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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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Nikunj Jhunjhunwala Outwits Giant Field to Claim WPT India Title

Casino News Daily
Nikunj Jhunjhunwala Outwits Giant Field to Claim WPT India Title

Nikunj Jhunjhunwala claims biggest career victory as he successfully navigated through a behemoth field of 697 tournament entries

Another successful WPT event is now in the books after several days of quality poker action. Nikunj Jhunjhunwala took down the record-breaking field of the WPT India Main Event earlier this week to collect the tournament trophy and a first-place prize of INR6.635 million (approximately $92,176), and join the club of WPT champions.

The tournament took place on November 16-19 at Deltin Royale Casino in Goa. It drew a field of 697 entrants who paid a buy-in fee of INR55,000 each to generate a prize pool of more than INR36.8 million (a little over $500,000). The top 88 finishers received a share of the prize pool.

Jhunjhunwala was among the final nine players who returned to the host casino on the Main Event’s final day. With a chip stack of 1.46 million, the eventual winner was occupying a spot at the bottom half of the chip counts chart when nine-handed play kicked off. However, that did not discourage him and he managed to build a solid stack throughout the day.

Deepak Singh was the chip leader at the start of the final table. The player had 4.595 million in chips. Trailing closely behind, Amit Jain was second in chips with 4.5 million. Each of the nine remaining contenders was guaranteed a min-cash of INR663,976, and each of them nurtured aspirations of becoming the next WPT champion by outlasting a behemoth field.

Jhunjhunwala Runs Into Sahil Mahboonbani in a Final Heads-Up

As play progressed, players busted one after another until the final table was reduced to just two players – Jhunjhunwala and Mahboonbani. Their two-handed match began with Mahboonbani holding a slight advantage over Jhunjhunwala. Mahboonbani managed to extend his lead over the first stages of the duel, but Jhunjhunwala quickly gained momentum and doubled up twice to eventually take a commanding lead.

On what turned out to be the tournament’s final hand, Mahboonbani went all in pre-flop for his final 1.6 million in chips and Jhunjhunwala called. The former flipped over [Kc][8s], while the latter showed [9s][5s]. The board rolled out [Qd][10d][5h][9d][8c], giving Jhunjhunwala a winning two pair and sending his opponent to the rail. Mahboonbani collected INR4.653 million for his solid performance and his runner-up finish.

Asked about what it felt like to score the biggest win of his poker career, Jhunjhunwala told WPT staff that it was all thanks to his rail. Friends and family were cheering the player throughout the difficult heads-up and that kept him motivated.

Of his strategy, the brand new WPT champion said that he gave it some time at first to study his rival and be able to put pressure on him at a later stage. Jhunjhunwala went on to say that he preferred playing post-flop as opposed to Mahboonbani, whose forte was online poker and he really acted as an online player during heads-up, making important moves pre-flop.

The WPT is next heading to the United States where not one but two events are set to kick off on Friday, November 23 – the WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, and the WPTDeepStacks Thunder Valley at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California.

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The post Nikunj Jhunjhunwala Outwits Giant Field to Claim WPT India Title appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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