9stacks Team India members Nishant Sharma and Vivek Rughani made history by finishing 34th and 87th respectively in the biggest poker tournament of the year, the $10K entry fee Main Event at the World Series of Poker 2018. The young poker professionals – who qualified through the #LFGVegas online promotion on 9stacks.com – are the only two Indian poker players who have made it to the top 100 ranks at a WSOP Main Event tournament.
9stacks – #9stacksTeamIndia
Both Nishant Sharma and Vivek Rughani reached the top 100 after 6 days of grinding outlasting Main Event veterans like Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth amongst others. Nishant became the only Indian player to have reached the top 50 ranks at the Main Event, and won $ 230,475 i.e. approximately 1.6 crore INR. Rughani cashed $77695 – INR 53 Lakh. Incidentally, Nishant went as high as 8th in the live standings before finally finishing 34th thanks to a ‘sick beat’. The overall prize pool at the WSOP Main Event was $74 million.
Out of the 7874 players that participated in the Main Event, 5 players, Mayank Jaggi, Vishal Tulsyan, Rishab Jain, Vivek Rughani and Nishant Sharma were part of #9stacksTeamIndia. Overall, 9stacks sent a team of 25 #LFGVegas contest winners to Las Vegas to participate in various events during the WSOP.
The #LFGVegas contest on www.9stacks.com was a set of challenges spread across 4 months where participants had to gain loyalty points by playing poker on the site, and as they crossed milestones they won various prizes including iPhones, trips to Vegas, as well as the $10K entry tickets to the Main Event.
Sudhir Kamath, CEO – 9stacks says, “By having 40+ “qualifiers” who reached Vegas on merit as part of #9stacksTeamIndia, we’ve tried to offer a chance to many talented young and upcoming poker players to rub shoulders with the world’s best. Our effort has yielded spectacular results with Vivek and Nishant’s deep run to the top 100 of the Main Event – especially when you think this was the first WSOP for both of them. We look forward to providing many more Indian poker players a platform to participate in some of the biggest tournaments across the globe.”
Online poker has been booming across India, as more young players are translating their mathematical and decision-making skills into solid poker skills. There is also an increasing trend towards seeing poker as a viable career option as more young poker players – such as Nishant Sharma and Vivek Rughani – embrace this as a full-time profession.
9stacks has been making waves as the startup to watch out for in the Indian poker industry by continually belting out challenges like #LFGVegas and the ongoing Money-LAAA contests where participants have to reach milestones to win trips to much revered poker destinations across the world.
9stacks is the hottest startup in India’s rapidly growing online poker space, and has been emphasizing user experience, transparent policies, and trust infrastructure to encourage new poker players and help them hone their poker skills.
Sudhir Kamath is an IIM-A alumnus with over 17 years of experience in general management and consulting. Prior to 9stacks, he was CEO of Suntera Energy, a privately held oil and gas exploration company. He started his career with McKinsey & Co.
Pratik Kumar is an IIT KGP alumnus, with over 12 years of experience in e-commerce, technology and internet. He was the CMO of Nykaa.com and founding team member of Zivame.com.
Abhinav Nigam is an IIT KGP alumnus, with over 12 years of operations and consulting experience with Accenture Strategy and the Boston Consulting Group.
Rishab Mathur is an IIT KGP alumnus with over 12 years of experience in technology. He was head of mobile technology for Nearbuy and CTO of 9monks and Blot Canvas.