My Five to Follow this Season

It’s been quite a quiet week and it’s a shame that the jumps meetings have been cancelled over the next couple of days. It can’t be helped, though, these things happen, and you just have to get the horses looked after and try and find them new targets. It did look as if a lot of the races I was due to ride in this weekend would have been nice starting points for the horses, but we’ll just have to try and find something else for them now.

I’m especially disappointed not to be able to ride Angels Breath at Market Rasen. I had some nice-looking rides there and also at Uttoxeter, so it’s annoying but that’s the way it goes!

Five to Follow

The Real Whacker was fantastic last season, jumping as well as he did and showing a natural attitude towards his chasing. I think he could, potentially, have a really exciting season. He’s still looking very much unexposed, so – hopefully – he’ll have another good one. I imagine that the long-term goal for him would be the Gold Cup, but we’ll have to see how he gets on. Paddy [Neville] did a great job of campaigning him last year and I’m sure he’ll do the same again.

Weveallbeencaught has been schooling and working nicely and, while he only ended up having the one win last year, we’d always thought he’d be a better horse over fences. He’s a fine specimen of a horse, and the idea with him this season is just to find him a nice starting point and get going from there. We’ll let him tell us what to do.

Inoui Machin was a bumper horse of Neil Mulholland’s last season. He won his bumpers nicely and will go novice hurdling this time. He’s done lots and lots of jumping at home, he’s a nice frame of a horse and is looking like he’ll hopefully give us all some fun this season.

Stolen Silver was a brilliant horse last season. He won well the other day, jumping beautifully and still seems somewhat unexposed over the three miles. He could be aimed at the Coral Cup. He went up seven pounds for his last run, and I initially thought that this could been harsher, actually, given the context of the race, as there were a lot of non-runners, there was a lot of rain and it was his first time over three miles, but I thought he got the trip really well. What I noticed, most interestingly of all, was how well he relaxed during the race, compared to how he went before. That outing has just opened up another door for him which, potentially, could be quite interesting. He seems to have come along mentally since last season, because he’s not jumping off and wanting to tear away anymore. He’s by no means a young horse at eight-years-old, but maybe he’s eventually starting to learn!

Our Power was a bit keen when we last saw him in the Grand National, but he travelled really well in the end. He’ll start his season in the Pertemps Qualifier at Cheltenham next weekend, which will be a very nice starting point for him. He’s a very nice, likeable horse of Sam Thomas’ with a nice way of going who had a great season, winning a nice handicap at Kempton in February. He’ll also be targeted at the Coral Cup, but perhaps the National – or maybe the Scottish National – could be an option again. He’s proven that he’s got the ability to do it, so we’d like to see him go and win one of those.

And, one for luck, don’t forget about Good Risk At All. He’s a lovely type who jumps well and there’s plenty to come from him yet!

Pocket52 Poker Sports League Season 5 – Bigger and Better Than Ever!

Pocket52 Poker Sports League Season 5 – Bigger and Better Than Ever!

Posted by Laksh Pal Singh on 2023-08-23 at 9:41 PM

Pocket52 Poker Sports League Season 5 - Bigger and Better Than Ever!

That was what the Poker Sports League management promised us this year, and that is exactly what was delivered. This edition of PSL was grand in many ways, and I’d first like to thank everyone who made this event possible.

Nitesh Salvi – founder and CEO of Pocket52, title sponsors of PSL, Pranav Bagai, Siddharth Mishra, and Prajit Gambhir, the three musketeers who started this wonderful concept of PSL and have worked endlessly over the last five years to grow this mind sport!

Prajit, you legend. God only knows how many roles you have at PSL! From being COO to the auctioneer to commentary to ensuring that the show goes on every single time, big shoutout to you, brother, and to Vidur also for making sure every pre-show and every stream was super smooth. Sid and his production team, wow, man, I don’t even know what to say. You guys are so good at what you do! This year the production team of PSL has really outdone themselves. From every reel to every Instagram story to every update, I have to say the content was fabulous.

Obviously couldn’t have done it without your ever-so-talented team! Dashank, Madhur, and Pandey Ji, big shoutout to the three of you for doing such a great job and just being awesome people in general. I’m really fond of the entire PSL team and of course the man himself, the mastermind Pranav Bagai for making this happen on Jio Cinema- working day in and day out to achieve his vision for poker in India.

I want to thank all the owners for supporting this league every single year and spreading their love and passion for poker. This league would not be possible without you!


The Experience

Pocket52 PSL Season 5 was something else only. Everyone together on land in the same resort under the same roof, with no hassle of going onto the ship, everyone bonding and interacting.

