“At the end of the day, money matters. And, if you are passionate about the game, you will crush definitely.”
The third edition of Spartan Poker’s Grand Poker Series (GPS) kicked off yesterday. The ₹25 Lac GTD Grand Ultron was the marquee event that clocked 438 entries. Shivam ‘G.O.A.T’ Shukla shipped the tourney with a personal-best ₹4.73 Lac after striking a heads up deal with Madhab ‘madhabpal2017’ Pal.
In the chat session, Shivam opened up about his journey so far, taking poker as the full-time profession, and also about the heads up deal that helped him shipped his most significant achievement so far.
So, let’s hear it out from the champion itself-
First of all a big congratulations on winning the ₹25 Lac GTD Grand Ultron last night. For those who do not follow poker much, can you please tell us a little about yourself?
Basically, I am a CA student, but I took a break from my study and took up poker as a full-time career. My parents are supportive of the game which helped me took up this beautiful game, and now there’s no such thing that can stop me from loving it.
I’m a regular player who plays daily, but recently I am not putting much volume on Spartan Poker because of some downswing.
I have also busted my bankroll a couple of times, but now I prepare myself for worsen situations. This is my game-changing point, and I have started taking my BR seriously.
Tell us about your poker journey and how it all started? Did someone introduce you to this game?
I saw a movie name Rounders in 2015, and after watching that movie, I downloaded the game called Zynga Poker and started playing regularly. After some time, I started playing on a foreign online platform like 888, Unibet Poker, PokerStars American Cardroom. I used to play free-roll tourneys on a regular basis since I had no idea about Indian platforms at that time.
Incidentally, I saw an advertisement for Adda52 around 2018 and then I started playing on Indian sites. I shipped Adda52’s Hitman for 1.6 Lac approx, and after that, I decided to move forward in this field.
Tell me about the final table competition. The heads up deal with Madhab Pal, how it unfolded?
I have shipped many events like Mega Stack on Spartan Poker and HItman on Adda52 but The ₹25 Lac GTD Grand Ultron title win last night happens to be my biggest score till now.
The final table was full of regulars. I was like 2:1 lead with Madhab Pal, and I didn’t want to take the risk so I was pretty comfortable with the deal and that’s how it unfolded.
How do you decide on a tournament? What are the factors involved in choosing a particular tournament?
I mostly play mid-stakes tournament, but Mega Stack and Ultron are one my favourites because I like to play these type of deep-stack tournaments.
Which are the Indian platforms you enjoy playing at? Can you rank them in order?
In that order it will be –
The field is very soft in small sites. So, I prefer playing on underrated sites like Saint and Dangal.
Please give us a little insight into your preparation. Have you enrolled in any poker course? What are the things or material you study to improve your game?
For me, preparation is mostly on the experience side. I regularly watch videos of hand review sessions and tournament final tables on YouTube and different platform. I also took a couple of course like Poker Code by Fedor Holz and RYE and study and learn daily.
I am so obsessed with the game that it’s so difficult in mining time out of it.
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