In sports and competitive gaming fields, there are times when you find a player who just bursts onto the scene out of nowhere and everyone around can see how much talent and skill that person has. In our poker industry, Simran Malhotra seems to be that kind of a person.
Simran’s coach Proffz4 has had a big influence on her and has taught her the do’s and don’ts of the game. Here is what her coach had to say about her:
“I could see a spark in her eyes the first time I met her and the way she was talking about Poker. That was the very moment I realised she’ll be a big player & crush the felts. When I started coaching her I imagined it being a difficult task. It was pretty difficult but for completely unexpected reasons. She was too quick. Too intelligent. I was myself surprised & amazed at the speed at which she learnt a few concepts that a lot of players find appalling to include in their strategy. I remember once she fell sick & asked me to take her to the doctor coz she didn’t wanna miss a lecture. That’s how you define hunger for learning.”
“She’ll be a surprise package for the Gujarat Falcons team. Romit & JD bhaiya will be very proud of her. I really want her to fulfill her dream of travelling the world playing Poker & realising her potential to the fullest.”
Simran Malhotra, from Mumbai, is a makeup artist by profession but only until she stumbled upon the game of poker. Fast forward 10 months, Simran will be representing the Gujarat Falcons at the upcoming PSL – V. The PokerShots team got into a conversation with her about her incredible poker journey so far!
When and how did you get introduced to poker?
My cousin introduced me to the game & also taught me the rules. Then Proffz4 told me about PSL being a national tournament where the best in the country would participate. Initially I didn’t believe him! But soon he coached me to be the player that I am today. I played poker for the first time in Feb 2020 PSL, on ground qualifiers.
What were your early experiences of playing poker?
It was a fabulous revelation of the skills that I didn’t think existed in me. I ranked 2nd on the second game I played and everyone really appreciated my game for 3 of the 4 games that I played. I ended up securing 8th position on the leaderboard. This is what kept me motivated to learn more and make it my passion. Poker has become an integral part of my personality and nothing drives or makes me satisfied as much as learning and playing poker.
Please tell us how you got selected for PSL V’s Gujarat Falcons?
I got to know about the Hashtag qualifiers & immediately started preparing for them with Proffz4. We strategized to score more points after carefully understanding the scoring system & observing that the maximum entries would be on weekends. All this worked well & I finished 24th on the leaderboard. Then began our interview practice. Getting calls from mentors would’ve been so nerve-wracking had we not prepared for the technical bits. All my interviews were great & I was really convinced that talent & hard work would pay off. I thank Romit, JD bhaiya & the entire Gujarat Falcons team for showing faith in my skills & would surely make them proud.
What are your expectations from PSL V?
Gain more knowledge and practical experience by playing alongside my seasoned team members and making a mark for myself in the Poker Community by consistently playing well and winning for the team! I believe there is no better platform than PSL to showcase my passion and skill set for the game.
Please tell us some of your memorable experiences of playing poker
Each experience has been unique and memorable. It’s difficult to put it down in words. I defeated Proffz4 heads up in our SnG group with a 1:3.5 chip deficit. That is definitely one of my fondest memories of poker.
What are some basic guidelines/books/videos you would like to recommend to beginners?
Each player/coach has a personal preference of their learning methods. I’m not an avid reader myself but I did read The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky suggested by Proffz4. Videos are a great source of learning. It’s very important that new players watch the content not just for entertainment but also for the knowledge that they behold. I’ve seen most of the MTT videos available played by my personal favourite, Maria Lampropulos. Preflop hand selection, varying bet sizes on different board textures are some of the things I like to observe. I note them down & rigorously discuss each of those spots with Proffz4.
What was the most challenging thing in your training process?
The biggest challenge in any training process would be to maintain the discipline. Personally the most difficult thing for me was to follow the 6:2 study, play ratio that Proffz4 asked me to maintain. Initially I would get mad at him for not letting me play enough! But then I began to realise that a healthy habit of studying & learning will be very important for me to take my long journey ahead.
What was the most important advice your coaches/mentors have given you?
All advice & suggestions by Proffz4 are valuable to me. The most important one is that we can’t be result oriented. Poker is a game of data analysis using incomplete information. Each move needs to work only a certain percentage of times for it to be profitable.
Is your family supportive of you for playing poker and moving on to becoming a professional?
My family has been extremely supportive of me taking up everything new throughout my life. It was always the same for Poker. But I always wanted to show results to them before I made any career decision. I’m sure when they watch me play in the PSL with the best in India that would be a great boost to my future career plans.
For more interesting interviews with the best poker players in the country, keep reading PokerShots!