Werewolf Speaks- Why We Play Poker

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Hello there!

Here I am, with my debut poker blog on 9stacks!

A small disclaimer first - I don't consider myself an expert or a Guru of poker, I am learning it along with a lot of you.

In this blog, I am sharing what I have learnt rather what I feel about poker at this point in time.

What a wonderful time it is for poker in India with so many poker sites springing up offering so much value to not only the pros, but also to the recreational regs! Whether you enjoy the Multi Table tournaments (MTTS) or the cash grind there is enough action and multiple options for you. Not just that, there are enough poker rooms both B&M and online with various tables to offer you the stakes that you prefer. Micro to nosebleed whatever works for you.

Add to that, the variants that online sites offer you and you have a complete fun package available at the comfort of your home. Texas Holdem, Omaha, Open Face Chinese are some various forms that you can easily find online.

A few years back (in 2013 if you must know )I chanced upon this fabulous game on Zynga poker online and immediately fell in love.

It was competitive, it appealed to my mathematical abilities, gave me a high I didnt think i’d have, it was amazing!

I got so fiercely hooked onto it that during festive times around Diwali that I became a pain for my friends, thanks to me insisting on playing poker whereas everyone around was happy and comfortable with the regular teen patti game. :p

Well, the times have changed and Poker is replacing the normal Teen Patti games in most friendly house games, and not just during Diwali but the whole year around!

You can imagine how happy that makes me-I am not a social outcast anymore.

That got me thinking as to why do people play poker.

Now, if you ask a POKER PRO, they will tell you it’s to make the most money out of every hand you play, but that's not true for mere mortals like us. Yes we do want to win, but poker appeals to a lot more in people than the need to make a fortune.

People play poker because it is a game of skill, It gives their ego a boost, it is fun to play, they think they can beat it, it makes them feel cool, it gives them a high- the reasons can be numerous. Give me your reasons in comments below.

Once we have established the reasons that appeal to the poker player in us comes the hard task of learning the game and I say hard because most of us have a job, some hobbies, maybe families to look after and other social obligations.

Now one thing is certain, not all of us are thinking of beating the Giants in World Series of Poker (WSOP) so we don't need to take the pressure of mastering the game, it can remain fun for us. But those who do have bigger poker dreams have an uphill task. You see like most other sports poker also needs learning, practice and a disciplined approach. If you want to pursue poker seriously then you will also need to draw out short term and long term plans towards the success of the same.

In the next editions we will talk about various topics like the fun poker terms, the learning curve for beginners, poker etiquette, what all the poker sites in India are offering to the players in terms of gaming experience and promotions etc. and how to make the most of it. If there is any topic that you would like to read about feel free to comment below and I will try to incorporate it too.

Cheers and keep grinding.

-Werewolf

When Teen Patti Met Poker

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Remember when Harry met Sally.. Sejal? Nah? We neither. But we’re surely remembering this epic meeting.

“Oh, oh! Sorry!” Teen Patti apologized, having bumped into someone. He was lost in thought, gloomy, and distracted. He had no awareness of his surroundings, and just walked like a drunken vagabond (sober, nonetheless)!

Kya bhai? You’ll say sorry and it’s over?” came the reply. The reply was arrogant, and careless. But this carelessness was different. It displayed vibrance and confidence. “Hi! Abey tu? Where do I know you from?” the chirpy voice continued, happier than before.

“Huh? What?” Teen Patti looked up, trying to make sense of his whereabouts. He squinted his eyes a little to see which old friend he had bumped into. “Oh, Hi! Sorry, I did not see you there. How have you been?”

Badhiya, Bro! How about you? And what’s with this constipated look?” the friend raised concern, humorously.

“Good for you man! Just… surviving! Life’s tough these days.” replied Teen Patti, in a more encouraging voice than before.

Kya baat kar raha hai, Bro? It’s Diwali time. OUR Time!”

