The Indian poker scene is getting bigger and better, and there are a few standout stars who have made serious amounts of money on the world stage. Vivek Rajkumar, for instance, has racked up more than $4 million from live tournament earnings. There has never been an Indian World Series of Poker Main Event winner, though, with the competition completely dominated by Americans since it began in 1970. In order for Indian players to make it to the top and challenge at the WSOP, they could look to replicate the greats by expanding their skill sets with other card games like blackjack and gin rummy.
Modern poker players have access to a variety of different analysis tools and articles online to help them improve their games. In a way, they are much luckier than the poker legends of old who only grafted in a live setting. However, because every professional player has access to these things, it is hard to get the edge over the best in the world. Players like Rajkumar have the potential to cut it alongside the likes of Phil Ivey, but they may find that the best approach is using modern methods along with replicating some of the techniques of the old masters.
A lot of the most successful poker players weren’t just good at poker but spread their skills over a number of other card games. The most famous person to have done this was Stu Ungar, who won the WSOP on three separate occasions in 1980, 1981, and 1997. Ungar was well known for being a blackjack player outside the world of poker, and this allowed him to hone the mathematical skills needed to succeed in Texas Hold’em.
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Indian poker players who learned to play poker online could easily do the same with blackjack and find their counting and probability skills improving the more they play. Live blackjack games are just as accessible as internet poker, and players can find various options instantly. For example, there is standard blackjack, infinite blackjack, and quantum blackjack. In these games, players have to quickly calculate their chances of winning with the cards they have. They need to decide whether to hit or stand.
Another game that Ungar and a few other icons excelled in was gin rummy. In fact, the Comeback Kid is considered to be the best player ever of the game, which was invented by Elwood T. Baker in 1909. In this two-player game, players have to form melds of running suited cards or cards of the same numerical value. These melds are equal to points, and the first player to a predetermined number of points is the winner. This is done by mucking unwanted cards and drawing new ones. Players have to have a good memory, strategic skills, and mathematical ability to excel in this game.
Stu Ungar proved that mastering gin rummy and blackjack is an excellent way to gain skills that can be applied to poker. The fact that the Americans managed to dominate the world of Texas Hold’em is a testament to that. However, many of today’s best players don’t play these games. So, if Indian poker experts want to get the edge over their rivals and make it all the way to the top, maybe they should look to replicate Ungar’s methods.