It is not surprising that Indian players have made history and are well know poker personalities among Global Poker players rocking the world of poker. It just amazing to know about their poker rankings and personal life and how they entered the arena of poker. Though the sport of poker may be at its nascent stage in India but many Indian poker players are already making it big with their massive winnings. Here are the two famous poker players whose story will not interest you but also give you an insight as how to play poker like a pro.
1. Vivek Rajkumar
Vivek Rajkumar is one of the most popular poker players of Indian Origin. Vivek started professional poker career in 2006 after his degree in Computer Engineering and Applied Mathematics. Through the years, Vivek has won many titles including World Poker Tournament Borgata 2008 with a win of $1,424,500 which is Vivek’s biggest win till date.
Vivek had 5 WSOP cashes in 2007 and later in 2008 he had 3 WSOP cashes where he also won the no limit hold ’em championship event at Los Angeles. Vivek Rajkumar also set a record in the world poker tournament in which he won the final table in just 48 hands. In 2009, Vivek won $9,900 in the no limit hold ’em (NLHE) Heads Up Championship. As of 2015, the total tournament winnings of Rajkumar has exceeded $4,375,000.
Major Tournament Statistics of Vivek Rajkumar
Vivek makes his living playing both online and off gaining much of his popularity after winning the LAPC prelim and his success in the Party Million tournaments. Vivek Rajkumar is an up and coming young poker player who in his very short playing career has already managed to win an impressive total of over $380,000. He turned $50 on Party Poker into hundreds of thousands. His player screenname is “Psyduck”.
Born in India and growing up in Singapore, Vivek’s family moved to the United States when he was 12. Having gained his experience from online play, Vivek moved to the live circuit as soon as he was of legal age. Only three months into his professional poker career, Vivek managed to reach the final table at the Party Poker Million for two consecutive weeks. Vivek now lives in Las Vegas and plays poker full time.
Interesting facts of Vivek Raj Kumar
- He started playing poker with friends for $1 at a time after watching it on TV with Chris Moneymaker winning.
- He also started on the live circuit as soon as he turned 21 because he had immense experience from online play. He felt very comfortable from the get-go although sometimes he do get adrenaline rushes.
- His first big break in a tournament setting was final tabled the Partypoker million 2 weeks in a row about 3 months after starting tournaments seriously
- His First big win was the 113k won in a LAPC prelim, besides that he had multiple live cashes for 30k-60k, and a fair amount of medium-sized wins online. He felt really mellow after hewon the event – it was small and there was a crowd gathered but he felt good finally closing one.
- Besides poker he watches a fair amount of TV. As for poker itself, he records all the hands he played that he didn’t feel like he played to maximize his expectation and review them later using specific poker tools. He also send off hand histories to people he respect to gather their opinion.
- His most embarrassing moment was when he mucked a winning hand face down during the very early stages of his career. He was so embarrassed that he didn’t even mention it at the table. Luckily it was just a local $3/$6 limit game.
- His favourite type of poker game is deep stacked live tournaments. Online he love the turbos because they end so quickly and because one get to gamble so much – it feels a lot less stressful than grinding out slowly. He plays turbos every once in a while as a form of relaxation because one get to be all-in about 15 minutes after the tournament starts.
For upcoming poker players he advises to study study study. Play play play. Get as much experience as you can and think about why you make the plays you do. Don’t get lazy and get into a fixed pattern and question all the plays you make.
2. Surinder Sunar
Sureinder Sunar is also well known Indian face at poker tables worldwide. Born in Dhinapur, Punjab, on 1st April 1959 the World Poker Tour S3 event winner was one of the most prominent poker players who hail from India. Surinder Sunar has taken part in many international poker tourneys including the WSOP tournaments and English Poker Open. Sunar was able to play at eleven final tables in bracelet events as of 2008. Surinder has shown his strength in cash games and tournaments where he represented UK.
Surinder Sunar is best known for the Paris world poker tournament where he was able to overpower Tony G to win the tournament. The final table was controversial with Tony G provoking Surinder. Sunar has many winnings to claim and he has gained respect and reputation from the determination in playing poker without losing his chill.
Tony G taunted Sunar before the confrontation, telling him “Surinder, you are going to bleed so badly once it is heads up. You’re putting me to sleep. I’m scared for you!” Sunar sat expressionless throughout the final table, on the way to a €679,000 grand prize.
Major Tournament Statistics of Surinder Sunar
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He is a British professional poker player based in Wolverhampton, who gained fame as a three-time finalist (series 1 and 5, plus the 2008 edition) in the Late Night Poker television series.
Surinder Sunar placed 3rd in the 2012 English Poker Open, behind Chris B jorin and Mickey Petersen, earning £35,880. As of 2015, his total live tournament winnings exceed $4,650,000.His 31 cashes as the WSOP account for $675,135 of those winnings.
He stated that he does not play many tournaments anymore because of the rigorous concentration that is required. He explained in an interview that whilst playing a tournament and getting down to the final three players, Dave Ulliott approached and told him that Princess Diana had died. Although he felt like he could think of nothing other than the tragedy, he turned inward to the place where he has total concentration and still won.
Interesting facts about Surinder Sunar
- Sunar moved to England with his family at the age of seven.
- Sunar holds a black belt in karate which he credits with improving his concentration for long live tournaments.
- Sunar made his first WSOP final table in 1990 finishing in third behind Johnny Moss.
- Sunar is known for his patience and concentration at the table.
- Sunar is a member of the European Poker Hall of Fame.
- Sunar, during a tournament, left one hundred thousand dollars in his Amsterdam hotel and didn’t think of it until he woke up the next morning back home in Wolverhampton.
- Sunar during a tournament was once told by Dave “The Devilfish” Ulliot that Princess Diana had just died in a car accident, but he remained unfazed in his tournament choosing to mourn on his own time after the tournament.
- Sunar once made Phil Hell muth whine and cry at a final table in Atlantic City at the Taj Mahal.
- Sunar was the first foreign poker player to play in the Aviation Club in Paris.
- Sunar won the longest heads-up play in WPT history at the time while being taunted by Tony G.
- Even though he has accumulated nearly $3 million in tournament wins and countless WPT and World Series finishes, rarely will you see him in a high-profile interview or glossy photoshoot.
- A respected pillar of the British poker scene, the man they call the ‘Cobra’ is an elusive, enigmatic figure.
- Sunar has a 107 year old grandfather who lives in Dhinpur Punjab, the mountains of northern India who imparts wisdom to his grandson.
Now if you too feel to sit at the poker table and be genius and wish to learn how to play poker then just head over to this link and understand the rules of the game. Also you can play and enjoy poker at many Indian casinos online or in land casinos to try your luck for some great wins.