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Asian Poker Player Stamps Mark At The Asian Poker Classic

Asians are proving to be tough opponents to more established poker professionals from around the world. The Main Event of the Asian Poker Classic held in Goa, India drew to a close on Monday, 5 March 2007. It was reportly won by Danish poker player Carl Hostrup (USD320,000). Second place was taken by Samuel Lehton (USD165,000) from Sweden. But Pranav Bathija (USD97,000) from India showed that Asia too was going to have a share of the USD1,000,000 guaranteed pool. He came third in the said event.

He also showed that one can pick up poker fairly quickly - Bathija learned the game by playing for free at online poker site After learning the basics, Maharajah Club identified Pranav as a new player worth sponsoring for Asian Poker Classic. Bathija played against 143 other poker players from around the world to take his share of the tournaments $1,000,000 prize pool after three days of play at the Intercontinental Grand Resort in Goa. Bathija was quoted as saying, "This win will do great things for poker in Asia… If I can learn poker in just four months and place third in an international poker tournament, then I’ve proven that it is very possible to be a successful poker player in India".

This third place finish follows the second place finish of day-trader Joshua Pang at the Asian Poker Tour in Singapore, behind Tony G. In the Phillipines' Pan Asia Poker Tour, the top ranked locals were Alan Escano and Derick Hernandes, coming fifth and sixth respectively. The performances of Bathija and Pang should be seen in the context of the presence of a number of top poker pros like Mel Judah, Lee Nelson and Tony G in the said events. The success of the players should spur more people to take up the game in this region. The time will come when a local takes first place at one of these tournaments as well.


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