“Have you seen my social presence? My Insta, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube followers are decreasing by the day. What’s happening with people? Their loyalties are shifting!” Teen Patti stated in a jealous manner.

Tujhe bola tha. Grow up with the growing times man. You’ll go to every guy, and ask them to invent their own variations? Consistency chahiye Bro!

“All these uncles were happy with me. Back in the day. Any way, I have seen your social presence. Itni coolness! On a roll you are these days!” Stated Teen Patti.

“Of course I am rolling bro. Blunts and all. Varying rules se nahin chalta, Bro! Half the people don’t get variations. And tera toh probability ka bhi koi scene nahin hai. You were always weak in Maths, right?”

“It’s not about that man. People are just wary of being associated with me. They want quicker rewards. Less Chhi-Chha Lather!” Continued Teen Patti, “and they have started to get weary about my multiple personality disorders.”

Abey, what’s this scene with a Suit being less probable than a Straight? What do you call it? Color and Sequence. Names to theek rakho yaar…” stated Texas Hold-Em.

“What to do man. Wohi famous ho gaya. And then there’s this apprehension that I won’t leave people till they go broke. With you it’s so much better. They meet you, greet you, associate with you. And get richer and more skillful. Tu to waise hi trending hai, bhai,” cribbed Teen Patti further.

“Stop complaining bro! It’s just not your time. Remember those days when I was literally unknown? Good that we have come far from those days.”

“Tell me about it man. But I still never reached your fame. Like, you’re hanging out with celebrities and all, bro! Milwa na Bhai!

Ye le, drag le!”

“Naa Bhai. I am on cheap shit these days. Affordability issues. Went all in, and tabh bhi Split Pot nahin hua… Lost a lot more than I had.”

Wahi to scene hai… Ab bata, how do you expect me to take you to them?”

“Bro! Come on, Bro!”

“Not happening bro. You need to sort your shit out. Take some advice. Make all your variations of just one kind. Two cards with each player. Five on the table. And change your hand rankings...”
“But then I’ll become more like you.”
“Now you’re talking sense!”
“F-you man. F You!”
And… since then… People prefer Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. He’s being popularly called Paanch Patti now.

To be continued….


Words by Ankit Malhotra


Aussie Bytes: In conversation with , NoobPro- Bhavye Mittal

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At 9stacks, we love encouraging poker enthusiasts and we want all of you to follow the Aussie Bytes because, we’re going to interview the qualifiers and understand how they see the game and how they prepare for it.

Today, let’s go behind the scenes and catch up with Noob Pro, the young and rising poker champ who just won a trip to Australia.

All of 22 years old, Bhavye Mittal, who goes by the name , Noob Pro nabbed pretty sweet deal by participating in the Aussie100#1 tournament hosted by 9stacks on the 21st of October 2018.

He is one of the top 15 who battled amateurs and pros alike, who participated in the tournament and landed himself with a cool Aussie package worth 2 lakhs.

A few excerpts from our interview with the rising star.

9stacks : When did you start playing poker? what interests you in the game?
Bhavye: Started playing poker quite a few years back. I’ve always enjoyed putting people under pressure.

9stacks : Will you consider yourself a casual player or a pro? Why?
Bhavye : I am a Casual player because I have not studied the game enough and I don’t put many hours in the game as I should be.

9stacks :What is your opinion on Poker being considered gambling?
Bhavye: People who consider it s gambling dont really understand the game, IMHO. It is a skill based game. Some bit of Luck is involved but only for a short while. In the long run its skill that takes you ahead and helps you earn accolades and the money. Period.

9stacks: What format do you prefer playing- Tournaments/cash
Bhavye: Tournaments. Because people fold in tourneys and not in cash

9stacks: Do you prefer annon tables? Do you think your game changes when playing on Anonymous table?
Bhavye: No don’t play annon. If I play annon, my game changes because I start gambling.

