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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Alexandr Lakhov

lakhov newWPT Merit Cyprus Classic'14 (Sep 1st - Sep 11th, 2014)

The incredible back-to-back victory of the Russian poker player Alexander Lakhov of the World Poker Tour Merit Classic National & WPT Merit North Cyprus Classic’14 Main Event in the space of just a few months is simply extraordinary.
A 42-year old player Lakhov was one of 404 entrants in the $4,400 buy-in Main Event, which happens to be the largest-ever WPT Main Event held in Cyprus. He entered the final table second in chips but became not only a worthy winner during the 31st level played, but also the newest member of the WPT Champions club.

Have you ever thought that you could win two main events back-to-back in the same place?
No, of course, I have never imagined anything like this could have happened. Nobody would think I am sure. Even if a player joins the events in a certain place regularly and wins a main event once, he would never admit the second immediate victory possible.  This was an incredible chance!

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