Like we talked about in our previous interviews, the pandemic has helped people realise their potential as poker players and we’ve gotten an incredible influx of new players coming out and taking the felts on poker platforms by storm!
One such player is Tanay ‘tannycruz’ Hegde! The 24 year old from New Delhi was a law student at O.P Jindal Global University. Since the lockdown began, Tanay has taken up poker professionally and there’s no one that can argue with that decision!
He’s been at the top of the pile in some of the biggest flagship tournaments on PokerBaazi and has become a proper crusher! According to Tanay, he grew up in a loving middle class household in New Delhi and was pretty good at studies till the 9th or 10th grade so he took science in the 11th and 12th grade and quickly realized it wasn’t for him and switched to law.
He lived a very relaxed life throughout law school, did just the bare minimum to pass throughout and has just graduated this year! Tanay started playing poker in his 2nd year of law school with a bunch of friends.
They started playing low stakes and with time and interest, those 100 rupee buy-ins turned into high stakes cash games. He says that he was a losing player back then. Only when the lockdown started was when Tanay started taking poker seriously.
He told us that he owed some money to his friends and had no other way to pay them back! Due to the lockdown, his pocket money was cut at home and that’s where poker came in! He started off by playing freerolls and slowly but surely was able to build a bankroll by playing small stakes and spending time studying the game!
Soon he was able to pay off his debts and was making more money than he would’ve if he had gone down the traditional career road. The main thing about all this was that he was actually having fun while doing it!
Some Quick Questions with Tanay
IPN: What did you want your job to be when you were a kid?
TH: As a kid I wanted to be a professional football player, astronaut or a DJ!
IPN: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
TH: I’m a very adventurous person in general and I keep doing things that people would think are scary but the scariest thing I’ve ever done by far is sneaking into Bhangarh Fort (one of the most haunted places in the country) on a night out with a couple of friends.
IPN: If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world and money wasn’t an issue, where would you go?
TH: I love to travel and I have a list of places that I have to go someday. I want to go to Norway to see the Northern Lights, the Swiss Alps to Ski. And Ibiza and Las Vegas to party!
IPN: If you could marry one celebrity, who would it be?
TH: Queen Elizabeth. I wanna be king!
IPN: Do you have a Pet? If Yes, which pet do you have and his/her name?
TH: I’ve always wanted to adopt a dog. It’ll be the first thing I do as soon as I move out of my parents house.
IPN: What’s your favorite book? What was the last book you have read?
TH: I don’t have a favorite book. I barely do any reading. I’ve been trying to inculcate this habit in my life though. The last book that I read was The subtle art of not giving a fuck which was pretty cool.
IPN: Which superpower do you wish you had?
TH: Reading minds 100%
IPN: If you could learn one new skill right now, what would it be?
TH: I’m usually able to pick up whatever skill that I put my mind to but I cannot sing or dance for the life of me. So probably one of those two!
IPN: What kind of music do you like to hear while playing poker?
TH: Depends on the kind of session that I’ve got planned for a day. If I have a heavy session where I’m going to play a bunch of tables, I like to listen to DnB, electronic and psychedelic music. If I have a chill session ahead I listen to mainstream rap and pop music.
IPN: Best Poker Vacation?
TH: Poker vacation is an oxymoron in my book. Whenever I’m on vacation I don’t touch poker at all. But if there’s a place I like to travel to play poker it’ll of course be Las Vegas to play the WSOP main event!
IPN: The best thing about being a poker player?
TH: The best thing about being a poker player is definitely the freedom in terms of time. You are your own boss, it’s up to you to decide what you want to play, when you want to play, when you want to take a break. Also, the ability to work from any part of the world you want and not being tied down to one place! Being your own boss, and having no commitments and not having someone to answer to is great!
Tanay Hegde is certainly one to look out for during the coming months and years in the Indian poker community. It’s always nice to see more and more players coming through the levels and taking center stage!
For more interesting player interviews and stories, keep reading India Poker News!