The Asian Poker Tour finally came back to India, to the online felts of PokerBaazi back in January. Being one of the most prestigious online poker series ever in the country, the series boasted an incredible INR 8 Crores in guarantees.
The series received overwhelming support from the industry, with players helping crush even the biggest of guarantees! We saw the biggest professionals from the country battle it out on the online felts of PokerBaazi and got some new faces taking down some massive guarantees! One such new face was Niharika Bindra, who shipped the massive APT #43 Sunday Major 30 Lakhs GTD event and earned herself a payout of INR 6.53 Lakhs!
Niharika Bindra Poker Interview
PokerShots got in touch with Niharika and asked her about her poker journey and the slow and steady growing number of female players in the Indian poker scene!
PS: Niharika, tell us a bit about yourself as a person. Your age, family background and what you are upto right now!
NB: I’m a 35 year old aquarian who was born and brought up in Delhi. I finished my schooling in the hills of Himachal at The Lawrence School Sanwar and then went on to study Business in college.
PS: How did you start your poker journey? When did you first pick up the game?
NB: I started playing in college when some friends introduced the game to me, and it was instant love. My winning curve started much later after I had paid the price to learn the game by losing many sessions.
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PS: Congratulations on winning the Sunday Major! Tell us some excerpts from your grind!
NB: Initially, I had a pretty big stack but towards the last 30 people I became very short, even entered the final table as one of the shortest stacks, going down to 5-6 blinds more than once. But I just kind of held on and waited for the right spot and luckily things started to go my way. I won some crucial flips, got some folds and gave a bad beat, as you do. It’s all part of the game. Once we were three-handed, things ended pretty quickly. I think the heads-up against ‘Ziigmund’ lasted only 3-4 hands!
PS: How does your family feel about you playing poker?
NB: Initially they were very apprehensive about me playing professionally. But now, it has been many years and they understand that poker is a mind sport and not mindless gambling. They see me putting in long hours and playing almost everyday and honestly, now they want to learn how to play as well! They are my constant rail at all the events that I have been a part of, that have been streamed online and are an amazing support system.
PS: There are not many female poker players in the Indian circuit, although that number is beginning to grow. What would you like to say to other female poker players who want to understand and play the game of poker?
NB: If your heart tells you that you want to become a poker player then take the leap of faith. You need to do what makes you happy and what you will be good at. And if that’s poker, don’t be too afraid to try it. Study, practice, play. There is so much information out there today, so much study material including videos, books or podcasts. When I learned the game back in my college days, there was barely any of this information out there. So use it wisely and you will love poker as much as I do!
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PS: It’s been a pretty good journey so far. What are your future aspirations when it comes to playing poker?
NB: Hopefully to go ahead and win a World Series Of Poker bracelet! I mean which poker player doesn’t dream of that!
Niharika Bindra has been quite active on the online poker felts. She has now crossed over INR 55 Lakhs in lifetime poker earnings and is laddering up on that total steadily! One of the best things about being the social media side of this industry is the ability to promote countless talents coming through the ranks in India and Niharika is certainly one of those players!
On 6th February, she again ran deep in the INR 12 Lakhs GTD The Weekly Highroller on PokerBaazi and ended up finishing in second place for a payout of INR 2.65 Lakhs!
It’s great to see her doing well and PokerShots wishes her all the best for future events! For more information about the Indian poker industry and poker interviews with some of the best poker players in the country, keep reading PokerShots!