Azerbaijan may not be a hotbed for poker talent, but it has produced an extremely successful tournament pro in the form of Ramin Hajiyev. Raised in Baku, Ramin was a promising tennis prospect as a youngster but turned to cards with the big earning potential that it offered. Turning to live poker regularly in 2010, he booked his first live tournament cash back in 2010. Since then, he has gone on to pick up a number of six-figure scores and has achieved a lot of success on the European poker scene.
Ramin’s career began to gather momentum at the start of 2015, beginning with a great series of events at the PCA. Cashing in four tournaments and making two final tables, the largest score of this trip came in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Turbo 6-Handed event. Pocketing $166,440 for the runner-up finish, it was only the Scot David Vamplew who stood between the Azerbaijani talent and a PCA trophy.
Just a couple of months later, Ramin made another final table at EPT Malta in the €25,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event. To reach this position, he outlasted the likes of Philipp Gruissem – one of the strongest players on the European circuit.
Before the year played out, Hajiyev caught a huge score at another High Roller event – this time at EPT Prague. Although he wasn’t able to book a first-place finish, his exit in third earned him a healthy $275,442. Again, Ramin proved that he could not only hang with but triumph over the best of them, for he finished ahead of prodigal pros Adrian Mateos and Tobias Reinkemeier.
Off the back of an extremely successful 2015 that had him in contention for the Player of the Year trophy, 2016 saw Hajiyev pick up another collection of six-figure scores. These included a big $366,469 cash at the €25,000 No Limit Hold’em 8-Handed event at EPT Malta, where Ramin finished runner-up to New Zealand’s David Yan. To close out the year after a phenomenal run, Hajiyev finished fourth at yet another €25,000 EPT event – this time in Monte Carlo – for a large $212,893.
Perhaps the only reason that the #1 player on the Azerbaijani all-time money list is not better known is because he is yet to actually get his hands on a trophy at one of these huge events. Still, Ramin’s collection of scores have amounted to more than $2,384,080 in live tournaments since 2010.