I first bumped into Simeon Naydenov when I worked at my one and only Unibet Tour at Malta in March 2011. At the time he was the big star of that tour and took the Player of the Year award in 2010 after cashing in five events and making the final table twice. Then when I worked on the European and World Poker Tours I would notice him and report on him, but realized that he was still a relatively untried and tested formula when playing with the big boys.
“I started playing poker like most people. A friend of mine played the game and that’s how I got started. I played some cash games at a friend’s house, then they opened a casino and I played there, then I watched it on Eurosport and after that just fell for the game. I started to win some smaller tournaments and it all started from there.” Said Naydenov.
In March 2012, Naydenov bubbled the final table of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event at Campione, and it seemed that the Bulgarian was growing in confidence. Then last month he hit the big time after taking home a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet after winning a $1,500 Shootout event for $326,440.
“My results are going up and of course so is my bankroll. I guess the hard work is paying off…you just have to wait for it.”
Naydenov has been playing poker for seven years, five of them professionally, and he loves playing in Las Vegas, Barcelona and now Cyprus, “I just love the games here,” but he is never too far away from his roots and is grateful every day for what poker provides for him.
“I am fortunate that I have other business interests outside of poker so I don’t have to rely on poker money alone. The game has given me opportunities that I would never have found anywhere else. Back home in Bulgaria the average salary is like €400-600 per month. It’s a tough life to live on that for a month.”
Simeon Naydenov didn’t survive Day 1B of the bwin WPT Merit Cyprus Classic after being eliminated in a tough hand against Bernard Samaha, which he describes just perfectly on the audio interview so check it out.