Personally, for me, the highlight was interacting with the qualifiers from all teams, it’s really nice to talk with someone when you know they look up to you and whatever you’re saying has an impact on them.

It was really heartwarming to meet the Massani brothers, these boys were the heroes of PSL, and that’s another story to tell. Taking a domestic flight for the first time, these two brothers have come from Bhopal and won all our hearts. What gems of human beings, so much confidence, so much energy, I just loved it, to be honest. I had a great time with all my friends and all the other captains who I’m so close to off the felts!

The competition was heavy, and everyone was so passionate and into it. So yeah, GG to my boys – Dirty (Dhaval Mudgal) and Shardul (Parthasarathi) for also taking podium finishes, I had already told Shardul I was going see him heads up and win this time.

Big shoutout to Gaurav Sood, one of the best poker players in India, for playing the finale like an absolute boss man and ensuring I’m shitting myself on the rails while he’s reducing the chip deficit. Love you, Mozzie unlucky one, and you’ll be back stronger we all know it.

Shoutout to Romit (Advani) and Vaibhav (Sharma) for being fantastic team leaders- you win some, you lose some, and I am sure we will see you guys in the top 3 next season!

Now coming to my team, oh man, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a sense of comradery and team spirit in my life. PSL adrenaline just hits differently. I’ve played a lot of tournaments in my life and hit a lot of one-outers for big money, but I’ve never jumped the way PSL made me jump and shout and scream, and it’s a different kind of excitement altogether.

Bringing a team format and making an individual sport a team game is honestly a genius concept! I would like to thank my team owners, Mr Puneet Mehra, Mehul Shah, and Rishi, for trusting me to lead this team again despite a not-so-great performance the previous year. Special shoutout to their families as well, Toral ma’am Divyansh and Prerna, for cheering on the Mumbai team and making sure our rail was the loudest and full of energy. Really happy that Mehul and Rishi also came down and really felt it with the team and were involved and there from start to finish.

Speaking about my team, I want to say I’m so proud of you guys – every point earned by each of you was crucial to us winning and reaching the finale. I remember the day we reached Goa and had our first team meeting, I was really impressed with Puneet sir because he gave a really inspirational team talk on Day 1 itself, which had a big impact on our team. I have to say one thing about my team, though, everyone was really into it, The togetherness and team spirit was really evident, and I think from Day 1, we manifested the win when we took that picture near the trophy.

Humaara wildcard kaisa ho, Alok Birewar jaisa ho! I think the best decision I made this PSL, other than my obvious retentions of Akshay Nasa and Honey Bijlani, was to sign Alok as my wildcard. I knew Alok wouldn’t do it for the money; he wanted to play PSL, he loves strategizing, he was railing every table every tournament, his team spirit was unparalleled, and the best in the league, so kudos bro I’m proud of you, and you did a great job.

Akshay Nasa, my player, said I am born ready when I asked him if he was going to play the finale. Our strategy was simple, get 250 BB in the finale, send Nasa, and ship it!! Shoutout to Ankit, our 2nd pro, for a great performance joining Nasa in the finale, and also getting the ever so-crucial points in the live MTT, but also for declaring that we’ve won before the league even started.

Honey Bijjlani, for doing more work than the captain, bhai this team would not have won without you, I openly state that you are going to be retained every year for Mumbai Anchors. Nitin Gulati for his passion for this team, getting merchandise and hoodies made for the entire team, thank you, bhai! Simran Malhotra, my fellow Pocket52 team pro, for never disappointing me, for being the number 1 woman player of the league, and for her spirit and love for the team.

Dhirendra Kumar and Avinash Tauro for being on top of things, speaking to the new boys, railing watching the stream making notes, top top performance guys. And of course the new boys Shravan and Nikaas, who I couldn’t believe, played live poker for the first time. They both killed it and got super important points for the team. Every single point contributed by each of you was crucial to this team’s success.

It was a rollercoaster of three days, with ups and downs and highs and lows; the excitement and energy were high, and it was the best three days of my life. Humne bahut chipkaaya, 3 straight days chipkaaya, but you gotta spike to ship, and there was no way Mumbai was not winning this season. Also, a big shoutout to my first mentor and dear friend Sahil Mahboobani for top-notch performance and taking down the Player of the Series, so happy for you, bro!

Lifting that trophy was a great feeling and something that’ll stay with me for life, I hope to recreate many more memories with PSL and Mumbai Anchors!

GG everyone, until next time!

Aaamchiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Mumbaiiiiiiii