One-on-one with the Game Changer Runner-Up, Shardul Parthasarathi

It has been 4 days since we crowned the new Game Changer champion Siddhanth ‘ender’ Kripalani who earned himself a massive payout of INR 40 Lakhs for his victory at the INR 2 Crores GTD series. Although Kriplani was the winner of the event, Shardul ‘duuurrr’ Parthasarathi caught the eye of a lot of people after his brilliant runner-up finish at the event. He won the second place payout of INR 26,48,983 which is also his highest ever cash. He started out Day 2 of the series with just 18 big blinds and ended the tournament with a massive payout and you can only get to second place by playing brilliant and exceptional poker. With over INR 1.69 Crores in lifetime poker earnings and a plethora of flagship titles to his name, Shardul is one of the most experienced and consistent performers in the Indian Poker Community

The soon to be 28 year old from Mumbai has a B.Tech in Electronic and Instrumentation degree from VIT, Vellore and identifies as a professional poker player. He started playing poker in college in 2010-11 and has been in love with the game ever since.

We got into a conversation with Shardul ‘duuurrr’ Parthasarathi and talked about his poker journey and Game Changer finish. 

Poker Player Interview

Q1. How does it feel to finish second in the Game Changer and the massive payout that came with it?

It feels great to be honest. I would have loved to close it out with a victory but I do not have any complaints whatsoever. This is my biggest score till date and for a moment, it definitely felt surreal to win such a massive payout! 

Q2. Talk us through your journey through the tournament, how many Big blinds did you start Day 2 with and did you have any particular strategy in place?

I entered Day 2 with about 18 BBs. I had only played one flight and was doing really well until I lost a chip lead pot as my QQ ran into AK and didn’t hold, just half an hour before the end of day’s play. I needed to get a few early double ups to sustain myself in the tournament which I did. 

Q3. 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?

There were around 100 players justifyin the field and the guy in UTG 3-bet from the Cut-Off and I woke up with KK in the small blind which I 4-bet. He decided to flat and fortunately for me, he had QQ as the board came J-high. I got a neat double up and got the chip lead. That was the moment I realised if I maintain my stack, I can definitely close out with a big score! 

Q4. Who were your biggest competitors on the final table?

Siddhanth ‘ender’ Kripalani as he clearly was the chip leader and I feel he played his stack the way it was supposed to be played. Haider ‘haider’ Madraswala is a good friend and a very good player. Also Rajesh Kumar ‘intervention’ Shukla is also pretty solid, so yeah.  

Q5. It was a Sunday night. Was the Game Changer the only tournament you were playing or there were others as well?

Sunday’s are massive and I usually start my day a bit earlier than usual. It was a long grind, I had other tables on too but just before the Game Changer Final Table started, I remember busting SuperStack which was my last tournament. 

Q6. How many hours do you devote to playing poker? There must’ve been a difference between now and pre-lockdown.

To be honest, it hasn’t changed at all. Pre lockdown too the routine was almost similar. Just as the lockdown started, most tournaments started having their guarantees crushed resulting in a bigger prize pool and eventually, attracting more players. I devote about 8 hours when I’m grinding. Only major difference is that pre lockdown I had the option to get out and about which I would even if not on most instances. 

Q7. What would you like to tell someone who’s just entered into the world of poker?

Poker is a beautiful game which teaches you one too many things. Things which one could use to better their personal lives, relationships or just to become a better human being! A small tip for the newcomers – put in time analysing each decision you make and never really take anything for granted.

We can only imagine how Shardul must’ve felt after winning such an incredible prize and seeing his grind come to fruition. He speaks like someone who has all the experience in the world and his performances certainly back that up. We hope to see him excel in the fields in future tournaments and continue surprising us!


One-on-one with the Game Changer Runner-Up, Shardul Parthasarathi

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