|It took him just four months, but Pranav Bathija of Mumbai taught himself enough about the game of Texas Hold‘em Poker, to take an impressive 3rd place at the Asian Poker Classic – India’s first professional poker tournament. |
“This win will do great things for poker in Asia… If I can learn poker in just four months and place third in an international poker tournament, then I’ve proven that it is very possible to be a successful poker player in India,” said Bathija.
Bathija learned the game by playing for free at online poker site MaharajahClub.net. After learning the basics, Maharajah Club identified Pranav as a new player worth sponsoring for the Asian Poker Classic.
Bathija played against 143 other poker players from around the world to take his share of the tournaments $1 million (44,490,085 Indian Rupees) prize pool, after three days of play at the Intercontinental Grand Resort in Goa.
“This is a serious tournament. I’m so happy to prove myself and to prove that Indians can compete in this sport on an international level,” he added.
MaharajahClub.net sponsored 12 Indian players from its website to compete in the Asian Poker Classic. Of the 12, three finished in the top 20 with Shiv Puri, also from India, winning APC Event 1.
“We are proud to support Indian poker players by giving them the opportunity to compete in a live poker tournament in their home country. So often Indian poker players have to travel to half way around the world to compete in a live poker tournament, bringing this great sport to India has given many more Indian poker players a chance to compete and win in a professional poker tournament that competes in prize money with the best tournaments in Las Vegas or Monte Carlo,” said MaharajahClub.net CEO Sachin Pawa.
1st place - Carl Hostrup (Denmark)
2nd place - Samual Lehtonen (Sweden)
3rd place - Pranav Bathija (India)