Table Talk


All In With Khil@di

All of 21 years, young B.Sc graduate Ajinkya Sambhaji Khilari AKA ‘Khil@di’ from Pune Maharashtra lives the true millenial life. By day he is a simple, hardworking health professional. By night he is a Poker Hustler and mints money via poker to fulfill all his dreams.

Buying himself a new phone, paying off EMIs, funding his Goa trips, to getting his bike’s tyres replaced during an emergency, he’s done it all with his poker winnings and using the rewards won through the daily leaderboard prizes on 9stacks!

Poker can be a highly rewarding mind sport, both intellectually and financially. It is no wonder, then, that the millenials have taken it up and have owned it like no other generation before them could.

Until 8 months ago, Ajinkya was a die hard Teen Patti ( 3 card poker ) player. “There was too much luck involved and it stopped being fun after a point. ” he says.

Team 9stacks: How did you start playing poker?

Khil@di:  My friends had been playing poker and I was intrigued. I was checking out how to play poker on Google one day and I stumbled upon 9stacks. The page I was taken to, explained all the rules of Texas Holdem Poker. Since I had a teen patti background, I was able to make comparisons. But what I was blown away by, was how much skill was required to win the game. I thought, let me give it a try. I signed up and started playing with the 100 rupees I got as joining bonus.

Team 9stacks: How was the experience playing poker for the first time?

Khil@di *laughs*: My first free tournament I lost. My second tournament also I lost. Then I went on the cash tables, wahan jaake, I lost more than I won with those 100 rupees.

My ego was hurt, I was like, aise kaise I’m losing? So I started playing more free roll tournaments. Sometimes I played between work shifts also. Slowly, slowly I started winning. Very small amounts, but I was happy I was winning the tournaments. Poker table pe, people would chat a lot. Mereko terms hi nahin samajh aate the! I just kept playing. I used to brush up on the rules here and then go attack the table again.

Team 9stacks: Wow! That’s some grit. What do you like playing more- Cash games or Tournaments?

I like playing both tournaments and cash games. Freerolls mein 100-200 I win easily in a day. Cash table pe zyada kamata hoon. I participate in the Big Bang promotion and the Century promotion. Daily I win. It feels nice to have money coming in, at regular intervals. Job mein toh 30 days later salary comes :) I bought a powerbank with my Big Bang winnings. I have paid off two EMIs with my winnings.

Team 9stacks: Have you tried playing any of the big tournaments?

Khil@di: Oh yes. I won the Multiplier tournament for the first time after some months of playing free rolls and 1/ 2 , 2 / 4 tables. Tab confidence aya. I had won 2700 that day. Immediately I withdrew the amount to hold it in my hand. I couldn’t believe it. I was like ‘Yess! I did it’. Then I wanted to play more. I put in that amount again to play. That day I played 50/100 tables.

Team 9stacks: And then? Did you win?

Khil@di *laughs more* : Arey wo din toh I lost the entire amount! The action was a little different from what I was used to. Kaafi learning experience tha. Mazaa aya.

[Editorial note from 9stacks: This is a mistake many early players make in their learning days - the higher the tables, the higher the skill required! Manage your bankroll carefully, don’t jump up stakes right after you’ve won. And as Khil@di did, make sure you learn from that experience, even if you lose!]

Team 9stacks: ….

Khil@di: Then I thought I will put money from my own pocket and play . Aise try toh karna chahiye na. I looked up more poker strategies on the internet. Thoda idhar padha, thoda video dekha, and I felt more confident to play. I lost some more, but chalta hai. Learning hai. Game hai. Thrill hai game mein. That’s why I like it so much.

Team 9stacks: This is fantastic to hear, Ajinkya! Do you know about our Daily Specials and StackUp tournaments?

Khil@di: Oh yes! Wo toh ab I play often. ITM bhi aata hun, sometimes. I will practise more on the tables and one day, hopefully will ship this tournament. I have recently learnt that ‘ship’ means to win the tournament :) I also won the FreezeOut tournament three days in a row. Date bhi yaad hai- 27th I came first. 28th- 2nd and 29th- 3rd aya tha, recently.  I bought my phone adding up all my winnings that month. MI A2. It was 19,000 then. I paid the full amount.

Team 9stacks: How does your family react to you playing poker?

Khil@di: My friends and my brother know I play. My father was a little hesitant but he sees me winning and is supportive. He asks me to stay disciplined.

Team 9stacks: Are you chasing the Vegas promotion?

Khil@di: Haan toh! Abhi Vegas in Rs 9 ka tournaments khelke I won 2 tickets to TakeOff. I think I have a chance to win that trip. Fingers crossed.

Team 9stacks: It’s been a pleasure speaking with you, Ajinkya! You’re a true Hustler. Is there anything else you want to add?

Khil@di: I want to thank Akshay Sir, from the support team. He has been a very good motivator. He has always told me to try and try to succeed. Sab kuch, sara promotion he explains very well. I also want to say you guys process cashouts very fast. Most sites take so much time to pay the amount. Once my bike broke down. Flat tyre tha. I didn’t have cash that day. I reached office some how. In the evening, around 5 PM, I got a message of some credit to my bank account. It was my Big Bang and Century bonuses. It added up to 1800 rupees. I got the tyre repaired that day only after work.

Team 9stacks: Thank you so much for speaking with us, Ajinkya. This was a very fun interview and the team back home is beyond delighted to note you are enjoying playing on 9stacks. We wish you the very best for all your upcoming games and we really hope you win that Vegas trip.

The story of Khil@di is one of the many stories that we are going to highlight in the next few days. Play more and win more, every day on 9stacks!


Team 9stacks



Prashaste Sinha

Prashaste lives to eat and write. She's our very own homegrown poker sceptic who's gone on to enjoy her stint with poker and loves writing and interviewing people who are passionate about poker and life.