Mohit Gyanani , 19, a student at Thadomal College, prides himself on being able to maintain a poker face. After all, it is one of the most important aspects of playing poker.
While most students watch movies or spend countless hours in front of the television, Gyanani and his friends prefer the more skillful pastime — playing poker. And during Diwali season, when card games such as teen-patti rule, the poker players hope to rake in the chips.
Gyanani’s fascination with the game began when he first watched a world poker tournament on television. Then, Facebook introduced an online poker application, and Gyanani matched his skill with virtual competitors.
Soon, he introduced his friends to the game and they formed a poker group. “I started playing the game only two years ago but since I’d watched the professionals play over the years, I learnt the tactic of not betraying any emotion which helped me become the best player in my group,” said Gyanani. These poker-mates usually meet up at a friend’s house twice a month to play the card game.
“I picked up poker on Facebook and learnt its different techniques and methods. Playing such a psychological game virtually helps when you are a beginner because even if you lose, the money is not real. But when I began raking in a lot of virtual money, I decided to actually play it with my friends and boost my pocket money,” said Jash Parihaar, 19, a BMS student of SIES, Sion. They usually play with an estimated Rs 300 per person, this Diwali the stakes are to be raised as high as Rs 500 per player.
“I used the Internet to hone my skills at the game, and this gave me an upper hand while playing with my friends,” said Aniket Shah, BCom student at SIES, Sion.
Though the fad is soon catching on with the college crowd, parents are being kept out of the loop. “We use some of our monthly allowance to play poker. For me, poker is a game of skill and the ability to judge the opponent’s strengths and weakness. But I’m certain that to my parents the game would appear like gambling,” said Parihaar.
But everyone doesn’t always play fair. “There are partnerships where a pair decides to play for one and split the winnings. There’s also the case of unseen poker where you cheat by seeing your cards before hand,” said Kunal Jain, 19.
One rule that every one of these poker experts follow, when you bluff, you should bluff big.