The latest news in poker states that the game has witnessed a rapid rise in numbers and popularity in India in recent years. With multiple operators offering massive poker events and online as well as offline tournament series, the game is no doubt booming in our country today. Every now and then, the limelight is stolen by a player who has either broken a record, created history or simply turned a few heads with impressive performances on the felts.
Here is the story of one such player – Ankit Jajodia. The Shimla-based lad is relatively a beginner in the game, but has enjoyed one hell of a year! He kicked off 2019 by shipping the poker event DPT Xpress 15k Main Event for INR 3.25 LAC. He then stole the limelight in the PokerBaazi Premier League by topping the overall Leaderboard for INR 3 LAC. In addition to that, he enjoyed a profitable series as well, cashing in 23 events and recording winnings of INR 8.75 LAC. His most recent poker win came just few days ago at the Manila Megastack series, where he shipped back to back titles for INR 9.43 LAC!
Team PokerShots managed to catch up with the youngster. Here’s what he had to say:
Hi Ankit! We’d like to know a little bit regarding how and when you started playing poker?
So, I always had inclination towards poker and liked playing it, but it was only around 1 and half years ago that I decided to take poker as a profession and started playing with real money. After giving it major thought and analyzing the same, I finally took up poker as a career choice and since then there was no looking back! I was addicted to Zynga poker 8 years back.
From a mere pass-time in college and friend gatherings, it has now turned into a full-time profession. My journey was more of a turmoil, but in the end, it was all worth it!
Could you tell us about your poker playing in the early days, what did you learn initially, the mistakes you used to make, etc.?
In my early days I lacked direction, focus and mental stability. I inculcated tenancy and mustered my courage every single time I faced failure. I was reluctant to give up despite all odds. While others enjoyed relaxing weekends, I was engaged into long poker tournaments. There were times I had self-doubt and I was lacking confidence but then my coaches embraced my negative traits and transformed me into a better player.
What is it that made you a better player? Who were your role models in the poker fraternity and otherwise?
I read books, watched poker strategies and tutorials and studied the several hands in poker. I used to discuss those hands post my session with better players. I took inspiration from those who were making their way to success and I had an aspiration to be one of them. I had to cut down on time with my family and friends since my game timings were usually odd but eventually my sacrifice paid off.
How did you implement what you learnt and go on to ship The PPL SE Leaderboard?
I was quite motivated during the start of the PPL event as I was on a 10-day study break. I was confident as I’ve chased leaderboards before as well. The very first day gave me huge motivation as I went on to ship one tourney and made 4 in the money, after that there was no stopping! PokerBaazi has always been a good website for me and is one of the best online portals in India. I started my career with PokerBaazi and the tourney structure in PPL was great as well. I also played my first HighRoller during PPL where I bubbled the Final Table. Overall, it’s been an amazing experience!
Talk to us about this year and Live tournaments in particular.
I started playing live MTTs pretty early. Within 3 months of my online grind, I played the poker event DPT and soon after I played each edition of DPT. Though I didn’t cash in any of the events in the first 3 editions of DPT and WPT November however there was a lot of learning for me. I never gave up and kept on going for live MTTs. Finally, all the effort and time invested is paying off. I’m just looking forward to many more wins and trophies in the future.
What’s your advice to a newcomer in poker?
I feel that newcomers and beginners in poker need to get their basics right. Indeed, the desire to achieve the pot is irresistible but you must know how much you can get yourself indulged before you are ready to play it right. However, with the right tips, advice, training and skills, you can possess the opportunity to get your gameplay straight. Your vision should be to proclaim success and your mission should be all about polishing your poker playing skills, mastering the basics especially and learning the most from every failure.