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Student vs master as BBZ member faces bungakat in $112K heads-up

Student vs master as BBZ member faces bungakat in $112K heads-up

Jargo “bungakat” Alaväli enjoying a big score isn’t at all surprising. It seems to happen every week. These days we’re more surprised when the BBZ coach doesn’t reach a big final table.

But what was particularly special about bungakat’s victory in the $108 buy-in Global Millions on GGPoker for $112,712 was the opponent he faced heads-up.

Known on GGPoker as “Haversham”, Gaurav Sood is one of the highest-ranked poker players in India.

He’s also a BBZ Poker student who studies through bungakat several times every week, without fail.

“It felt unfair [to get heads-up against bungakat] is such a big field tournament,” Sood laughs. “I told him it was a really nice moment for me because the BBZ ICM Masterclass has taught me how to navigate through final tables. The Masterclass is bungakat’s brainchild.”

It was a real student vs master moment, made even more interesting by the fact that bungakat knew Sood was watching him on Twitch at the time.

“I knew he was watching, but I wasn’t aware who he was at the time,” bungakat says. “I only learned he was a BBZ member when somebody in my Twitch chat mentioned it.”

Gaurav Sood. Credit: Poker Guru

Sood learned poker back in 2013 but only began taking it seriously after the first Poker Sports League was held in India in 2017. He switched from low stakes cash games to being backed in $8 tournaments from there he started digging out training content.

“The most important thing I did was invest my time and bankroll into studying the game more and having a strict bankroll management,” Sood says. As he moved up the stakes and his bankroll grew, he began studying with BBZ Poker.

“BBZ has created a huge impact in my poker career,” he continues. “Starting with the Intro to Quantitative Strategies video and watching Jordan’s streams, I have now bought everything the site has to offer, and all of it is worth every penny and much more if you’re willing to put in the work.

Sood certainly put in the work and found himself on the final table of a $1M guaranteed tournament with his coach.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little jittery,” he says. “This was the second biggest final table of my career. I played the final table with no nerves but heads up felt surreal. I should have asked him for a chop, but it didn’t cross my mind at the time.”


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Bungakat wasn’t thinking of a chop either, although he admits he might have done things differently if he could turn back the clock.

“I actually think I made a mistake not offering him a deal because I was so tired and it was probably one of the worst heads-up matches I’ve played,” says bungakat. “Even though I won it I consider it a mistake.”

Jargo “bungakat” Alaväli

Plus, it still hadn’t sunk in with bungakat that he was playing one of his own students.

“I told him in chat a couple of times but he had a $5k FT too so he didn’t pay much attention,” says Sood. “But him saying that he would have dealt if he knew it was me felt really good. He’s an absolute beast and someone I look up to. We have talked poker a fair bit, he’s a really affable guy and readily responds which must be so difficult with the amount of work he has on his hands.”

According to bungakat, it was strange playing against a student of his in a $30K heads up. “He was playing very well and it was tough as he had position on me,” he says. “I didn’t feel the need to change my strategy though. All the basics would have held up against him, but I think there were one or two hands that I should have played more aggressively against him had I known he was a BBZ student who had gone through the ICM Pre-Flop Masterclass!”

For his runner-up finish, Sood banked $84,522, a score that boosts his bankroll and gives him a cushion to play higher. “I’m just going to focus on not becoming complacent at all and doubling down on the work I put in to get better as it’s only going to get tougher from here on,” he says.

He’ll be doing that work with BBZ Poker.

“The reason why I resonate with the BBZ team a lot is the spirit with which they work,” Sood says. “It clearly shows Jordan and all other coaches and the whole team care a lot about what they are doing. They care about playing, approaching and processing the game in the most optimal way possible and I absolutely love that.

“The Daily Seminars are the nut thing you can do to add to your daily study routine. There’s a tremendous amount of top-notch information that probably isn’t provided anywhere else. I really have deep gratitude towards Jordan and the whole team for contributing so much towards the player and person I am right now.”

We’ll leave the last words to coach bungakat.

“Congratulations to him on the big score and I hope he continues studying and crushing!”

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