APPT9 Aussie Millions Day 1c: Aditya driving Indian poker to new heights

"Adi is almost a god to the indian poker community," APPT President Danny McDonagh told us during the early stages of Flight 3 of the 2015 Aussie Millions Main Event.

Is there any description more flattering than being referred to as a 'god'?

That's a big weight to bare for India's Aditya Agarwal.

But then again, so is the weight of being a Team PokerStars Pro.

And especially when you are the first player from your country to be bestowed that honour.

There's a lot of attention on Agarwal here at his first major event donning the red spade.

There's expectations.

"I would definitely be lying if I said no there isn't some added pressure," Agarwal says. "Certainly a lot more people are following me, so there are more expectations."

"But it's fun."

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Aditya Agarwal looking focused at the Aussie Millions

Agarwal seems composed and even relaxed at the tables, which perhaps isn't too surprising considering he has been playing poker for over ten years.

It was in 2004 that Agarwal started playing poker in college in the USA.

From there, he never looked back.

"When I graduated college in the US I started going to some of the European events and returned mostly for the World Series every year. I always try to go deep in that one!"

"Since then I've mostly been playing online and on the Asian circuit."

"It's a great circuit to play right now."

The events Agarwal is referring to are those on the APPT and events at PokerStars LIVE Macau, which McDonagh also helms.

When we spoke to McDonagh he was extremely positive about having Argwaral at his events representing PokerStars.

"There is huge potential in the Indian market and especially for us in Macau, so it's great having Adi there to help promote that growth" McDonagh says.

"There are also talks of direct flights starting from India to Macau. Right now there are direct flights to Hong Kong which is good, but direct straight from India to Macau will help."

"The Indian players that already play our events are so enthusiastic when they come and Adi's very well respected in that community."

"He is a fantastic choice as the Team PokerStars Pro from that region."

It's clear that Agarwal already has the respect of the Indian poker community, and throughout much of Asia, but winning something like the Aussie Millions would certainly help gain respect from all corners of the poker world.

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One of these championship rings would look great on Agarwal

Winning the Aussie Millions might even create a sort of 'poker boom' in his home country.

"The scene in India is pretty new, really only picking up since 2009," Agwaral says. "We are five years into it and it's getting quite big now."

And with over a billion people in India, who knows how big it will get.

All we know is that Agarwal will be there for the ride and he will likely be in the driver's seat.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour