With the entry of premier poker operators like the World Poker Tour (WPT) and PokerStars, India’s poker scene has picked up considerably during the last two years. Poker tournaments with large guaranteed prize pools are now being held in the country and more Indian players have been able to earn a hefty amount of prize.
This push from international operators have also forced domestic operators to boost their tournaments and make them more attractive. Indian poker players now have the environment where they can foster their career — from making a living as a full-time poker player to scoring sponsorships from different firms. We take a look at the top five Indian poker players who have made it big so far.
Aditya Agarwal has racked up more than $4 million from his online poker games according to his PokerStars profile. Ranking third on India’s all-time money list, his enviable poker resume also includes cashing in seven times during his 11 years of playing at the WSOP. He is arguably the most popular poker player in India given the fact that he is a PokerStars ambassador.
After winning a whopping $450,000 throughout 2014, part-time player Nipun Java has risen to become one of the most recognized Indian poker figures in recent memory. In 2017, Java scored a $237,688 win at the $1,000 WSOP Online Championship. With his total earnings nearing the $2.5 million-mark, he is now ranked second on the Indian all-time money list.
In live poker games alone, India’s all-time money list 4th placer Raghav Bansal has already accumulated earnings worth near-$1 million. In 2017, he made buzz by clinching a $137,587 win at the Macau Poker Cup 26, on top of his $335,910 payday at PokerStars Championship High Roller.
Amit Jain is one of the biggest names in the online poker universe for raking in more than $1.4 million. During a high roller tournament in the country, he was able to score his biggest payday for a live poker game, earning $38,840. Currently, he is ranked 16th on India’s all-time money list.
Even before Vivek Rajkumar won the top prize worth $1.4 million in the 2008 edition of WPT, he had already amassed around $500,000 by playing online. With his impressive poker profile, he still ranks high on India’s all-time money list despite the fact that he hasn’t cashed out since 2015. His total live poker earnings have already amounted to nearly $4.5 million.