winterfest 2015

Azamat Astanov

astanovWinter fest'15 (8th january - 19th january, 2015)

How many years have you been playing Texas Hold’em?
I began playing Texas Hold’em two years ago by myself first and then I was introduced to other poker players, who took me to the first poker event. I lost on the first day but slowly got to know my opponents and started winning. I learned the game by regular practice; I did not take any poker lessons or coaching. I believe that practice makes perfect.

What other types of poker do you play?
Sometimes I play Omaha, very seldom though. Texas Hold’em is my favorite.

Is it your first visit to Merit Poker?
My friends, who played in the events before, told me about Texas Hold’em tournaments of Merit Poker. I came here once with my other friend for the WPT in September 2014. So, this is my second time and I would like to say that this place is marvelous. I enjoy playing and staying in Merit. This time the weather was bad – this is my only complaint. Otherwise, the staff, services and food are super. The field is very friendly, just like one big family.

Dmitriy Gromov

dmitriy gromovWinter fest'15 (8th january - 19th january, 2015)

Merit Poker: Congratulations on your victory! This was a good start of your new poker year 2015. What do you think?
Yes, it is the good beginning but the Main Event is ahead so nothing is definite yet. I am happy with my victory, of course and hope that it will give a kick to more.

Merit Poker: What tournament did you visit last in the 2014?
I played in Prague but with no success, I am afraid.

Merit Poker: How was your last poker year?
Quite good, I suppose. Although I did not become the first in the WPT Merit Cyprus Classic'14 Main Event here in September but I consider my second place a decent achievement in my poker career.

Merit Poker: But you wished you were the first last time we spoke, did not you?
Well, sure, but something you want does not always come to you. And it’s good, you have to work on the further improvement, develop your game skills even more to reach the desirable.

Dmitriy Nemirovskiy

dmitriy nemirovskiy
Winter fest'15 (8th january - 19th january, 2015)

Congratulations on your great success! It was a long and tough competition, are you happy?
Thank you. Yes, it was a long way to come and I am incredibly happy and pleased with myself. This is my first victory in the Main Event and I am satisfied with the results.

How long have you been playing Texas Hold’em?
I have been in the game for eight-nine years already. I started playing with my friends in casinos in Moscow first, and after gaining certain skills and game knowledge, I moved further on.

What countries have you visited to participate in poker events?
I have travelled a lot, practically all over the world. I have been to America, to various EPT events, to Ukraine when they had poker events organized in Kyiv. I played in Moscow, and came to Merit Poker many times.

And what was your biggest win until now?
Although this is my first Main Event victory, it is not my biggest money prize that I have won. In 2012, I got over $180K in Las Vegas, taking the third place in one of the events.

Merit Poker Ladies Team

ladies teamPlease, meet the most beautiful players, the real poker sharks, who have already proved many times that poker is not a "men only game" – Team Ladies Poker Big Roger’s Hairabedian!

Merit Poker: How many years have you been playing poker?
Vichy: I have been playing Texas Hold’em for 4 years.
Doudou and Giulia: We have been playing for six years already. And Jackie has been managing our team - she found us, called and organized the ladies’ team. She is the Boss.
Cecile: And I have been playing for two years. I am a baby poker player.
Merit Poker: How did you start playing the game? Did you meet each other before?
Vichy: I started playing Texas Hold’em in Italy with my friends. They were saying “Vichy, let’s play poker with us”. And I was like “What is poker? How is it played? What are the rules?” and so on. I was really curious to learn all of it.
Cecile: I started playing just for fun. I won once, twice and then I thought “Wow, what is this game that I can win over and over again?” So, I learned the game and loved it even more.

Mykola Chornyi

mykola chornyiWinter fest'15 (8th january - 19th january, 2015)

You became the winner of the Irish Poker event held during Merit Poker Winter Fest’15, congratulations. Have you ever played Irish poker before?
No, I have never played this kind of poker in my life. I suppose, I was just very lucky to take the first place. I liked this game though; it’s a sort of mixture of Omaha and Texas Hold’em – quite enjoyable. I play both games so it was not difficult for me to understand the rules of play and even more – to win it.

What are your favorite games?
I have just one favorite game – Texas Hold’em, however I play all the poker varieties from time to time.

How many years have you been playing?
My gaming career began about ten years ago. Everything started from playing with friends and in casinos. I have read a trilogy on poker, where I have learned its combinations, tricks and tips and everything else I have learned through practice. I was lucky straight away. A friend of mine invited me to his poker room opening and there I have won $5.000 at my first try, even before I started reading or learning something about Texas Hold’em.


or suliman
Winter fest'15 (8th january - 19th january , 2015)

Congratulations! When and how did you start playing Texas Hold’em poker?
I have been playing for eight years already and everything started from playing poker at home with my friends. This is the sort of entertainment, which served as a start to the poker career of many poker players.

How did you proceed with your playing? Did you take any lessons?
My good friend, Idan was my first Texas Hold’em teacher. I learned the rules and basics from him; all the rest came with practice.

Did you participate in Merit Poker tournaments before?
No, I did not come to Merit before; this is my first visit. By the way, Idan told me about your events and brought me here.

Vladimir Kim

Winter fest'15 (8th january  - 19th january , 2015)

vladimir kimCongratulations on your victory. Where are you from and when did you start coming to Merit Poker events?
I am from Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. I have been coming here for the last 6-7 months and it is my fifth time here. I have just started to play abroad and Cyprus is the first country I came to participate in the poker tournaments.

What are your impressions?
I like it here – good food, entertaining and relaxing atmosphere, nice hotel. Actually, Merit is a right place to have a holiday and to play poker at the same time. Everything is set to provide the best playing environment, so the players have no worries where to stay, what to eat and how to relax in their free time.

What are your results? Are you happy with them?
Unfortunately, I had no victories until this event and here I was just luckier than my opponents were. However, this game is new for me; I am a Texas Holde’em beginner and use these events to learn the game. I am a cash game player and started playing in the tournaments just recently. I learned about Merit Poker tournaments from my friends, who came to play here and advised me to do so.