Posts Tagged ‘Annette Obrestad’

Annette Obrestad relives “Blind” Online Tournament Win

Monday, August 11th, 2014

From winning the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event as an 18-year-old to starting her poker career through freerolls, Annette Obrestad has become one of poker’s living legends. But if there’s one act that truly defines Obrestad’s career more than anything else, it’s when she won an online tournament without looking at her cards.

The Norwegian was playing in a $4 buy-in, 180-player sit and go and decided to go in blind. According to Wikipedia, she only looked at her cards once during the entire tournament. The idea was to “show just how important it is to play position and to pay attention to the players at the table.”

That was back in 2007, and Obrestad says that she still gets asked about the impressive tournament win. In a recent interview with PokerListings, the 25-year-old said that she put some paper over the screen where her cards were. “At first it was kind of weird because it was so different to not be able to have any other reads,” she recalled. “Just like bet sizing and how people had played before. And the more I played the more I realized that you actually don’t always need to see your cards to pick up on stuff.”

Obrestad also discussed the lessons that players can learn from her blind tournament victory. “Basically what it comes down to is that poker is a game of reading people,” she explained, “and the more you play the more you understand how the betting patterns work and how people think. And once you can kind of get into people’s heads, understand more how they play. And that’s really what you have to do to become a good player – it’s not so much about the cards.”

Obrestad finished by saying that many people who sit at live tables with her ask if the legend of the blind tournament win is true. She added that more people recognize her for winning a tourney without looking at her cards than for the WSOPE victory.

Norway Finally legalizing Poker Tournaments

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Norway has spawned several world-famous poker pros in Annette Obrestad, Johnny Lodden and Thor Hansen. This is quite amazing when you consider that these players can’t even enjoy a legal poker tournament on their home soil. Luckily, that’s set to change with Norway’s Culture Minister, Thorhild Widvey, calling for the legalization of poker tourneys.

At this time, the only forms of legal gaming in Norway are the lottery and limited sports betting. Widvey and other politicians in the country’s newly elected Progress Party coalition government are moving towards expanding the gaming market to capitalize on revenue.

This expanded market will most likely include poker as Widvey recently wrote, “I hope we can have a regulatory framework in place in time for a Norway championship of poker to be held in Norway in 2015… the Gaming Act permits the government to allow tournaments through regulation and therefore it is probably not a matter for Parliament.”

A Norwegian Poker Championship would definitely be a great way to usher in a new era of poker freedoms. However, Norwegian players shouldn’t expect too many freedoms because the current proposal only allows for low stakes tournaments. But any tournament is better than none, even if buy-ins are capped at $500 (or whatever the case may be).

It’s interesting timing that Norway is moving closing towards legalizing poker tournaments. Just a couple of months ago, Ola “Odd Oddsen” Amundsgaard challenged politician Erlan Wiborg to a PLO heads-up match.

The idea was to beat Wiborg bad enough that Amundsgaard could show poker is indeed a game of skill. He definitely accomplished this feat too after Wiborg lost $2,666 in their first online session and quickly threw in the towel. We have to think that this publicity might have a little to do with generating more government goodwill towards poker.

Veronika Pavlikova – The Next Annette Obrestad?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

In 2007, Annette Obrestad accomplished the impressive feat of winning the WSOPE Main Event along with $2 million. What made this victory truly exceptional was that she did it one day before her 19th birthday. That said, it’s not totally strange to hear 18-year-old Veronika Pavlikova compared to Obrestad after she just won the France Poker Series Snowfest Evian Main Event.

Okay….so this isn’t the WSOPE, but it’s impressive nonetheless because this 296-player tournament featured a €296,000 prize pool along with plenty of pros in the field. And 18-year-old’s aren’t expected to win tournaments of this magnitude, so Pavlikova has joined an elite class. But is she at the level of Obrestad?

The first thing worth mentioning here is that Veronika Pavlikova has basically come out of nowhere – as opposed to Annette Obrestad, who well known throughout the poker community long before she won the 2007 WSOPE Main Event. Starting online at the age of 15, Obrestad won hundreds of thousands of dollars playing underage poker. So Veronika Pavlikova certainly doesn’t have the online presence that Obrestad does.

As for live poker tournament winnings, you could argue that Pavlikova is actually better at this point. Before her WSOPE Main Event win, Obrestad had around $39k in live tourney cashes, which is still great for an 18-year-old. However, Pavlikova earned over $93,000 (€70,000) for her victory, and she still has a while before she turns 19.

Only time will tell how good Veronika Pavlikova ends up being, or if she continues to draw Annette Obrestad comparisons. But at this point, the Czech is certainly a good player who only looks to improve on her career winnings as time goes on.

2011 WSOPE Main Event sets Record

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Nobody’s going to mistake the WSOPE Main Event for the WSOP Main Event quite yet, but it’s definitely getting bigger. For evidence of this fact, you need look no farther than the fact that the 2011 WSOPE Main Event set the official attendance and prize pool record.

There were 593 players willing to ante up the €10,000 + €400 buy-in, and almost €5.7 million total will be paid out to the top 64 players. It’s definitely worth mentioning that the 2011 WSOPE Main Event winner will be walking away with a €1.4 million prize.

Looking back through history, nobody has managed to win this much money in the WSOPE Main Event. In fact, the biggest winner that we’ve seen in the tournament is Norwegian poker pro Annette Obrestad, who won the inaugural WSOPE ME in 2007, which netted her a predetermined €1 million. Since Obrestad’s victory, John Juanda is the next closest winner in terms of money since he earned €868,800 for taking down the 2008 WSOPE Main Event.

So who is bound to be the biggest winner in WSOPE history? Currently, little known American Elio Fox will headline the WSOPE final table since he’s got the most chips at 3.9 million. Just behind Fox in second place is UK poker sensation Jake Cody, who has 2.7 million chips. Cody is probably the most famous poker player on the final table – at least currently – since he won the $25,000 NLHE Heads-Up Championship at the 2011 WSOP, and earned Player of the Year honors at the 2011 British Poker Awards.

Another big name on this final table is Chris Moormon who, along with countryman Jake Cody, has had his fair share of success in the poker world. In any case, it will be interesting to see how the final table plays out, and who earns the title.