After four action packed days, the latest edition of the India Poker Championship came to an end on 9th October. The final event of the IPC weekend was the Headhunter bounty tournament with re-entries for the first one hour. Just a few minutes before the hour was up, in walked a familiar face carrying his starting stack and took his seat at Table 7. Tournament Director Craig Wildman noticed the young man and made an announcement on the PA system, “Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the India Player of the Year has just entered tonight’s tournament. Give it up for Abhishek Goindi, the first ever winner of the IPOY!”
The amount of cheers that went off in the room was an indication of just how well respected, not to mention popular, a player Abhishek Goindi is. He has had an incredibly consistent run in the 2010-11 season of the IPC and while there were a few contenders down to almost the very last event, Goindi has gamely hung on and ensured that he takes top honours on that IPOY leaderboard.
It all began right from the very first edition of the IPC 2010-11 season back in December 2010. Goindi had finished 6th in the 25k Main Event earning his first points on the leaderboard. He had begun that final table as the chip leader and the disappointment of not finishing better than 6th was clearly visible on his face back then. But it was quite obvious even back then that this was a very capable young player who had a good feel for the game. That was a sign of things to come as he carried on from one edition of the IPC to another scoring money finishes and IPOY points to boot.
Here’s an idea of how consistent the man is – He has finished 8 times in the money in 6 editions (a total of 24 individual tournaments) of the IPC. That’s the highest number of money finishes for any player in the IPC. Next best is Sameer Rattonsey with 6 money finishes. An even more interesting factoid is that he is the only player to cash in every single edition of the IPC! The next best finishers are Bangalore mate Rahul Melwani and Mumbai’s Jasven Saigal and Sameer Rattonsey all of whom have scored points in 4 out of 6 editions of the IPC.
With this kind of consistency it would be easy to assume that Goindi had the India Player of the Year trophy in the bag. However Sameer Rattonsey made sure the sweat lasted all the way from June till October. Mid-way through the year, top spot began changing hands between these two with every event of the IPC and it lasted till the second to last tournament of the calendar! Even in the prior 10k tournament, both players finished 2nd and 3rd with Rattonsey still holding a wisp of a lead over Goindi. But cometh the hour cometh the man as they say… And he chose the big occasion – the 20k Big Game to once and for all put paid to anybody else’s hopes of taking down the IPOY. You could almost see the determination on his face at that final table. It was almost as if he knew he was destined to go all the way. And he accomplished it in style winning the Big Game and sealing that win by standing triumphantly on top of the IPOY points table!
With his win of the India Player of the Year, Abhishek Goindi can lay claim to being one of India’s best poker players. A sponsorship worth INR 200,000 for the next season is just the added bonus for all the hard work he has put through the year. If this year was anything to go by, the next season of the India Poker Championship should be as, if not more, exciting than the last!
Many congratulations to Abhishek Goindi on his remarkable consistency and we look forward to seeing more of him in the coming years.