Onur Unsal

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

Congratulations on your impressive results! Tell us about your poker career, please.
Approximately 8 years ago, I guess, I watched on Eurosport the 2ndseason of EPT for the first time; besides, my father used to play the so-called Turkish Poker and I knew a bit about the game. Later I started playing with my own friends, cousins, school friends and tried to improve my game. Then I learned Texas Hold’em poker. In July 2009, we heard about poker tournaments, held in Merit and started coming here. I think I missed out just on the first Merit Poker tournament.

What was the biggest prize you have won before this Main Event?
The biggest victory until now was the High Roller tournament in September last year, when I have won $80K. Before that in February, I have won another High Roller event with $72K prize.

Where else in the world did you play?
Two years ago, I went to San Remo to the EPT but did not achieve any success. I did not like that tournament much; too many people were participating in the events and the atmosphere was not at all relaxing. I did not enjoy it; there were not many Turkish players so I felt a bit lonely. I do not go abroad much; Merit Poker is my favorite place to play tournaments. I like the atmosphere of Merit Poker. It is very heart-warming and friendly. We play poker with friends and in our free time, we discuss the games and share our experiences, meet for a drink or simply relax in our rooms.


Do you play online?
I do not play online poker; I am not good at it. Live games are my favorite. Here I can see other players, what they do, how they move, analyze their styles – it is very interesting! I am not a mathematician; I am a psychologist and analyst.

What is your biggest motivator?
My biggest motivator is money, of course, but still I would also like to achieve considerable results, improve the game and make fewer mistakes. Winning mentality is very important in poker. Maybe I cannot be first in the world, but why cannot I become first in Turkey? You have to learn a lot in poker, because the game changes with every year. A player should not stop developing and improving his strategies and skills. He has to add something new every day to become successful. I aim to win a major EPT or WPT and find myself a sponsor as all famous poker players do.

What can you say about Merit Poker Middle East Tour and your way to the Final Table?
I felt like this tournament would be very successful for me and so it happened. I do not know how it came to me, but the thought of becoming the winner appeared as soon as Middle East Tour began. Call it the sixth sense or hunch but I saw that this time luck is with me. I have not been doing well for the last nine months or so, but I kept on believing that this would finish soon. And so it did. After my victory in ‘WANTED’ Bounty 6 Max, I became the winner of Merit Poker Middle East Tour Main Event. I am so happy! My way to the Final table was quite easy; no major problems appeared. However, difficulties began at the Final table. All the finalists were tough players and it was not easy to win the Main Event, believe me! But the game was very interesting, of course. The last hand that won me the game was quite a standard one, my pair of 4’s against Nikolay’s A9. Another thing in Bounty – I won with four of a kind for the first time in my life!
Being the winner, especially the Main event winner, is a wonderful feeling! I am happy and proud with myself, and excited; I wish this night would never end!

Thank you for the interview. We wish you all the best for the future!

Tags: Middle East 2014

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