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Memorable moments from Season 1 of GPL India

Memorable moments from Season 1 of GPL India
January 24
11:51 2020

Season 2 of the Global Poker League (GPL) India is still to be announced, but there’s still plenty of excitement and enthusiasm around the show’s inaugural run, despite it being almost a year since it was broadcast.

The GPL itself has been a global poker tour running since the mid-2010s, but it didn’t make its debut in India until 2018. Bringing together six city-based teams, mentored by India’s poker elite, season 1 of the GPL India documented all the thrills of the poker world over four months, as players battled it out for the chance to win the crown and a prestigious Platinum Pass to the PSP Championship in the Bahamas.

The series was first aired in the region on Colors Infinity, and all ten episodes can now be streamed online. Here are some of the most memorable moments from this groundbreaking series.

GPL India Bootcamp

 Incredibly, a total of 7500 online players competed for a spot as one of the final 60 qualifiers in the GPL India Bootcamp. The Bootcamp itself was a difficult process, testing the nerve and skill of the qualifiers in front of the panel of professional judges, before asking them to duke it out on the felt in a winner takes all format.

After a nail-biting Bootcamp, the final lucky dozen were announced.

Draft Day

The Draft Day ceremony was when we got to find out which team was which, and who their pro wildcard members would be. Poker pioneer Muskan Sethi selected Arsh Grover and Niharika Bindra as her wildcards, who, together with Ajitesh Bhargava (interview round winner), made up the Delhi Diehards.

The Chennai Sharks, mentored by Vikram Kumar, consisted of Bootcamp finalists Suyog H and Mithum Mahesh, and wildcard pros Ashish Munot and Gaurav Gala. Abishek Rathod’s Pune Alphas consisted of Vishal Bajaj (interview round winner), Vikas Dhull (SNG match-winner), and wildcards Kanishka Upreti and Nitin Jain.

The Kolkata Creators, managed by Sethi’s fellow PokerStars pro team member Aditya Agarwal, was made up of wildcards Rishab Jain and Jayjit Ray, online vet Gokul Raj and SNG match-winner Jai Saha. 

Leading the Bengaluru Hackers, Vidawth Shetty selected Rahul Melwani and AbishekPanda as his pro wildcards, who were joined by Shiv Bhargava (Interview) and Arun Siriam (SNG).

High stakes specialist Kavin Shah brought in Ramandeep Gujral and Vivek Singh to be the Mumbai Jetsetters and were joined by Aneesh Gopinathan and Saurabh Sindhwani who were the SNG and interview round winners respectively.

Grand Finale

After nine gripping episodes, episode ten of the first season of GPL India brought us the grand finale, as the Mumbai Jetsetters and the Chennai Sharks competed in a best of five heads-up formats. It was nail-biting from start to finish, with the momentum switching between the two finalists during each of the heads-up matches.

The pros were up first, with Mumbai’s Raman Gujral strongly snatching the game away from Chennai’s Gaurav Gala. Match 2 gave the Chennai Sharks a chance to even the score, as manager Vikram Lumar dominated the game and made short work of his opponent, Mumbai’s Aneesh Gopinathan.

The scales tipped in Mumbai’s favor once again with match 3, with online specialist Vivek Singh defeating the Shark’s online qualifier, Suyog H.

In the do or die fourth match, the Sharks were represented by wildcard pro, Ashish Munot. Despite his extensive skillset, Munot just couldn’t take down the Jetsetters Team Manager, Kavin Shah. In a gripping match, Shah showed exactly why he’s one of the top players in the country, crowning his team the champions of GPL India Season 1 in the process.






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