Pratyush Buddiga: ‘I Had to Take a Shot at GDAM Million’

Pratyush Buddiga
Pratyush Buddiga

While most people might view a $128,000 buy-in tournament as extravagant, Pratyush Buddiga saw the recent GuangDong Asia Millions as one of the most value-packed events of the year.

“I live with Mike 'Timex' McDonald and he kept telling me it was going to be a sweet tournament and that I had to go,” said Buddiga. 

Despite never playing a tournament that even approached the buy-in size of the GDAM Millions, Buddiga outlasted 64 players to finish in eighth place and take down $772,870. Niklas Heinecker won the tournament for $4.4 million.

“I got a lot of people asking me why I was playing this tournament,” he said. “They were like ‘You’ve never played this big before.’”

According to Buddiga, people forget about other factors that make a tournament worth playing.

“I think a lot of people don’t understand that it’s not just about the buy-in of the tournament,” he said. “It’s about the value of the tournament. There were a lot of recreational players in GDAM.”

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Buddiga, who is a former Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion, compared it to the upcoming $25,000 6-Max at the 2013 WSOP in Las Vegas.

“The $25k 6-max is going to be waay harder, than the $100k,” he said. “If you have to choose between two tournaments you should play the $100k.

"You are obviously going to have to sell a little more action but the value is way higher.”

Even still, Buddiga had never been to Macau and wasn’t sure what to expect when he booked his ticket for the PokerStars presented tournament.

“PokerStars said there were going to be a lot of players but you never know until you show up,” he said.

“It might just be a bunch of Steve O’Dwyers and Dan Smiths and you’re like, ‘Well this sucks.’”

Instead Buddiga had a great experience and went home a share of $772k richer.

“It’s a really well run tournament,” he said. “Hopefully they run more in the future because I’d love to go back there.”

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