“In a world full of game players, the only way to set yourself apart is to be a game changer.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
PokerBaazi.com’s Game Changer was introduced to the felts early this year and boy did it create a splash by recording almost double the advertised Guarantee of INR 2 Crore! Expectations were looming for the second edition and the Game Changer, which was back with half the buy-in! PokerBaazi.com revised the entry fee to INR 5,500 – opening up doors for more players to take a shot at a life-changing payday. The second edition of the Game Changer went on to record a whopping 4796 entries!
With a shot at the goliath INR 2 Crore prize pool, there was some grueling action that went down on the felts for five days! Leading the pack and gradually inching towards victory and the coronation of the second Game Changer was Jaipur’s Shagun “sogani22” Jain. Taking home a life-changing paycheck of INR 40,78,998 was both Shagun’s and PokerBaazi.com’s dream come true! Here’s a walk down memory lane with the new Champion!
Congratulations Shagun! Could you tell us a little about yourself?
“Thank you! I was born and brought up in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Hailing from a background of a family business, I joined my dad’s tyre retreading business two years ago. While I do play poker every now and then, I invest most of my time in the business.”
What has your poker journey been like?
“Like most other players in India, my poker journey took roots from Zynga Poker back in 2009. I fell in love with the game right from the very beginning. Wanting to switch gears and capitalize on my skill set, I explored the real money games sector in 2015-16. The start was no walk in the park as I busted my bankroll multiple times due to lack of game strategy, technical knowledge, and poor bankroll management. I took to the game as a semi-professional player only recently. I sharpened my skills with NLHE cash games and PLO 6-max games at stakes 50/100 to 250/500. I followed suit by grinding tournaments on all major Indian sites on Sundays and the occasional high-value ones on the weekdays.”
Could you share a quick recap on the Game Changer – how was the experience, any key hands or moments, and your views on the massive event?
“The second edition of the Game Changer was obviously a grand success generating the highest entries in an online poker tournament. I fired two bullets each on Day 1B and 1C and failed to bag a decent stack. Day 1D proved different for me with a turbo flight and much shorter levels. With the third bullet, I was finally able to muster up the second largest stack (about 100BB) of the flight. Day 2 had a terrible start as I lost half my stack in the first few levels. I ran it up again, winning multiple small pots in the next hour. I then manage to retain this top 10 stack throughout Day 2.
One of the key hands that was a Game Changer was closer to the final three tables where I lost a multi-way chip lead pot with QQ vs AK and 88. I followed it up with a win when I won a massive pot with pocket 10s v AK. This was probably the first time I had to put my complete stack at risk. After this, I decided to apply pressure on the smaller stacks and took down pots.
This allowed me to arrive on the final table as the chip-leader and I kept the aggression going with a comfortable lead over the second largest stack. I went on to lose a small pot with Kings to Q10s but it certainly did impede my momentum. On losing this momentum I patiently waited for the smaller stacks to bust and took my spots. Once the felts were down to four players and I had a reasonably sized chip stack and it was smooth sailing for me. The last hand will certainly be a memorable one for me as I called down my opponent with 4th pair and took down the title!”
How does it feel to overcome such a massive field and win over INR 40 Lac?
“Honestly it took a couple of days for the feeling to sink in. I am a bit conservative when it comes to discussing my poker exploits with anyone who doesn’t understand the game. So when phone calls started pouring in from my friends and relatives all over India, it was an overwhelming feeling. Loads of wishes came my way from the poker community as well, for which I am forever grateful! A huge shout out to my brother Dr. Sunny Jain who always believed in me and my friend Sahil “you3bi4b” Nair for the continuous support over the last few months.”
What does the future look like?
“I plan to continue grinding the same games. I hope to be putting in more volume now on most gaming portals. This win comes at a great time for me with the upcoming PokerBaazi Premier League series. Being a cash player I also plan on attending the upcoming Baazi Poker Tour and World Poker Tour in October this year.”
Any parting words for PokerBaazi.com and their team back home?
“PokerBaazi is one of the biggest and most player-centric platforms in the market. While they roll out fabulous tournaments with great structures having huge guarantees, what sets them apart is their 24×7 dedicated support team that makes their players feel at home. PokerBaazi.com has certainly set the benchmark for other poker platforms in India and I’d recommend it to players of all types.
Thanks for your time Shagun, and we wish you the very best for the future!
Here’s to Shagun “sogani22” Jain, – the new Game Changer Champion!