Hey guys, today we have Dhirendra Kumar with us in our Rising Poker Stars chat segment. Dhirendra has been making a name of his own with a number of significant wins in the last couple of months. The runner-up finish in the ₹30 Lakhs GTD Godfather for Rs 4.1 Lac, a fourth-place finish in AOPS Main event for 5.75 Lac, and a fifth-place finish in Spartan Mili for 3.88 Lac are some of his major wins in the last couple of weeks. In the chat session, Dhirendra opened up about his poker introduction, downswings, game improvement and other stuff.
Here are the excerpts –
Hi Dhirendra, for those who don’t know much about you, could you please give a little introduction like where are you from, your educational background and other stuff?
So, I have done B Tech and MBA from premium institutes i.e. DCE and FMS in Delhi. Currently, I am working as a sales manager in an international firm. I play poker usually in nights as it is extremely hard to fetch time in the afternoon.
Tell us about your poker journey and how it all started?
I got introduced to poker in 2014. Adda52 had come in FMS Campus in 2014 for some promotional activity and I got to know about this game. In 2018, I went to Deltin Casino a couple of times and played some cash games. Till this time I was not much aware of the online platforms.
In January 2019, one of my friends told me about PokerBaazi app and I started playing freerolls and other tourneys. In June 2019, I came 2nd in Endeavour for 2 Lac which was my biggest score at that moment. However, I busted it within a week as I didn’t know much about positions, ranges, strategies and also due to lack of bankroll management.
Tell us about the action on the final table of the ₹30 Lakhs GTD Godfather in which you finished runner up. Where did you went wrong or how tough the competition was?
It was like an instinct. I will share a small incident for it. I had taken 4 days off from the game and decided to play one or two tourneys on Thursday and ‘Godfather’ was one of them. Also, I was taking part in Godfather after 4 months like the last time I played it was in March. Around 08:00 – 08:30 PM Adda52 was not working on my laptop. After that re-installed Adda52, bought a new keyboard as there was some issue in it. I registered at 09:30 PM and got 25 BB and started taking some spots. By 11:00 PM, I was down by 4 BB but I was determined that I will not take another bullet. Somehow I managed average stacks and won a big pot against Gunjan Mall AQ > AJ which helped me come under top 20 stack holders.
The only competition on FT which I felt was Gaurav Sood. Luckily, he was on my right and my motto was to play tight and right against him. Once Sood was out of the equation, the game was quite easy. I had 2:1 chip lead in heads up and started putting pressure on the opponent. I was good three times on the flop but the turn and river came in his favour and that’s how it all ended.
How do you decide on a tournament? What are the factors involved in picking or choosing a particular tournament?
I usually play on Saturday and Sundays and have stopped playing all the flagships apart from The Full House on Adda52 and Spartan Poker’s Mini. I have also started playing on Poker Saint, Pocket52 and Poker Dangal.
Who do you think is currently the best poker player in the industry?
At the moment there are many good players and it’s difficult to name just one. According to me, Gaurav Sood, Anant Purohit, Ayush Garg, Abhishek Goindi, Gunjan Mall, Sriharsha Doddapaneni and Abhijit Shekhar are some of the best in the business.
Which are the Indian websites you love playing at? Can you rank them in order?
In that order, it will be–
Give us a little insight about your preparation or have enrolled in any poker course? How do you improve your game or what are the things or material you study?
Ayush Garg and Abhijeet Shekhar have played a significant role in my initial basic improvement. I discuss hands with them on a daily basis. I met Ayush Garg during Spartan’s IPC event in October 2019 and he helped me a lot to strengthen my basics. Soon, I started making more poker friends like Anant Pro, Anuj Kodam, Gunjan Mall, Srihari and started discussing various spots and right strategies with them.
Then during the lockdown (April 2020), there was a huge surge in online poker and I started playing a lot. Unfortunately, I wasn’t winning much as I encountered a downswing which resulted in huge loss to my bankroll. I seriously felt that I needed a regular push to improve the game. During this phase, I got to know about PBCI which is started by Abhishek Goindi and joined it. PBCI provides a discord platform where we regularly discuss the typical spots and correct GTO strategies. We all get a chance to watch PBCI coach’s games live and ask doubt if any during the game. On an overall basis, PBCI has also acted as a catalyst for my improvement.
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