Consistency is a trait associated with only the best poker players in the business. Whereas most players have the occasional good swing, the best players distinguish themselves with consistent ‘occasional good runs’. In recent Indian poker news, Keshav Chadha has displayed some stellar performances throughout the last 12 months, which has made him all the more remarkable by exhibiting impressive game play over live and online formats of the game. His winning run in cash games as well as online poker tournaments (especially in the 2nd half of 2016), made him one of the highest earners in the year gone by and our first Young Shot of 2017.
The tenacity required to consistently win in live tournaments is a rare commodity. Beginning with the Galaxy Poker Tour in Bangalore, Keshav has finished in the money in most live tournaments in the country since; a feat he incorrectly claims is not something to brag about. While his modesty speaks volumes of the person he is, his results, at the very least, point to the hallmarks of player with great potential. If that weren’t enough, Keshav also won the High Roller event at the PokerBaazi Premier League Season IV there by displaying a rare talent to excel in both formats of the game.
The contrast between live and online poker in India is stark and only the best successfully navigate the gulf between the two. Keshav Chadha, by his own admission, is first an online player. Although he started playing poker with real money on the live circuit in Delhi, he found his comfort zone on the online version of poker. Thus, while his PPL and cash-wins, however extraordinary, seem manageable by virtue of being within his comfort zone, his exploits on the live tournaments are what stand him apart.
An added benefit of his online as well as offline tournament successes has been that his parents are now a lot more open to poker; a big ask when you consider the business background Keshav comes from and has given up achieving his goals in poker. His younger brother is learning how to play poker too and Keshav occasionally stakes him in major tournaments.
Keshav was himself staked until recently by one of India’s known poker players, Vinod Megalmani (a previous Young Shot) before his bankroll gave him the luxury of playing on his own. Besides staking Keshav, Vinod also coached him for a while and helped plug some of the leaks in Keshav’s game. Another online player and a Delhi resident like Keshav is Arjun Dhingra – Keshav’s partner-in-crime in poker. The two of them began to play poker around the same time, and still discuss hands and plays, travel for live poker tournaments and strategize how to play poker against certain opponents.
On most days Keshav’s routine begins with a review of the losing hands of the previous day and post analysis he delves into three or four sessions of 2-3 hours each on cash tables on the best of Indian poker sites. Favouring hold’em over Omaha, his belief is that selecting the right table to grind on gives the biggest chance to make a profit. He also indulges in big money tournaments on weekends and makes it a point to play most if not all live tournaments in India.
His dream in poker is to become a reputed cash game player one day and he feels well equipped to do so with a well-rounded game of poker constantly on the up. Looking back at his start in poker 6 years back with friends in college, he has certainly come a long way; but the journey has only just begun with many more milestones to climb. Tournament glories aside, Keshav feels his true talent is in cash games and wants to test his strategy in poker and skills abroad, sooner rather than later. With a sizeable bankroll and a fearless attitude, Keshav finds himself at an opportune moment early in his poker career to jump ahead and all of this makes 2017 an important year for our Young Shot of Poker – and we are supremely confident he’ll do well!
Keshav’s message to other beginners in poker: Before getting into poker know that it’s not easy. In order to be successful, you have to put in a lot of hard work and time and, you need to give up a lot, especially your social life which takes a hit as you don’t get to go out as much. But if you do decide to take up poker seriously and put in the required time and hard work, you can make it in poker. The best part is that you get to decide your own working hours and there is a lot of money to be made! Initially, you might find it tough but as you keep playing and discussing hands/spots with your friends it’ll get easier.