9stacks: Whose game do you follow mostly? Indian/global player. Anyone from 9stacks whose game you admire?
Bhavye: Doug Polk. More than his hands, I observe his overall strategy.
From 9stacks I like F1sh- he is hyper-loose aggressive

9stacks: Who is your favourite poker player? Are there any favourite poker lines that you live by?
Bhavye: Yes, infact i greatly admire Isildur1- Viktor Blom. I follow his game religiously.
My favorite poker line would be “You can’t win if you fold”

Keep following this space for all the fun BTS conversations from the rising stars of online poker!

Cheers,

Team 9stacks

10 reasons why playing poker is the best

Poker is an awesome sport to pursue. It’s so wholesome- it challenges the mind, it is extremely exciting when you get the hang of it, oh, did we mention the moolah you get to make?

Read on to know how cool poker is and why it is a sport you HAVE to play!

 No Barriers

To venture into poker, you only need a desire to actually play the game. We’re serious! Start playing for small amounts and then when you are more comfortable with your style and strategy, experiment with a variety  of bigger amounts to arrive at a sweet spot!

Skills for life

Observing people, reading through facades, emotional control, financial discipline, risk assessment, weakness analysis, drawing lessons from mistakes and bad circumstances, working to achieve long-term goals..  Playing poker equips you with skills that will last you a lifetime. You want to get street smart and extremely savvy, PLAY POKER NOW!

To learn poker, you really don’t really have to have deep pockets

Poker is extremely popular and you just have to google the term to find yourself inundated with the choicest of Youtube videos that teach you poker.

You can begin watching these videos to learn the basic steps. Practice is important, so make sure you play as much as you can.

 Get social

Regardless of whether you play online, or, play at home, periodically gathering with friends and colleagues, poker is a universal language that unites people all over the planet.

There are no limits to the money you earn in Poker

There are literally NO LIMITS to the amount of money you can earn or the amount of time you can spend playing poker.  The more you play, the more you learn, the

You are the owner

You report only to yourself, the mathematical variance and that  green curve on your chart.

Flexible schedule if you play Poker Professionally

What could be better than waking up at 7 am and realizing that today is Saturday, and you do not need to go to work and all you have to do is get on your mobile or your laptop and play poker all day?

Play poker ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

If you have a laptop and connection to the Internet any place on the planet can become your office.

Play and learn from the best

Unlike most competitive areas where you will never meet and communicate with the best players / athletes, in poker you can check your skills and knowledge against the best of the best on any day. How do you do that? You just observe their game and watch them reveal their tells!

Discipline

Yes, discipline is a  key skill that has to be learnt and followed all your life. Why not equip yourself with it by playing poker? Playing poker teaches you to wait for the right cards AND the right time to play them to reap rewards. In life, the lesson you can carry over from this is to curb your impulses and wait for the right time to make your move and achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

 Cheers,

Team 9stacks

Maidumji's Poker Chronicles: Aussie Bound!

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Hello again, my poker mates!

It’s been a while since I signed in, and what better day to make a comeback, than one after winning a very significant poker tournament? My very first of its kind! I just grabbed a spot in the top 15 in the 9stacks Aussie100#1 tournament! The fact that I am also the only woman  to make it so far on 9stacks, is quite staggering as a thought. Aussie Millions, get ready for maidumji!

Please indulge this billo, as I bask in the glory of winning a package to Australia worth Rs. 2 lakhs.

On October 21st, 9stacks hosted the Aussie100 Tournament, where on offer were 15 packages to Melbourne, Australia, for a buy in of only Rs. 5500.

I tried to win a ticket by playing some satellites but no luck there. Nevertheless, I decided to take my chances and invest the buy in amount for a chance to win such a cool prize.

In the beginning levels of the poker tournament, I played pretty tight and avoided the big pots. This helped me maintain a good stack in the middle, though it’s true what they say, you are as good as your last hand! I lost a significant amount of chips to some bad beats and flips (which in hindsight couldn’t have been avoided) and by the time the bubble phase arrived, found myself on the short end of the stick with a short stack (If this isn’t every tournament player’s nightmare, I don’t know what is!)

