Poker in India is growing rapidly and people have begun to accept the game of poker as a ‘game of skill.’ Abhishek Goindi, one of the earliest poker pros of India who was the first Indian player to make significant cash at the Macau Poker Cup where he finished as runner-up for $136,303 in 2012 talked about the game in an exclusive interview. Talking about his journey of poker, Abhishek Goindi told that while all his classmates were busy playing pokemon, he took the spelling wrong and developed an enthusiasm about poker. During summer holidays, Goindi was introduced to the game by a friend and eventually the game became an inseparable part of his life.
Abhishek Goindi also emphasized on the importance of fitness and said that mental and physical fitness play a huge role for the game. “I am not that old but I feel the impact of fitness in my game. You need to be mentally alert for playing the game well. I try to maintain my fitness and I play several sports to achieve that.”
Abhishek Goindi quit poker as he took a job in a sport management company that managed Sachin Tendulkar but the love of poker drew him back and he got back into the game.
“I live for experiences but Poker has bestowed me with a lot. I don’t think I can ever get rid of it. It has given me the life I have today,” he said.
Any game which you can lose by will is a game of skill. You read situations where you apply the probabilities and mathematical theories to derive conclusions. Take an example of cricket, “There is a reason they play 300 balls in one innings and there is a reason why they play it for 5 days. It is a game of skill as it requires a bigger sample size. Similarly in poker, a bad player might initially be good in a short run but eventually the good player will come into limelight.”
“Many people have a misconception about the game of poker because of the venue and the way it is played. But luckily, the scenario is improving and people are accepting it with open arms. The younger generation is getting well-versed with the game and the perception towards the game is changing.”