That was the case with Samay Parikh, who was studying filmmaking at Whistling Woods International in Mumbai, India.
One of Parikh’s assignments at Whistling Woods was simple: Matt Damon.
“We were supposed to see all his films,” Parikh said. “That’s how I came across Rounders.”
After that, Parikh started hitting lots of “juicy home games” that were all over Mumbai. Parikh kept hitting cash games across the country and then tried his first tournament in Goa two years later.
Parikh Learns to Love "Rush" of Live Tournaments
Parikh found success there too and won the 50,000 INR (Indian rupee) 6-Max High Roller Event at the Poker Guru Tour and earned 196,800 INR ($13,514). Parikh then travelled to Las Vegas for the WSOP but stuck to cash games.
Things changed for Parikh this year. His “cash-game only” system changed when something inside him did.
“I cashed in the Millionaire Maker," Parikh said. "I went deep, came 366th and I really enjoyed the rush that you get going deep in a tournament.
"I started enjoying it, so I played all the 6-Maxes. Cashed in the $1,500, out in the 3K, bubbled the $5K, so...yeah.”
Parikh wasn’t done with 6-Maxes though and he registered for the $10K 6-Max a few days ago on a whim.
“I bubbled the $5K [6-Max] and was very depressed. I was going to go to the Bellagio to play cash but then, last minute, kind of decided to just enter [the $10K 6-Max],” Parikh said. “Like 10 minutes before the tournament started.”
The decision turned out to be profitable for Parikh. After two days of battling, Parikh scored his 3rd cash of the summer after he finished 27th in the $10K 6-Max for $17,793. To date, this is Parikh’s largest cash.
Parikh: Indians Are Getting Better
With number three of the summer in the books, Parikh plans on playing a few more events, including the Main Event.
While his goal for the summer is to make money, his goal as a poker player is a bit less modest.
“Be one of the best players in the world,” Parikh said. “Be right up there.”
In the process, Parikh wants to become a symbol of poker in India, a place where the game is still in its infancy.
“[Indians] are getting better but they’re still far from what everyone’s at over here,” Parikh said. “But I think in a few years there’ll be a bunch of good Indian players because it’s getting pretty popular there.
“If I run deep in a few events, that makes poker more popular in India and a lot more people can aspire to play.
- "If someone from India wins a bracelet it’d be a huge deal.”