Merit Fall Open 2014

Aleksey Arakelov

arekelovMerit Fall Open 888 Live 2014 (Oct 8th - Oct 14th, 2014)

Congratulations on your success! You are the winner of the Merit Fall Open 2014 Main Event. Would you, please shortly introduce yourself.  
My name is Aleksey Arakelov. I am a 38-years old poker player from Balashiha, Russia. I have been playing Texas Holde’em for the last eight years. As it often happens, once I went to casino in Moscow with my friends eight years ago, saw people playing Texas and decided to try, too. Although I always play something, Texas Hold’em became my favorite and at first, I spent at the poker table days and nights. Now the interest ceased but I play when the opportunity and time permit.  

When did you start coming to Merit Poker events and where else in the world did you play? What was your biggest win?
My first visit to Merit Poker events happened less than a month ago, this is my second time. I did not travel abroad much, did not have the chance to participate in poker tournaments around the world. I have been to London once in 2009, a couple of times in Kazakhstan and twice in Cyprus. This is my biggest win until now. In May this year, at the Main event of WPT National Kazakhstan, Astana we have divided the pot between the three of us.  I have played only 8 tournaments like this one. It all depends – some players actively participate in the events and play for years, sometimes without any visible result; others start winning straight away – it all depends on the chance and luck, even more than on your skills and knowledge.

Andrey Shatilov

shatilovMerit Fall Open 888 Live 2014 (Oct 8th - Oct 14th, 2014)

Congratulations on your second place! In September, you also came second at the Merit North Cyprus Classic’14 High Roller Event. Would you, please shortly introduce yourself and tell our readers about your poker career, which seems quite successful?
I am a 28-years old poker player from Russia, N.Novgorod. I have been playing poker for nearly 5 years already. I started playing online first and then moved on to the live poker, when a friend of mine took me to the poker game where I had a $50 bonus. That was the beginning of my poker career; we can say that I rose to the place I stand now from that $50 bonus.

Did you take any coaching on Texas Hold’em?
No, I did not take any lessons or coaching sessions on poker; all I did was to read the available information and used the poker calculator for some time. That is all. The rest has been learnt by practice. I have to say that online poker gave that first kick, confidence and the necessary game experience. For me it is a bit different from the live poker and I cannot say which is more difficult to play. In live you see your opponents at the same table and can learn them better or notice some hints that may be useful in deciding what strategy to use in the long run.

David Keuftedjian

keuftedjianMerit Fall Open 888 Live 2014 (Oct 8th - Oct 14th, 2014)

Congratulations on your victory! Would you, please, introduce yourself?
My name is David Keuftedjian.  I am a 29-year old Armenian American living in UAE. I started playing poker when I was 19-20 years old, while studying at the University. I started playing live games first and then moved on the online games, too.

Which games do you prefer? What are the peculiarities of playing live and online?
I prefer both; the online games are interesting to play as well. They are well organized and you are able to play in the comfort of your home. There is no substitute for experience, and the virtual poker delivers that in much shorter time. Playing Texas Hold’em on the internet is a terrific way to learn and experiment with your game. Live games are different, of course – here you are facing the players, have a very long time to evaluate your play and adjust the strategies to the opponents. In live poker, you need more of the psychological skills, too. Well, for a passionate poker player it does not matter where to play, the most important thing is his favorite game.

Idris Sahin

sahinMerit Fall Open 888 Live 2014 (Oct 8th - Oct 14th, 2014)

Congratulations on your victory! Would you, please tell our readers how did you learn about Merit Poker events?
Thank you. I learned about Merit Poker both from my Turkish friends, who come here often and from the internet. There is a lot of information about it on the net and people, who are interested in spending a good time while playing their favorite game can easily obtain all the necessary info. I have been coming to Merit for two and a half years.

Tell us how you poker career began. How did you start playing Texas Hold’em, did you take any lessons, etc.?
I started playing poker approximately 3-4 years ago. I did not play online; it is difficult in Turkey. Instead, I read a lot about poker, its strategies and tricks in various articles on the internet and then developed my game further by playing with friends and joining different poker tournaments. I have to say that I did not travel much; I have been only to Montenegro and Northern Cyprus. This is my first victory and I am happy about it. I have played at the final tables a couple of times previously, but never won.

Vilen Karimov

Merit Fall Open 888 Live 2014 (Oct 8th - Oct 14th, 2014)

How did you start coming to Merit Poker?

I heard about Merit Poker events about two years ago when my friends from Kazan told me about their participation and gave their highest recommendations. When I came here for the first time, the reality appeared to be even better than I expected. Since then I am a frequenter of the Merit Poker events.

Where else did you go to play poker tournaments?

Although poker is not my primary hobby at the moment, the more I play the more I like it and suppose to pay more attention to my game in the nearest future. I have been to Venice, to Las Vegas – not only to play, but also to see different places; I toured around California by car and ended my tour in Vegas.