Nikunj Jhunjhunwala Triumphs at 2018 WPT India Main Event for US$92k

Nikunj Jhunjhunwala Wins WPT India Main Event

Nikunj Jhunjhunwala has won the 2018 WPT DeepStacks India Main Event, having bested a field of 697 players to capture a first place prize worth INR 6,635,000 ($92,176). Following a victory which increases his live earnings to $145,809, Jhunjhunwala heaped praise on the support his rail provided throughout the contest, stating:

“My rail was behind me, egging me on. We have been playing cash games almost every other day together. All thanks to them, they kept me motivated.”

Incredibly, this is now Nikunj Jhunjhunwala’s third tournament title from a total of four career cashes stretching back to 2015. This includes in December 2015 winning the India Poker Championship Highroller for INR 1,541,000 ($23,008), and the India Poker Championship Main Event for INR 2,000,000 ($29,861).

WPT DeepStacks India Main Event

A total of 697 players paid INR 55,000 ($753) each to enter the WPT DeepStacks India Main Event, resulting in a prize pool worth INR 36,249,576 ($506,237). By the time the final table had been reached three days later, Jhunjhunwala was in eighth chip position out of the remaining nine players.

Having chipped up, Jhunjhunwala (A-K) scored his first elimination after sending Amit Jain (A-10) to the rail in 7th place. Not long later, Jhunjhunwala (Q-Q) then called Akshay Nasa’s (K-J) all in move, and proceeded to make quads to knock him out in 6th.

Next in Jhunjhunwala’s line of sight was Deepak Singh, the start of day chip leader. Singh had seen his chip lead slide as the day wore on, and eventually made a preflop all in stand holding pocket jacks. Jhunjhunwala looked him up with Ac-5c, and ultimately made the nut flush on a Qs-9c-2c-2h-Kc board to send Singh to the exit in 4th place.

During three-handed play, Sahil Mahboobani (A-10) eliminated Vidur Singhal (K-9) in 3rd place to get the heads-up phase of the tournament underway.

Heads-Up Recap

Mahboobani started the final battle against Jhunjhunwala holding a slight chip lead. Nevertheless, Jhunjhunwala had a game plan up his sleeve, and as he later explained:

“I just wanted to see how he was doing and get a feel for the player. I know if it’s a deeper structure in a heads-up match it’s better for me to be playing post-flop than pre-flop. He’s out and out an online player, so I just wanted everything to be postflop.”

During their ensuing battle, Jhunjhunwala even slipped to a short stack at one point, but two consecutive double ups is all that was required to propel him into the lead, with his victory secured the very next hand. In the hand in question, Mahboobani moved all in preflop with Kc-8s and received a call from Jhunjhunwala holding 9s-5s. The dealer subsequently laid out a Qd-10d-5h-9d-8c board to consign Sahil Mahboobani to a runner-up. He did, however, collect $64,641 for his efforts, with the player having only recorded one prior tournament score worth $788.

Meanwhile, Nikunj Jhunjhunwala collected $92,176 for his remarkable performance, and commenting later said that “there was a point in time where the chips were down, and he had a 3-to-1 chip lead on me, and my rail was just in his ears, it was fantastic.” Jhunjhunwala now moves up to number 28 on India’s ‘All Time Money List’. The list is currently topped by Vivek Rajkumar on $4,427,667, followed by Nipun Java ($2,483,793) and Aditya Agarwal ($1,034,057). The winnings then proceed to drop off dramatically, with a 10th placed Dhaval Mudgal having earned just $328,536.

Final Table Results (US$)

1: Nikunj Jhunjhunwala $92,176
2: Sahil Mahboobani $64,641
3: Vidur Singhal $41,677
4: Deepak Singh $30,660
5: Hidangmayum Somesh $23,380
6: Akshay Nasa $18,692
7: Amit Jain $15,434
8: Kanishka Upreti $12,280
9: Harsh Dembla $9,224

WPTDeepStacks Schedule

Meanwhile, the latest WPTDeepStacks series kicked-off at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in California on November 10, and runs all the way until the 26th, with its Main Event scheduled to be held from Nov 23-26. The WPTDeepStacks Deauville will then take place at the Casino Barrière de Deauville in France from December 4-9.