On 20th September, PokerBaazi’s flagship event, the Game Changer 4.0 INR 2 Crores GTD came to an end. With a total of 3,990 entries across 4 days of flights, the tournament lived up to it’s fan favourite status. A total of 463 players survived the flights and made it to Day 2 to fight for the massive guarantee.
It took 8 hours of intense poker play and grind for us to finally have a champion! Jaikiran ‘testify’ Kumar shipped the Game Changer 4.0 and wrote his name down in PokerBaazi history books as the Game Changer and earned the first place prize of INR 33,16,000!
Finishing in second place, Mohak ‘Tiltin’ Kapoor also impressed viewers and players with his exceptional reads and poker play which helped him in cashing out for a massive INR 23,08,000 payout! We had a conversation with the man himself to talk about his journey and his mindset about poker.
Q1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and brought up in New Delhi. I’m 27 years old. I live with my parents and my elder brother. I finished my graduation in 2014 and since then I’ve been working towards my goals.
Q2. How did you start your poker journey? When were you introduced to the game?
I was introduced to the mystical game of poker during my school days. However, being young and belonging to a conservative family, I wasn’t able to play it frequently. I was only playing poker during the Diwali season. Nonetheless, my love for the game didn’t go anywhere and I started my poker journey after completing my graduation. It’s been 3 years now that I’ve started putting in more volume.
Q3. How does it feel to finish second in the Game Changer and the massive payout that came with it?
To be honest the feeling is surreal. I hoped for a deep run and it paid off eventually. I started day 2 with 34bbs with a simple goal in mind, to pick up the right spots and play some solid poker.
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Q4. Is there any particular marginal hand that you played which turned out to be a great fold or call? Was there a moment when you realised that you’re going to be running deep now?
Yes, there were a few spots in the tournament which I picked and survived with but there was a very crucial spot when I realised that I could make the final 9. With 14 players remaining, I picked up JJs on the big blind just to see middle position shoving with about 20bbs and cut off position making a flat call with about 50bbs effective.
I tanked and thought about it a lot as I had a similar stack to the middle position (around 20bbs). With tripling up in mind I thought of calling my JJ but what seemed peculiar was cut off flatting and that was a feeling when I knew that I could be behind and eventually folded. It turned out to be a very massive fold and a turning point indeed because the cutoff flatted with AA!
Q5. Who were your biggest competitors on the final table?
Actually I had no fear of my competition because I entered the final table in last place with less than 1 bb and a dream. That’s where the magic happened. After a couple of hands, 2nd in chips opened and I had KQ and I called since I had nothing to lose and I chipped up to about 3 bbs.
The very next hand, I picked up KQs from utg+1 and utg opened with a min. bet and I shoved it again and it folded to him and he called us with 10J off and the board went my way with king high being good and I doubled up to 10bbs and now I was 7/9. Then after a round, I picked up AJ♥️ while I was utg+1 and I decided to shove it in since the big blind was shortest with 4 bbs and the action was tight.
I got a call from the small blind who had 99s. He flopped top set with one ♥️ on the board and I was lucky enough just to see two more hearts ️ rolling up on the turn and the river without making it a full boat and after that hand I was 3rd in chips which actually boosted my confidence and made me believe that I could fight for the title now. At this moment now, my fiercest enemy was ‘ifryu’ who was the massive chip leader on the table.
Q6. How many hours do you devote to playing poker? There must’ve been a difference between now and pre-lockdown.
I play poker for about 10 hours every day and devote 2-4 hours on studying and improving myself. Earlier work was hectic and tiresome but i’m sure this lockdown has surely spaced up some time for the players to work and improve on their game.
Q7. What would you like to tell someone who’s just entered into the world of poker?
I would like to tell the people who are reading this that the principles are basic so no need to feel the pressure. Have a strict and disciplined approach towards Bankroll Management and trust the process.
With now over INR 1.1 Crores in online earnings, Mohak ‘Tiltin’ Kapoor is certainly a name people will remember. We’re sure that we’ll be seeing a lot of him, grinding and crushing online high stakes poker!
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