Poker player from Novokuznetsk, popularizer of poker in Siberia and successful entrepreneur Mikhail Konev talks about his passion for the game.How did you get introduced to poker? I’ve been playing the game for about 10 years now. I distinctly remember how I played poker for the first time – my friends called me to a bar and showed me how to play on the spot. We spent the whole evening in that bar playing poker. And those moments when I won the whole pot, they hooked me, I got carried away with the game. I started watching videos, reading poker literature and continuing to play in clubs and online. We even opened our own poker club in Novokuznetsk, and it successfully and legally existed for about two years. Are you a professional player? I don’t consider myself a professional poker player. You can call poker one of the additional types of earnings. But definitely not the main income, and sometimes the expense. Anything happens in life. I earn money in the construction business, plus outdoor advertising. Where are you playing now? I prefer the poker series at the Altai Palace casino in the Siberian Coin gambling zone. This is enough for me. Until September 2018, I played a lot online, but I stopped doing it. I calculated the annual balance, how long it takes, the conditions that the poker rooms have developed in recent years – in the aggregate, it all becomes less and less interesting. Moreover, as life goes on, priorities change. In online poker, I tried to take the stress out of work and also make some money. But now real life has become more interesting, and online has changed not for the better.Are your friends that you started playing poker with still playing poker? Differently. Someone plays in the underground, which, of course, is everywhere, but often has nothing to do with the game as an art. Others don’t play at all or, like me, they only go to poker series. How do people close to your passion for poker? The mother was initially skeptical, but when she saw the winnings, she became more supportive of poker. My wife understands everything, poker does not create problems in our family. I always tried to make trips to Altai with my family. In Altai Palace, the rooms are spacious, and there are nannies, children’s rooms, entertainment, there is where to take a walk. The first poker series were very heavy in terms of package workload – we seemed to be with the family, but did not see each other. But in the future it was all improved, and now you can play and relax. Relatives are always happy with such trips to Altai. What is poker for you? I have never been asked this question. And I have a formed answer. Poker is a mixture of three things in equal volume – luck, psychology, mathematics. I can’t say that something outweighs. Is there excitement there? I think there is. For some, poker is more of a passion, but for me it’s an interesting hobby. In poker, I like tournaments. But the cash game is a bit boring for me. In the tournament, more attention is paid to psychology, you need to think more carefully and the wrong decision can cost more. Can you remember an interesting episode with the use of psychology in poker? When we talk about psychology, we mainly mean the ability to read an opponent and change your behavior in order to confuse other players. There was a story… One aggressive and brave player knocked me out on the final table of one of the tournaments and eventually took first place in it. And in the next tournament it turned out that we sat down at the same table with him. He had a confident high spirits, dictated by the previous victory. I noticed it. When we played a hand with him, where I had an average match, I decided to go all the way. He pushed hard, showed serious intentions and eventually went All-in. I “without thinking” accepted his bet and won – he had nothing. The people at the table were surprised at my recklessness, they knew me as a rather calm player. How do I know he’s bluffing? But given what we had before, it was a reasonable move. Will you participate in the May Altai Palace Poker Series? So far this question is open. Desire to eat. I will definitely continue to go to play in Altai several times a year. There is a lot of work at the moment, but in the future I plan to devote more time to traveling and poker.