Hello Mr. Rajagopalan (hero1965), thanks for your conversation with Adda52. Firstly we would like to congratulate you for finishing in the money at 2015 WSOP Main Event. You are only the fifth player this year from India to cash the Main event.
1. How do you feel right now? Please share your Vegas experience with our readers.
I really feel good about playing at the WSOP but sad at the way it ended Flying to Vegas was an awe-inspiring experience. I loved how the city lights seem to go forever. This was my first shot at WSOP and I am really thrilled to finish in the money.
2. It’s been a week since you returned from Vegas. Now that you’ve had some time to think about it, how does it feel to be among the players who finish in the money at WSOP main event?
I played WSOP ME for the first time, and finishing in money in this tournament is like a victory. I would rather say victory unfulfilled as I was very far away from big money. It was a tough test of poker skills, and a pretty big deal. Now, I think poker is here to stay in my life and I see good scope for myself in this skill game.
3. How does it feel to be probably the best player to come out of Adda52.com sponsored Team India, and to be competing with and dominating the best of the best from all over the world?
It was an awesome experience. Thanks to Adda52.com, it was really a great opportunity for me. The atmosphere was very light and lively. As the stakes start out small, it gave me time to adapt to the poker tournament without a lot of pressure. Everytime when the players were knocked out, and the tables were changed, the competition grew. I really enjoyed playing against serious pros. The tournament enhanced my poker skills as I got to learn a lot from poker professionals, and also got to test myself. I am looking forward to participating in next year’s WSOP.
4. So, this was your first visit to a live poker tournament. Do you have plans to take part in more live tournaments in the future?
Yes, after cashing in my first-ever international poker tournament and that too in the world’s No.1 poker tournament, I am looking forward to participate in more live tournaments. Earlier I used to play live poker at various clubs in Bangalore, now I am planning to attend more international tournaments in future, may be APPT in near future. I am training myself to take that big plunge in poker.
5. What kind of preparations did you make for the WSOP Main Event?
I am more of a cash game player and that online. Hence, preparing for WSOP was a tough grind and an uphill battle for me. I read a lot of poker books to develop poker tournament skills. To name a few books – Decide to Play Great Poker by Annie Duke, Harrington on Hold’em: Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments- Vol I, II, III. I took coaching classes from Jonathan Little and also used to watch past WSOP videos on www.gripsed.com.
6. Did you get a chance to play with your favourite poker pro / top poker pros?
I got a chance to play with Canadian poker pro Jonathan Duhamel and American pro player Vanessa Selbst.
7. How did you deal with bad beats?
I didn’t face any bad beat at WSOP because most of the hands I got into, I had good cards and better position on the table. On the first day of the Main Event, I played 4 hands and all were winning hands. Second Day was again good enough for me as cards fell in my favour. It was on the third day that I got busted. I basically lost my chips to big raises. The last hand I played was J-8- Suited of Hearts. The blinds running were 2000-4000, and I was the Big Blind. Surprisingly, it was an un-raised pot and the entire table was in pre-flop. The board ran J-7-3 on flop, with 10 on turn and 9 on river. After the flop was dealt, button raised and everybody except 3 guys folded. After the turn when I triple bet, with my top pair, it was heads up. At the river, I shoved my small stack and my opponent who was a big bully on the table called my all-in. He had rivered a straight and took down the game. The battle was tough, and I tried my best to do a bang-up job.
8. If you weren’t a poker player, what would you be doing?
Apart from being a certified Chartered Accountant, I am an Entrepreneur in the fashion industry. So that’s what I would still be doing.