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Scandinavian News

What's Happening in Scandinavia

by Ola Brandborn |  Published: Jan 01, 2007

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The last several weeks haven't been much fun for the Scandinavian poker community, with incidents occurring in both Sweden and Norway. Recently, 15 policemen travelled to a smaller Swedish city - Alingsås - to stop a €30 tournament. I wasn't even aware they had as many as 15 policemen in the vicinity of that town. The Swedish Lottery Inspection had filed a police report against "illegally conducted lottery," and, unfortunately, one of the major Swedish newspapers decided to write about it. Normally, our police force doesn't care in the least, as long as the clubs don't serve alcohol, but given the information in the newspaper, they didn't really have much of a choice. Playing poker is not illegal, but the host might get punished. We'll see what the court has to say about that.

The Norwegian police force arrested 21 persons while conducting raids throughout Norway during the very same weekend. They aimed to get at the organizers of the events, but they also got some bonus arrests when they realized a few persons had narcotics on them.

Ken Lennaárd
Recently, Ken Lennaárd, chairperson of the Swedish Poker Federation, resigned from his post. The work of the Federation started to suffer after negative comments about Lennaárd began appearing on various poker forums. "The spotlight was removed from the important questions and focused on me, instead," he said to a Swedish newspaper. He will continue to fight over poker issues, but henceforth as an opinion former. He is also hosting a new TV show, together with PartyPoker, Scandinavian Poker Masters, to be aired on Swedish and Danish television this winter.

The Ålandic champion
Åland is a small, mostly self-governed archipelago, located in between Sweden and Finland. Some players from Stockholm thought that with police raids at different poker clubs throughout Sweden, they might be better off going to Åland to play cards. And as luck would have it, the Ålandic Championships happened to be held during the same weekend. The majority of the prize money, therefore, got a ferry ride back to Sweden, since the two top players were both Swedes. The new Ålandic champion is Emma Wikberg, a former poker dealer at the Swedish government-owned casinos. Congratulations, Emma!

Swedish Championships
Following the turbulence surrounding recent actions taken by the police, the arrangers of the "traditional" Swedish Championships have decided that the tournament will not be held this year. This is quite a shame; it's become a traditional competition to me. I usually bust out during either of the first two periods, but it's always been great fun playing. The Swedish Championships for students, however, will be held according to plan. There is €40,000 in total prizes, and the final will be played in London. Free satellites for the event have been held at 10 universities throughout the country, as well as four online, at Betway.com.

Stop for Danish online poker
The government-owned Danish lottery and gaming company Dansk Tipstjensten has decided to put online poker on hold, since poker lacks values that are based on credibility, entertainment, renewal, and responsibility, said H.C. Madsen, director of Danske Tipstjensten.

EPT Copenhagen
The European Poker Tour will make its stop in Copenhagen Jan. 17-20. The popular tournament will be capped at 400 players. More information can be found at www.ept.com. spade

Ola Brandborn is a blogger and a writer for Poker.se.