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In the words of Archit ”Blackie” Khandelwal – Ticket to Vegas winner

Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself, your education and professional background.

A: Hey guys, I am Archit khandelwal and I am a poker player. I am a Commerce student and a BA graduate from Delhi University. I got into sales and marketing as soon as I got done with my graduation. Was in that industry for a couple of years and then decided to give poker a shot; as a lot of you know I haven’t gone back since.

Q: How and when did you come across the sport of poker? Please take us through the journey.

A: I got introduced to poker through a friend of mine in college. We started playing 100 rupee buy-ins and the game got to me. It so happened that one night while watching the UEFA Champions League final, I randomly switched channels and came across people playing poker on TV. I still remember they were showing the World Poker Tour Caribbean 2007. I got so happy and excited to see a bunch of people playing poker on television and I asked myself why there were no channels showing roulette, baccarat or any other casino game. This thought made me more inclined towards the sport and I ended up organising a small poker tournament in Delhi called DPT. I quit work in 2011 and made my first trip to Goa, and it has been a ride since.

Q: How often do you play online and which variant of the game do you prefer playing?

So I started off playing Live Holdem Cash Games and for the first 2-3 years I was just doing that. I would make trips to Goa for tournaments but was mainly playing cash, as there would be a lot of cash action on the side during the series. This continued till I shipped my first tournament. After that I went for almost all the tournaments held in Goa and have made several trips to Macau as well as Manila.

Honestly since the last couple of years I have seen a dip in the cash games scene in my city and everywhere else as well. I never used to play online but with no availability of games I shifted to online poker. So now I mostly play online PLO. It’s like any other job, you get up, put in the required number of hours and repeat the same. The availability of different games (stakes) and the option of multi-tabling makes it interesting.

Q: Where and how often do you travel for poker?

I mostly travel to Goa for all the tournaments, have been to APPT Macau and APT Manila.

Q: Tell us something about your recent win on

A: I am super happy to win the GoPoker “Your Ticket To Vegas” freeroll. I had flown to Bangalore on Saturday as my friend Abhishek Goindi was launching the site on Sunday. I came to help him and decided to play the tournament. Like every poker player’s dream I was waiting to go play the main event of World Series at the Mecca of Poker – Las Vegas. And after they announced their promotion, I was game for it. It was a very well organised freeroll in terms of the structure. I loved the interface. It was very smooth to play on.

It’s an amazing user friendly software, looking forward to more high value tournaments.

Q: Any parting words or anything you would like to add?

A: In the end I would like to thank GoPoker for providing me with such a great opportunity to fly to Vegas and I wish them all the luck in the future.

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