Two of India’s premier tournament poker brands, Aces Unlimited and India Poker Championship decided to collaborate and provide another great tournament experience to players through the Ultimate Poker Challenge. The UPC had a Main Event with a buy in of INR 50,000, along with 3 side events. And for those players seeking value, it was a great proposition as the minimum guarantees for the weekend was a total of INR 26,00,000!
The action packed poker bonanza kicked off with the INR 5,000 Satellite with Re-Entries on the 16th of May, 2012 at the Pride Poker Room aboard Casino Pride in Panjim, Goa. This event drew at total of 34 entries and had 2 Main Event seats guaranteed. The top 4 finishers decided to chop the pot and Jasven Saigal, Sunil Singh, Husain Lakda and Masood Shaikh each walked away with at least INR 40,000 in tournament tickets for the Main Event.
The INR 5,000 Re-Buy+Addon took place on Day of the UPC weekend. At the end of the Re-buy and Addon period, the prizepool had become INR 5,80,500. All the players at the final table tightened up their game significantly to ensure that they received the maximum ROI on their investment. After about 8 hours of play, Rakesh Sharma and the in form Jasven Saigal played the last hand of the tournament where Saigal shoved with and was in slightly better shape against Sharma’s preflop. However, Sharma caught his Jack on the flop and the odds had shifted heavily in his favour. No help on the turn or river for Saigal meant that Sharma had all the chips in play. Sharma added INR 2,50,000 to his bankroll for taking down the 5k Rebuy+Addon.
Day 3 saw 54 players take the felt at the INR 10,000 Freezeout tournament. Prashant Correa followed up the previous night’s top 3 finish by making it to heads up play. His final opponent in the tournament was SP Kalia who was the chip leader at the start of the final table. That lead had shifted to Correa before the start of heads up play. However, after having doubled up, Kalia held the lead going into the last hand of heads up play. In the final hand, Correa was forced to jam his stack all in following a re-raise from Kalia. Correa made the call and showed against Kalia’s . Kalia flopped a set gave Kalia a set and Correa was hoping for a club to double up. Unfortunately for him the turn and river had other plans as Kalia’s hand improved to a full house and he walked away the winner of the 10k Freezeout. He received INR 200,000 for beating the competition.
The featured event of the weekend, the INR 50,000 Main Event took place on day 3 of the UPC. A 27 strong field battled it out on the tables at Day 1 of the Main Event and they grinded it out till only 6 players remained to resume play on the following day. Sumit Asrani, ID Musafir, Shyam Madiraju, Maurice Noronha, Sikandar Kher and Rajeev Kanjani returned on Day 2 of the Main Event, each hoping to take home as much as they could of the INR 15,00,000 prizepool. In the end, Madiraju took on Kher in heads up play to try and take down the title.
In the final hand, on a limped flop of both players checked and on the turn Kher moved all in holding . Madiraju, who had the bigger stack, made the call and tabled . The pot was all but chopped as both players’ kickers were less than what was on the board. Of course, there wouldn’t be any poker without suck outs, and in a dramatic turn of events, the river made Madiraju two pairs and Kher got a serious case of sickness. For that win, Madiraju pocketed a cool INR 500,000 and also took home the UPC Main Event winner’s trophy.
Rounding up the weekend was the INR 12,000 Bounty tournament. A total of 65 entries ensured that the prizepool reach INR 585,000. Nitish Gupta took on tournament regular Sunil Singh in the final hand of the UPC weekend. Both players limped to see on the flop. Singh made a small bet and Gupta moved all in holding a 4:1 chip lead. Singh put his stack in the middle and showed . His top pair was in the lead against Gupta’s . But that didn’t last long as Gupta’s mid pair went on to improve to two pairs on the turn and a full house on the river . Gupta picked up a total of 5 bounties through the course of the 12k Bounty and scored a total payday of INR 210,000 for outlasting the field.
PokerNews India was present to catch all the action. Click here to see our live coverage of the Ultimate Poker Challenge.