Western Texas 2015

Bartolomiej Swieboda

bartolomiejWESTERN TEXAS TOURNAMENT (6th MARCH  - 17th mARCH , 2015)

Congratulations on your victory. When did you learn about Merit Poker?
Thank you very much. I am very happy to become a winner. I heard about Merit Poker about three weeks ago from my friends, who came to Merit and played tournaments here before. I decided to come and join this time, because their impressions were the most positive and pleasant.

How do you like it?
I like it very much; now I see that my friends were right to advise me merit Poker events and I am happy to be here. The tournaments are good, I like all these Western decorations and lovely atmosphere; the food and drink service is simply amazing and I feel comfortable and relaxed in Merit Poker room. I do not need to think about anything, except for the game, maybe that is why I managed to win.


boris yanpolskiy texas poker cupWESTERN TEXAS TOURNAMENT (6th MARCH  - 17th mARCH , 2015)

Please, tell us a bit about your poker career.
My poker career began in 2008 or 2009, I do not remember exactly now, with my son’s help. He introduced to me PokerStars. In those days poker was not forbidden in Russia, and I won my first money while playing tournaments in casino Shangri La. I liked it – the game itself and the opportunity to win make money without working.

But poker is also a work – sometimes boring and rather tiring.
It was later that I understood that poker game is associated with certain difficulties, but in those days I thought that everything was easy and simple; all you had to do was just sit, play and earn money.

Do you have moments when you are tired of the game and feel like leaving the table before it ends?
Yes, of course, it happens sometimes. Every player has a streak of bad luck, when the game goes askew but desire to leave the table lasts for about 10 minutes. In general, if you win something, you have the motivation and mood to proceed. With time you understand that unlucky periods are only a part of the game; all one has to do is just keep calm and wait it to pass. It happens that you make a nice high stack and hope to get the prize, and the next day someone ‘runs you over’ – and you have to start anew. When you run over someone, you do not remember it; when someone does the same to you – it stays in your mind for a long time.

Pavel Zuev


Our congratulations on your victory. Was it expected?
Thank you. Every time I sit to play, I expect to win, of course. There is a saying, ‘A soldier who doesn't want to be a general is a bad soldier’. So, I can say that I have expected this victory. But also, in Texas Hold’em, as in any game, except for the technical skills you need luck, too.

How did you start coming to the Merit Poker events?
I have been continuously coming to Merit Poker series for the last two years. I heard about Merit Poker from the online poker community, I cannot tell you exactly who told me first. As I said, I am a frequenter of Merit Poker events and know all the managers and team members here. I am very happy to work with your team.

What in particular do you like here?
I like every Merit Poker event. All poker series here are well-organized; the atmosphere is pleasant and relaxing. I like the field, too. The players, who come to these events are skillful and experienced, which make the competition tense and the game interesting. I have made many friends here and every time I visit Merit in good mood and high spirits. It feels like coming home. As a player I do not see any shortcomings in tournament organization; everything is done professionally.

Seref Dursun Anar

seref dursun anar 6 maxWESTERN TEXAS TOURNAMENT (6th MARCH  - 17th mARCH , 2015)

Congratulations on your victory! When did you learn about Merit Poker events?
I have been coming to the Merit Poker events since 2010. When I heard that Merit started organizing poker tournaments in those days, I decided to join. Then I was not a good player, just a beginner. However, after having started, I carried on learning the game and developing the strategies and made significant improvement. After I came to Merit, I went to America three years in a row. I even won a prize in WSOP.

What do you like about Merit Poker?
Merit Poker is a very lucky place for me and I just adore coming here. When there is a tournament here, I never travel anywhere else. It feels like home; players know each other and are the members of one big family. I see my friends; we play together and spend good time here together. To my mind, it is organized in accordance with the standards of the top-quality events; the hotel location, tasty food, experienced staff, good service all add an exceptional value to the atmosphere of Merit Poker. This is just a wonderful place to play and have a holiday.

Which is more important – luck or knowledge?
I believe that in poker the knowledge is more important than chance. I have brought seven books on poker from my trips to America, and all of them say that chance is only 20% of the winning criteria. All the rest belongs to the knowledge and experience. You must do your best to make your game faultless. The fewer mistakes you make, the higher is your chance to sit at the final table.

Shakir Dadabaev

shakir dadabaevWESTERN TEXAS TOURNAMENT (6th MARCH  - 17th mARCH , 2015)

How and when did you learn about Merit Poker?
My friends, who play poker, used to come here regularly. After having heard from them about Merit Poker, I became interested and started coming too.

What do you like the most about Merit Poker? Do you enjoy your staying and playing here?
The organization is highly professional; the quality is also very different from all the places I’ve played up till now. I am definitely sure of playing against professionals here. The Merit Poker’s ambience is beautiful, the service is perfect. From the offered food to the staff everything is first class.

You’ve been playing poker for a long time. Do you still get excited?
In spite of having been playing for such a long time, I still get very excited. I wish I wouldn’t, but I cannot overcome it. My excitement especially mounts towards the end of the game. But without adrenaline, it would not be as enjoyable; excitement is the inseparable part of poker and adds incredible zest to the game.

Which is your favorite starting hand?
Like everyone else, I like the AA combination, of course. The suited connectors have been rather successful, too. The high and strong starting hand is an all-time advantage for every player; for example, I like to start with AK.