Mediterranean poker cup (1st May - 11th may, 2015)
Tell us, please when did your poker career start?
I started playing in 1977 while being a student of one of the Moscow Universities. We played 5-card draw then. The 5-card draw barely resembles modern poker, but the rules and principles of the game are similar. Students in those days played mostly Preferance, but poker started gaining attention, too. Later, in 1984 I learned the 5-card stud game and played it for some years. So, obviously my poker career did not begin with Texas Hold’em. I got introduced to Hold’em for the first time in Dublin in 1989 at the Irish Open, a famous tournament I have been attending since. It is one of my favorites; I have participated in it 15 times already. Irish Open was the first European NLH tournament ever and it is still joined by the old-school players. Unfortunately, I have not succeeded considerably in Irish Open until today, although I won a couple of cash games. Usually, it was third, fifth etc. place in side events.
How long have you been coming to Merit Poker?
I started coming here 9 years ago. Mr. Cevdet, my friend and Merit Poker coordinator, needed some assistance on organizing first Merit Poker events, so I helped as much as I could and have not missed even one single tournament since then. This is my second home, it always feels like it.
What are Merit Poker’s differences?
First of all, Merit Poker’s atmosphere. Poker is a very difficult and cruel game. Where the big money is concerned, some people show their worst sides of character. I must admit that Merit Poker players, especially from Turkey and Lebanon, are very amiable, decent and polite. The management is very professional and the most important of all – in Merit I do not have to think that someone cheats or something goes wrong. I can concentrate on my game completely and enjoy it thoroughly. Merit is a guarantee of a safe and secure gaming.
Which qualities do you think to be the most important for a poker player?
Although poker has changed a lot since I started playing, some things do not change with time. Reading skills are the most important skill of all others. It is essential how good your poker instincts are and how much they help you during the game. You can learn everything – the mathematics, the techniques, etc. but if you do not have poker instincts, you won’t become a successful poker player.
Thank you very much for the interesting interview. We wish you all the best and good luck for the future.