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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Nikolay Tyurin

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

Congratulations on your second place in the Main event. When and how did you start playing poker?
My poker career started five years ago. A friend of mine took me to a casino in Moscow to introduce a new game. This new game was Texas Hold’em poker. It was November 2009, I suppose. Then the casinos were not forbidden in Russia and there were many active poker rooms and clubs available for playing. So, once I tried Texas, I have been playing ever since.  Moreover, I liked to play every single card combination out of curiosity. I just wondered what would come out in the end.

Did you study any poker theory?
I read a bit, mostly Harrington, but the more theory you read the more you distance yourself from the real game, that is what I noticed. Then I stopped reading and started paying more attention to practicing and learning different strategic hints during the game.  

How often do you come to Merit Poker?
I have been coming to Merit Poker for three years already and this is my seventh or eighth final table. After my very first visit, I was virtually conquered by Cyprus and in October, exactly three years ago I came to Merit Poker for the first time. The most surprising thing was that I played in the Main Event final on that first visit; I did not win the final but still, it was very pleasant to get there and to be in the money.

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