Hailing from Bangalore, Vinod Megalmani had an eventual future in the Computer World before becoming a full-time professional poker player. He knew what he was venturing into at the early age of 23, and now the pro knows the ups and downs of the game so well that he’s come to be a much feared player.
Megalmani has had several live cashes all over the world, including Manila, Macau, Vietnam, LA and India amongst other places. He recently won the India Poker Championship (IPC) 10K Kick-Off Event in Goa and shipped his first domestic tournament title for over ₹6 Lakhs! Let’s see what the player has to say about his life story as a poker professional.
Hi Vinod! Congratulations on the IPC win. Please tell us how did you pick up poker as a career?
It was 10 years ago that I started off playing this game called ‘Dota 2’ moved up the ladder to become the best team in India but after reaching the top you realise there is no money in this sport at that time, now it’s different. I always knew I never want a job if the aim was to make money I was sure I could find a better way which would make me happy, I always loved playing games and once I got into poker and seeing the likes of Phill Ivey, Tom Dwan and Doyle Brunson making a living out of it I knew that this is what I wanted to do. The freedom that poker gives you there’s no job like 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.?
Been playing for a while actually 10 years+ started on PokerStars, mainly tourneys then switched to PLO games. Now I play a good mix of MTT/NL Hold’em / PLO cash both live and online. The biggest mistakes I made were always underestimating variance and always keeping 100% of myself but now I have learned how brutal poker can be so understanding your risk/reward regardless of how good you think you are is very important.
What were the challenges you faced?
Always found it hard to crack live MTT.
What is it that made you a better player?
Who are your role models in the poker fraternity and otherwise?
I have been really good friends with a lot of the pros in the community so it’s hard to name people without leaving someone out but I believe you should keep an open mind and willing to learn from everyone.
How does your family feel about this career choice?
At first very sceptical even now they are sceptics but now then don’t ask me how much I won or lost anymore. They kind of understand it’s a mental sport so they just care about my mental state because it’s easy to be tilted off the table.
What’s your advice to a newcomer in poker?
Learn from other people’s mistakes so you don’t repeat them. It will save your lot of time and money.
What are your plans for the live and online space?
Win the End Boss and finish top in 1K Global Poker Index (GPI) this year but might be difficult to travel because of the coronavirus.
Any guidelines to our poker newbies.
We had a quick rapid questions with Vinod:
Winning PSL Season 1 with Delhi Panthers.
Live poker or online poker?
Favourite Live Poker Destination, Indian and International.
Australia and Goa.
Poker by day or poker by night?
Biggest pet peeve at poker tables.
Tilting at dealers.
Favourite poker app.
Poker Baazi/GG Poker although I rarely play on the phone.