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Talking Poker: The Poker Journey of Saurabh Saluja

Meet Saurabh Saluja – a salaried professional who is dedicatedly and involved in his professional duties and spends the rest of his time between his family and Poker. Saurabh discusses his love for Poker, his 1st live tourney win (which coincidently was at Las Vegas), the pitfalls to avoid, and more! Read on-

Q. Tell us about your Poker journey.
Having been brought up in a Punjabi family, playing teen Patti came naturally to me, and somehow luck always seemed to favor me when I played with my friends and family. But, my Poker journey started way back in 2012 when I travelled to the US of A to meet my sister. I went to Vegas and ended up winning a decent amount in my first ever live tournament, I guess you could call it “Beginner’s Luck”. But, I have never looked back since. In 2013, I was introduced to online poker and the roller coaster ride continues to date.

Q. What is your long-term planning with Poker?
Currently, I am a cash game player who loves to grind on mid-high stakes tables, but I do foresee making this a permanent additional revenue stream in the future. Post-retirement or quitting corporate life, Poker is the only thing I see doing for the rest of my active life. That, and travelling.

Q. What are your thoughts on the 2019 WSOP Sprint?
It’s really encouraging to see Pocket52 come up with such a simple and competitive challenge to fulfil the dreams of aspirants of this skill-based game. If you are disciplined enough and willing to put in quality time, almost 3-4 hours daily, you can achieve the goal in 60 days instead of the 120 days grace period offered by Pocket52. The best part is that you are not competing with anybody but yourself; every day you have to beat your previous best and you are right up there.

Q. Any advice for youngsters starting their Poker journey?
Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that Poker is a gamble or a means of making easy money. Poker is anything but gambling; you need to learn the skill and only then stake your monies on the tables. It’s your hard-earned money, don’t lose it so easily!

Q. What is your favourite Poker moment?
My first win, and that too in Las Vegas! Sure, I blew whatever I won in Sin City… but, as they say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” 😉

Q. How did you start playing Poker?
Zynga Poker on Facebook got me interested in the sport and it gave me the confidence required to start playing with real money. I started out as an NL Hold’em tourney player but then graduated to the PLO circuit playing cash games. I don’t think I have the patience to play for hours to reach the final table. Although, I have won quite decent pots on Pokerstars occasionally.

Q. At what point did you become a winning player and what process aided that development?
It’s an ever-evolving process. What clicks for some may not hold true for others, but one thing is for sure, and I say this from my experience – please don’t play if you don’t have your own money. If you can resist the temptation of not using your credit cards then you are on your way to becoming a winning player.

Q. What kind of effect do you think the online gaming boom has had on the integrity of the game?
You guys, being the custodians of the game, play a very important role in this aspect of the game. People will come, play and cash out, but what stays with them is the experience. If the poker sites have the right checks and balances in place to control colluding, ghosting, chip dumping, and other nefarious means, it will be better for not only the site per se but the online poker gaming community as a whole.

Q. What is it like to play on Pocket52? What has been your experience with the Pocket Vault?
I find the Pocket52 interface to be very smooth and user-friendly. The encrypted RNG is the USP of this site which kills the possibility of guesswork and makes it purely a game of skill and art.

About Pocket Vault, I feel this to be the best rewards program currently available for Indian poker players, where you get to choose your reward and then gun for it. It has everything that every one of us aspires to have in our possession, believe me! I have my eyes set on a MacBook Pro at the moment.

Q. Poker Learning – What is your perspective and what are your expectations?
Yes, it’s very important to keep upgrading your knowledge on the subject. If you are serious about the sport then coaching is also an option. But, yes, two things that one should learn to the fullest:

  • Bankroll Management
  • Tilt Management

Q. How do you respond to Poker?
Let’s play!

Q. How does it make you feel?
It’s a great leveler… both in terms of taking the stress level to an all-time high and in cooling it down when Poker Gods are kind to you.

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