I usually play 4-6 tables everytime I’m playing online. That’s why I’m more of an online person because it’s fast!


“Start from the lowest stake and keep studying and learning about the game as much as possible!”


  1. What is your online schedule like? How do you manage to play poker for long hours?

Now I’m pretty used to it. If there are any major online tournaments, then only I sit for 8-10 hours at a stretch. The Indian timing schedule is actually better since you can start at reasonable hours, around 4 – 8PM and generally ends at 2-3 AM so that’s alright.


  1. Poker life is hard. Do you play from a desk or in bed?

On my Laptop, in bed.


  1. What are your life goals and within poker?

Haven’t set my goals as of now since I’ve just started putting in volumes recently. Let’s see where this takes me.


  1. Any advice for our readers and newbies in the industry?

Start from the lowest stake and keep studying and learning about the game as much as possible!




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