This is when I felt in sync with mountain dew because “darr sabko lagta hai, gala sabka sookhta hai” you all, no kidding!

On a serious note, this final phase was when I realized that so much is out of one’s hands. Skill can get you closer to the finish line, but your moves are as good as the table’s reaction to them. I saw so many people get busted on monster hands and bad beats, I honestly knew it could go either way for me as well. Thankfully, I was able to steal some blinds and held on to my insignificant stack and once reached the final 15, went all out on a suited QK losing to an Ace high hand.

It took me a good 15 minutes to wrap my head around the fact that I actually won! I consider myself a newbie as far as competitive online poker goes, so yes, it is a significant win for me. This was probably my best online poker tournament performance till date. The great thing about 9stacks I feel, is that they keep coming up with really cool, very do - able promotions and in my opinion, the best poker offers and tournament formats. Gives all us  amateurs the confidence to really pursue the sport and motivate ourselves to do better each time.

This win has boosted my confidence. I have been working very hard towards improving my game everyday and this win validates the effort  I am putting in. It feels wonderful!

I am gearing up for more poker tournaments where I hope to compete for more packages which I can redeem for cash.

So long story short, you will see Maidumji in Australia, mates!

Love,

maidumji

9stacks talks about the future of online gaming in India at theChindia TMT Dialogue Conference 2018.

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A few weeks earlier, Entrackr hosted the 3rd Chindia TMT Dialogue Conference 2018 at the JW Marriot, Aerocity, New Delhi. The focus of the conference was to provide a platform for the Indian startup ecosystem to engage in a dialogue with the Chinese start up community and benefit from the successful strategies and practices employed by them in an economic ecosystem similar to the one in India.

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The conference saw more than 1000 founders from leading tech startups, , 100+ partners, over 30 media representatives, and 100’s of investors, delegates from funds, VCs, corporates from both the countries. The conference was an amalgamation of discussions, brainstorming sessions, exchange of ideas and learning on various innovations. It was also a great event to networks and build working relationships.  

9stacks was part of the panel discussion on whether the online gaming sector was at a point of inflection at the moment. Led by Sudhir Kamath, cofounder and CEO, 9stacks, the discussion revolved around the current state of affairs and how the panelists saw the indian online gaming sector developing in the near future.

Here’s to being part of more such panel discussions and helping  awareness on the sector which lead to creating a better future for online gaming in India.

Team 9stacks




9stacks launches the Aussie100 contest for all Aussie Millions hopefuls

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Hey folks,

Playing poker during the Aussie Millions- one of the biggest poker tournaments in the world has always been a dream for most poker players in India. Like the World Series of Poker that happens in Europe and North America, Aussie Millions, is the southern hemisphere’s biggest and the richest poker tournament series. Some of the biggest names in the field participate and showcase their skills on the tables in Melbourne every year, during this tournament series.

Did you think it was impossible for a player like you to play there?

9stacks is going to change that for you.

*drumrolls *

9stacks presents the Aussie100 challenge where 100 qualifiers (Yes! It could be you too!) get to fly to Melbourne Australia with us during the Aussie Millions this January 2019! Stand a chance to play poker and rub shoulders with some of the biggest names on the tables

All you have to do is participate in this milestones based cash grind spread across 3 months, from 13th October to 16th December, 2018, earn 50K points to win the Australia package worth 2 Lakhs!

But hey, all you tournament players have a chance to participate in the various tournaments we are going to host during this contest. The tournaments for the Aussie100 will act as boosters for your cash grind. This means that winning a special Aussie100 tournament can also get you to Australia!

In July we became the first Indian online poker company to take 25 Indian poker players- the largest contingent of players ever to be taken by an Indian poker company to play poker during the World Series of Poker. The 9stacks Team India, which consisted of 25 qualifiers of the merit based #LFGVegas contest gave a stellar performance at the WSOP, with two of the members, Nishant Sharma and Vivek Rughani made history by leading India into the top 100 ranks in the Main Event at the WSOP 2018. The team consisted of mostly amateur regular players for whom this was their maiden foray at the WSOP.

