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The Private Life of Surinder Sunar

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At the beginning of our Poker interview, I asked Surinder how old he is. He answered that he is a very private poker person and didn’t want to answer any personal questions. I panicked. How is it possible to paint a picture of a person who won’t answer any personal questions? I told him that his age wasn’t all that personal compared to what I had in mind to ask him!


He answered that he is either 43 or 44, and that he couldn’t remember which. But his accent was so appealing, with hints of India and hints of proper English, that one couldn’t get too frustrated with the man who has an absolute perfect “poker” face, whether or not it’s necessary. I asked if he remembered the date he was born, and he said it was in April and that I would laugh. So, being a dedicated journalist, I burst out laughing and asked: You were born on April Fools’ Day??? The interview was off to a good start, I thought.


Having been a practicing criminal defense attorney for more than 20 years, I have been well-schooled in the art of cross-examination. Young lawyers learn that when a witness does not answer a question, there are myriads of ways to disguise the same topic and ask it again and again until the necessary information is elicited. So, I continued to ask Surinder about his love life, only to have him artfully duck the question.


About two hours into the interview, when I asked yet another question about his private life, he looked at me quizzically and inquired with his marvelous Indian accent as to whether I was going to keep asking about the same thing over and over again. I guess I wasn’t fooling him! I told him that perhaps at his victory party, he and his friends might drink enough so that I would get some juicy information. He responded that I would have to show up to see.



The Victory Party

We arrived at the victory party to find Bruno Fitoussi talking about what a fabulous poker tournament it was and how well Surinder played. I was seated between Surinder and WPT Producer Steve Lipscomb, who talked about the fact that this may very well be the best show ever.


How disappointing! I wanted some juicy gossip about Surinder, and would have to settle for some respectable quotes about the success of the tournament. Even after Surinder broke out a fabulous bottle of very old Cabernet Sauvignon, he was still stonelike when I tried to pump him for personal information. The only thing I can say for certain is that he is a class act.


When Surinder won, cameras were everywhere. I stood with pen and pad, awaiting his words. Of course, when the WPT show airs, you can verify my accuracy, but when Mike Sexton asked Surinder for a comment, Surinder said, “I was up against a real great player and I got lucky.”


Although Surinder was short-stacked going to the final table, this quickly changed. The final table chip standings were:


Seat 1 — Surinder Sunar, 202K


Seat 2 — Tony Guoga, 442K


Seat 3 — David Colclough, 338K


Seat 4 — Peter Roche, 615K


Seat 5 — Jim Overman, 358K


Seat 6 — Ben Roberts, 99K


When it got heads up, the lead went back and forth. Tony G. was talking uncontrollably while Surinder was in deep concentration. Although Surinder explained his win as simply getting lucky, statistics will show that his answer was a classy one, but not necessarily accurate.


At key moments, Surinder lost with A-J against 10-8, tied with A-9 against A-4, and tied with Q-10 against Q-6.


It is true that Surinder did get lucky with his K-6 suited against Tony G.’s pocket tens when the board flopped 9-6-6, but other than that, his performance was mostly the result of skill.


I asked him about a particular hand when he put Ben Roberts all in. Ben raised with A-K and Surinder moved all in. As it turned out, Surinder had pocket threes and 3 is his lucky number. He was quick to point out that he would never have called an all-in bet, but he was the raiser with his lucky threes. When no ace or king came, he was the victor. (If you are interested in learning the odds of these and other hand matchups, go to, where you will find hand matchups in which reports on actual tournament hands and gives the odds for each player.)


In the situs judi poker tournament’s final hand, Tony G. moved all in from the button with K-3 offsuit. Surinder called immediately with A-7 offsuit. The flop was Q-10-6 of different suits, the turn was a jack, and the river was a 6. Surinder’s ace high won the tournament, and at about 1 a.m., he was crowned the champion of the Grand Prix de Paris.


Even when the tournament was over, Surinder remained a class act. When I asked him to comment about Tony G.’s behavior, he simply said that Tony G. took other players off their game and that made it easier for him to win.


At one point in the game, Tony G. mocked Surinder, stating he’d get blinded off waiting for aces. Surinder’s focus and patience apparently paid off. As a matter of fact, it paid more than Surinder has ever won: €679,000 and a $25,000 seat in the WPT Championship event. WPT Producer Steve Lipscomb summed it up with precision when he proclaimed: “This tournament will make for fabulous TV.” Don’t miss the show, which should air on the Travel Channel in March

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