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

O’Hara and Enrique’s Premier League Matchweek 12 Preview

After another week of VAR thrills and spills, the Premier League continues with its 12th round of fixtures this weekend.

Grosvenor Sport ambassadors Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique give their insight on three of the weekend’s key fixtures, including Wolves versus Tottenham, Liverpool versus Brentford, and a clash of the titans between Chelsea and Manchester City.

Watch the full episode of The Counter Attack with Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique here.

Wolves v Tottenham

Jamie O’Hara:

I feel like Tottenham can still take some credit from the Chelsea game, more credit than Chelsea maybe. They had nine players on the pitch, fought hard and still created chances towards the end of the game. I still think Tottenham will be the favourites for this game even without the likes of Micky Van De Ven, James Maddison, Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie.

In my opinion Wolves are a really good side and they’ve had a couple howlers when it comes to VAR decisions against them in the past couple of weeks. They lost to Sheffield United, but losing Pedro Neto will be an even bigger blow for them.

Wolves will have a problem creating chances without Neto, and Spurs have some big players of their own missing, but I still think they have the quality to win this game. James Maddison is out but even so I still think Tottenham have enough quality to win, even with Eric Dier in defence.

Score prediction: Wolves 1 – 2 Tottenham 7.5/1

Anytime goalscorer: Heung-min Son 27/20

Watch Jamie dissect Tottenham’s list of absentees on this week’s episode of the Counter Attack

Jose Enrique:

I have to give the Spurs players credit for their performance in the Chelsea game because they fought until the end with nine men. I know Tottenham have some important players out but for me they are still favourites for this game. This is a good opportunity for them to prove that they can still win even with key players missing.

Like with any team who aren’t one of the big six, Wolves missing their best player in Pedro Neto will seriously affect them, because they don’t have a massively strong squad. It is a big injury for them and they don’t have a proper replacement.

Players like Giovanni Lo Celso can come in for Spurs if Maddison can’t play and he is not a bad player by any means. He may not be Maddison, but he’s still good. Spurs still have quality and I think they will still get the job done.

Score prediction: Wolves 0 – 1 Tottenham 9/1

Anytime goalscorer: Brennan Johnson 29/10

Liverpool v Brentford

Jose Enrique:

Liverpool had many chances to score in their last game against Luton but the reality is that Luton did as well and they still only managed to draw the game. Liverpool look very weak defensively and even with the simplest stuff they don’t look assured. Even Luton were able to pick them apart with a couple of passes. I don’t why some people actually thought they could fight for the title, not a chance!

Liverpool have to win this game because they are back at home and coming into this game having just drawn to Luton which is just not good enough. They could have lost that game and they certainly didn’t deserve to win it.

Darwin Nunez missed so many chances against Luton and I think at home, with the backing of the fans, this would be a great opportunity to get on the scoresheet and regain some confidence.

Score prediction: Liverpool 2 – 0 Brentford 7/1

Anytime goalscorer: Darwin Nunez 57/50

Jamie O’Hara:

Liverpool were shocking the other night against Luton and it’s gone a bit under the radar because of all the other chaos in the league last week, but you can’t draw against Luton! However, Liverpool should still be fighting for the title – they spent money in the summer and they have to challenge.

Brentford have a tough task going to Anfield in what is a must win game for Liverpool. They’re certainly not a bad side and they look to have sorted themselves out after a shaky start but I still think Liverpool can edge this game just because of the quality they have up front in the likes of Mohamed Salah.

Score prediction: Liverpool 2 – 1 Brentford 7.5/1

Anytime goalscorer: Mohamed Salah 10/11

Chelsea v Manchester City

Jamie O’Hara:

What a game this is going to be with Chelsea coming into with confidence of the back of their 4-1 win at Tottenham. Chelsea like teams that come onto them and they find it hard to break teams down when they sit back, and Manchester City are not the kind of team to sit back.

I think this game is going to be a really good game with Chelsea liking playing on the counter and Manchester City wanting to take the game to Chelsea, it will be really interesting to see what happens.

I don’t think it is going to be as easy for City as people think and I certainly don’t think they are going to run riot, but I would still just edge the result in their favour. I think Cole Palmer has been brilliant for Chelsea and he is a top player – if Chelsea are to get anything out of this game it will be through him.

Score prediction: Chelsea 1 – 2 Manchester City 7.5/1

Anytime goalscorer: Cole Palmer 4/1

Jose Enrique:

I think Manchester City are way too good and they are going to destroy Chelsea. If Chelsea set out to sit back and play on the counter then they might have a chance, but if they try to go toe-to-toe with Manchester City and actually press them then City will definitely win.

Everyone that didn’t watch the Chelsea game against Spurs will just see the 4-1 scoreline and think that Chelsea are back and have a chance in this game, but I still see the same Chelsea. Against nine men if they didn’t win this game it would have been terrible.

I hope Chelsea win but I just can’t see any result other than a Chelsea win. Jeremy Doku has been on fire recently and he will definitely cause Chelsea problems.

Score prediction: Chelsea 0 – 2 Manchester City 7.5/1

Anytime goalscorer: Jeremy Doku 15/4

Watch the full episode of The Counter Attack with Jamie O’Hara and Jose Enrique here.

GW12 Predictions

Wolves v Tottenham

Jose Enrique: Tottenham 57/50

Jamie O’Hara: Tottenham 57/50


Arsenal v Burnley

Jose Enrique: Arsenal 2/11

Jamie O’Hara: Arsenal 2/11


Crystal Palace v Everton

Jose Enrique: Draw 9/4

Jamie O’Hara: Draw 9/4


Manchester United v Luton

Jose Enrique: Draw 5/1

Jamie O’Hara: Manchester United 33/100


Bournemouth v Newcastle

Jose Enrique: Newcastle 4/6

Jamie O’Hara: Newcastle 4/6


Aston Villa v Fulham

Jose Enrique: Aston Villa 8/13

Jamie O’Hara: Aston Villa 8/13


Brighton v Sheffield United

Jose Enrique: Brighton 1/4

Jamie O’Hara: Brighton 1/4


Liverpool v Brentford

Jose Enrique: Liverpool 2/5

Jamie O’Hara: Liverpool 2/5


West Ham v Nottingham Forest

Jose Enrique: Draw 27/10

Jamie O’Hara: West Ham 41/50


Chelsea v Manchester City

Jose Enrique: Manchester City 10/13

Jamie O’Hara: Manchester City 10/13