We have always believed that poker is for every one who dreams big and has the zeal to excel at the game. As facilitators of those dreams, we are on our toes everyday, trying to come up with the most do-able, yet the most exciting and innovative online poker contests and tournament formats so that YOU know that your poker dreams are going to come true!

Participate in the Aussie100 contest, qualify for 9stacks Team India and fly to Melbourne Australia with us!

Read more about the contest here

See you at the tables,

Team 9stackst

We got funded :)- 9stacks becomes the first online poker platform to raise series A funding

Last week, we announced that 9stacks has raised 28 crore INR in a Series A Funding Round. The round was led by WaterBridge Ventures and included Astarc Ventures, Vinay Mittal, and our existing pool of angel investors.

For me, two things made this round special:

  • This is the first Series A raised by any Indian online poker company - a real vote of confidence in our team and the systems and processes we’ve put in place.

  • Many of our initial angel investors participated in this round again! Usually startups don’t expect angels to invest in subsequent rounds, but we were pleasantly surprised to see the strong interest from our early backers. Here’s hoping to generate stellar returns for them in the years ahead!

We had started 9stacks last year aiming to provide an authentic, transparent and simple online poker experience, which would make poker a fun sport for everyone. Along the way, we introduced many innovations to the Indian poker industry:

  • The Dual Wallet system  which soon became an industry benchmark

  • Our loyalty points - StackUp points - which offer super value to regular players

  • Sending 25 people to Vegas!

  • Our promotions and tournaments like Goal Digger, Tournament Milestone, Rush, Texasmash, Stack Wars, Peti@FT,  etc which the poker community has appreciated, and have been hugely successful.

  • All day time cash-outs within 2 hours, 365 days a year! And all night cashouts by the next morning. And all these cashouts happen after full fraud detection, thanks to automation and machine learning.

  • Last but not the least, we launched the Skills Dashboard, which is India’s first and only analytics tool to make YOU a better poker player. (Do try it if you haven’t yet - and yes, we’ll keep adding features to that as well!)

We have tried to break barriers and fight stereotypes at every step, be it encouraging women vociferously in the field of  poker, or building a fully automated, data driven platform with one of the safest and fastest cash out processes in the industry today.

And I’m glad we’ve been able to build a great team along the way!

It’s been a good year, and we look forward to more fun and games (of poker) ahead!

To read about our funding stories and to know what our investors have to say about us, please click on the links below.

Economic Times CalvinAyre.com VCCircle Entrackr GLaws IndiaToday Dalal StreetJournal

Sudhir Kamath

Poker Tournament Strategies

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Poker tournament strategies differ a lot from simple cash games.  Everyone starts with the same stack, unlike cash games where people can bring stacks of different sizes to the same table. Also, tournaments are all about survival. Once your stack of chips is gone, so are you. These strategies will help your survive the different phases of a tournament. 

Value of chips changes – at the start of the tournament you will have plenty chips compared to the blinds. For example, every tournament on 9stacks gives you a different starting stack. StackUp gives you a starting stack of 25,000 chips, which amounts to 500 initial blinds while The Multiplier gives you 12,00 chips amounting to 100 initial blinds.  But as the blinds increase, you will be left with fewer chips compared to the blind. Hence, always keep an approximate count of how many blinds you have left. When you only have 7-10 blinds left, wait for a monster hand and shove pre-flop. With a stack so small it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to get value if you play more than 1 or 2 hands and if all the players end up folding, you’ll be able to steal their blinds. 

Be patient –Wait for the right hand to come. Play tight during the first few levels and avoid big pots unless you have a monster hand. This will allow you to maintain a healthy stack. You don’t want to get into massive pots and lose too many chips in the early rounds, as an increase in blinds later on will further reduce your stack relatively. A common strategy a lot of players use is playing multiple tables – while you’re playing a big tournament you can also play cash tables or 15-minute tournaments in parallel. This keeps you busy and doesn’t make you impatient. On 9stacks, you can add another table by simply clicking on ‘add table’ on the bottom left corner of your screen. 


