27-year-old, Siddharth Karia (cover image), is a budding poker player and a part of a large group Indians who will be making their debut on the world’s biggest poker stage – the 50th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP).
The Ahmedabad-based lad was introduced to poker by his elder brother in high school. His passion for the mind game heightened when he, like his brother, decided to pursue his BBA from Symbiosis, Pune. It was in college that the passion for poker really took flight and Karia ended up organizing possibly the first-ever college poker tournament. He went on to complete his MBA from the Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts and poker took a back seat.
However, the craze for the game returned when he came across the Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) – Platinum Series XV in Macau, where he was on a leisure trip with friends. He decided to play the HK$3,000 NLHE Superstack, and as it turned out, he finished runner-up in the event for HK$41,010. Playing in the event reignited the flame to get back to the game, and he started off by playing the online qualifiers for the Poker Sports League. He was selected by the Goan Nuts, and the team eventually went on to win the league in 2018.
With a growing interest in the sport, Karia began to delve deeper into the game. He spent a lot of time learning the different strategies and intricacies of the game and was hooked. Crediting his friend, Mahipal Vala, for supporting him the most and helping him to think about the game in a very positive manner, Karia though not yet a professional player, has set his goals on one day becoming the country’s best poker player.