Özgür Arda

ardaMiddle East Tour ( Oct 30th - Nov 10th, 2014 )

Congratulations on your second place in the Warm Up event. Would you, please tell us about yourself?
I started playing poker with my friends in 2009 and from the year 2010, I proceed to play professionally.  Apart from playing online poker, I join various poker tournaments held in Cyprus and Europe. This year I have played the live events more often as I have more time now. The last four years everything has been going smoothly. I come to Merit frequently; to be more exact, I came here for the first time five years ago as an amateur and since then I have hardly missed a tournament held here.

What other countries did you visit to play in the tournaments?
Last year I have played in almost all of the EPTs, except for Monte Carlo. If no problem arises, I am going to visit Prague one month later. I have been participating in all the EPT events for the last two years. Although I was not very successful apart from Barcelona, the results are still not bad. In two different events held on the same day in Barcelona, I have reached the final tables, and won the 3rdand the 7thplaces. This was fantastic; it was a very pleasant day. Becoming the ‘bubble’ after my return back here was very upsetting, though.


Have you won you biggest money prize in Barcelona?
I have taken my biggest money prize ($44.600) in live poker events after having won the third place in Barcelona, but the amount of money I have raised by playing online is rather high.
What are the most problematic issues in poker?
Let me count the problems the Turks deal with in poker. Online poker is forbidden in Turkey; that is why we have difficulties playing online. Besides, travelling creates some problems like getting visas for example. Due to the existing prejudice towards poker, there is no institution to support the players. Poker is an individual type of sports and for this reason a player has to provide everything himself; he is alone. The mutual support between the friends, poker players exists, of course, but this is different matter.

What qualities should a poker player possess, what do you think?
To begin with, he has to possess very good mathematical skills, because poker is a game, based on mathematics. People see it as gambling, but in fact, poker is a game of skill and knowledge and it requires from a player thorough considerations and the move calculations, same as in chess. You have to possess the gambling spirit of course I agree with that; at the end of the day, luck influences the game a lot. However, your skills are incredibly important; you play against other people and you must have the specific knowledge.

Did you take any training on poker?
No, I have not taken any coaching or poker lessons. Moreover, I have not read even one book or watched a video. I learned the game in practice and we share with the friends the situations that happened during the game, analyze and discuss them. I have learnt a lot from Dominik Nitsche, whom I met at my second WPT and then I gained very good experience from playing online poker, when it became widespread on the internet.  

What has happened in the final? Which hand caused you to lose the game?
I was the chip leader during the tournament, until eight players remained at the final table. I did not manage to use the chance that I had a couple of times to eliminate my opponent; I can say that this was the reason why I lost the first place. When no suitable card came on the board, my pair 66 lost to the opponent’s pair QQ.

Thank you for sharing with us and wish you good luck!

Tags: Middle East 2014

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