Protect your blinds – DO NOT LIMP, i.e. do not just call the big blind with an average hand. Chances are other players will raise pre-flop if they have a good hand and if you limped in, you will definitely be folding. Only call the big blind if you can call the raise or raise if you can call the re-raise. As I mentioned earlier, increasing blinds will deplete your stack.


Don’t fear the Bubble Phase – The bubble is a poker slang used for the phase in the tournament where the players are only a few spots away from money. For example, if a tournament pays out top 5 players, the bubble phase would start when there are about 10-12 players remaining. As players enter the bubble phase, they tend to change the way they play and start stressing out. Some beginners don’t realize that your strategy should mostly depend on your stack. If you have a short stack, play cautiously. Make every move to maximize your chances of surviving and fold anything that isn’t a monster. If you’ve playing well and have accumulated a big stack, it’s time for you to punish the shorts stacks. Play aggressively and steal their blinds as often as possible. Put them all-in if you have a decent hand. They will be folding very often, giving you free chips to increase your stack. 


Hammer-Time! – When you’re ‘in the money’, i.e. you are guaranteed to win money, it’s time for you to hammer your opponents. The value of all hands go-up. Start playing a little aggressively irrespective of your stack. This doesn’t mean you go all in with 72, but you increase your range of starting hands and raise with suited connectors or even low pockets. If you wait a few hands for a monster, the size of the blinds would have already depleted your stack to a level where you won’t get enough value. 

In a nutshell, start by playing tight, adjust during the bubble phase (depending on the size of your stack) and then go all-out once you’re in the money. Go Stack Up!
 

#9stacksTeamIndia shines brightly at the World Series of Poker 2018, Las Vegas

#9stacksTeamIndia has had a roller coaster ride at the World Series of Poker 2018 and has managed to put up a performance that sparkles and shines brightly, firmly putting India as a very strong contender for dominance in the coming years at premium poker championship series like the World Series of Poker.

Ace poker players Nishant Sharma(DoJing BULLETS)  and Vivek Rughani (Ibeasteverything) led India into the top 100 ranks of the WSOP Main Event 2018. Nishant and Vivek are the only two Indian poker players in history to have made it so far. Vivek bust out at the 87th place on Day 6, but not before winning a Rs 53.5 Lakh in the tournament. We caught up with him after the tournament in an exclusive interview. 

Nishant Sharma however, went on to achieve greater heights and kept us all at the edge our seats on Day 6. On Day 5 he ended on a high note at Rank 15, then maintained his position for most part of the day before he finally bust out at Rank 34. It was an exhilarating experience to watch his game for all of us back home who have been railing for him and the rest of the team at the WSOP. Watch an exclusive interview with Nishant here :

Mayank Jaggi(AlwayslimpAA) final tabled the Wynn Summer Classic tournament and came 6th, winning  $56000 while Sanjay Taneja (Werewolf) finished 29th and in-the-money at the Little One for One Drop tournament. 

Rishab Jain(VegasBaby), Arsh Grover (BigggTymeR), Vishal Tulsyan(Spartacus) participated and fought valiantly against 7874 other entrants at the Main Event too.

The team, made up of 25 poker players from India who won a trip to Las Vegas via the #LFGVegas contest run by 9stacks has done all of us proud  and this is just the beginning.

9stacks has always aimed at being a platform that puts talent, skills and hard work of player above everything. We are moving towards a very exciting phase in Indian poker and we aim to be a platform that discovers encourages and facilitates the growth of good talent in the field.

Next up is the Money-LAAA!!! contest that ends on the 15th of July. Winners of this contest will fly to Manila and play at the Main Event! Keep playing and keep watching this space for more and more exciting contests and promotions!

Cheers!

Team 9stacks