Mukul Pahuja to Take Up Poker Professionally

April 12, 2014

Mukul Pahuja is a poker professional who is leading the World Poker Tour Player of the Year Race. In his three-year stint in live tournaments so far, he has amassed over $1.2 million. Last year, he won the third place in the Seminole HardRock Poker Open $10 Million Guarantee. This year has brought him more luck as he was the runner-up in the WPT Montreal and placed fourth in the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars. He also bagged the eighth place in the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open.

In fact, in the WPT Bay tournament, Pahuja stepped into the finals all set to cash in on the second WPT final of his career. He turned up as the chipleader at the final, but didn’t find luck on his side and ended up fourth. The main event of the 2014 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star saw a whopping 718 entries, and by the final day, that had come down to six players battling it out for the first place. Apart from the two WPT events (Lucky Hearts and Bay 101) where he performed handsomely, Pahuja is also a serious contender for the 2014 Global Poker Index Player of the Year race.

Pahuja’s Shift from the Finance World

Vinny Ahuja was one among the many young people who jumped into the world of finance on Wall Street. Working for the Lehman Brothers was a dream-come-true for him. However, when the markets began to take a downward spiral, he opted out to jump into an even more high-risk profession, poker. His younger brother, Mukul Pahuja, was also doing well in the finance world. He studied hard for four years, at the Penn State University where hegraduated. Later, he became a junior trader, but soon a job at the Bank of America beckoned.

In fact, Mukul pursued finance only after seeing his brother’s success, but soon enough, his brother was a full-time poker player. Vinny did pretty well, earning a little less than $800,000 in his first two years as a pro. Mukul’s interest in finance started dipping around the same time too, and he began to take an interest in poker. He used up every day off from work, every weekend to play a tournament or a cash game. Every weekend, he would take a bus to either Foxwoods or Atlantic City for poker games, while in the summer, he went up to Las Vegas to play at the World Series.

Towards the end of 2009, Pahuja won the fourth place in the main event of the World Series Circuit Harrah’s Atlantic City. In another three days’ time, he took another day off from work to play in another game, bagging $51,169. The Atlantic City event had fetched him $73,347, and he was realizing that he had to bid his finance job goodbye.

Pahuja Storms into Poker Rankings

The BLUFF poker player power rankings for the week ending March 31, showed one newcomer – Mukul Pahuja, who has come in at the 20th position. These rankings give a true picture of any player’s performance over a two-year timeframe. With 21 final tables in his career, and five wins, Pahuja has made his presence felt in the rankings as well. He was ranked 61st in the 2013 Poker Player of the Year.

The Global Poker Index or GPI ranks poker players performing in live tourneys. These players are given rankings on a weekly basis, on the back of their performances in qualifying tourneys over the last 36 months. Their cash positions are measured as part of the rankings, with the cash position defining a situation where a player wins a part of the overall prize for their performance in any event.

The ranking list for any week includes the top 300 players who have done well in tournaments. Various criteria such as buy in, age of an event are all taken into account before coming up with the overall ranking. Pahuja finds himself in 24th place in the Global Poker Index ranking. Other rankings include 385th place on the All Time Money List, 245th in the United States All Time Money List, the 23rd place in the New York All Time Money List.

Pahuja is certainly a power to reckon with in the world of professional poker, if one looks at the various rankings and lists. His total earnings in live games stand at $2,267,241, handsome earnings for someone who quit the world of finance and took his chances at poker.