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Ola 'Odd Oddsen' Amundsgaard Drops $700K Online In June, Decides To Take Vacation To WSOP

Poker Pro Talks About Political Situation In Norway, Not Getting Recognized In Vegas Poker Games, And The Possibility Of Playing 'One Drop'


High-stakes poker pro Ola “Odd Oddsen” Amundsgaard is up millions lifetime playing online poker. However, he decided to take a break from playing online over in Norway to enter into some events at the 2014 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He is in the midst of a substantial downswing on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, so the time off was needed.

Amundsgaard has also been working hard to campaign for favorable poker legislation in Norway. The game isn’t fully legal in the eyes of the law in his home country, thanks to some not viewing the game as one that requires an abundance of skill. Amundsgaard’s dominance at the virtual tables over the years is slowly but surely helping politicians realize poker, in the long-run, isn’t a luck-based competition.

Card Player had the chance to speak to the Norwegian during a break in play in this week’s $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship, to talk about the political situation back home, as well as what it’s like to be in Las Vegas and flying under the radar in live games.

Brian Pempus: How are you feeling in this tournament?

Ola Amundsgaard: I feel great. It’s a really fun tournament with a lot of great players. The structure is good. I like it. I think I am pretty good at the big-bet games. The mixed games, I’ve played some online, but I’m not really that good. But I feel if you are good in the big-bet games and can handle the other games in the mix you can go pretty far.

BP: Does it feel good to take a break from playing online poker?

OA: Yeah, playing online takes up a lot of focus and energy. It is good to do some new things and new stuff. Playing live here in Vegas and taking some weeks off from the online grind is really nice. It is business and pleasure combined, I guess.

BP: Have there been any new things with the status of online poker in Norway?

OA: Yes, there are some things happening. There is some sort of legislation where you can play with a capped buy-in. I think it’s under $5,000 in Norwegian krones that you can play with in a home game. And the Norwegian [poker] championships are probably going to be there next year. The rake is a bit high under the government’s rules, but things are happening and going in the right direction. So, I’m really happy.

BP: Now, you have a really big name in the online community. Are you hoping to have a big name in the live poker world as well?

OA: I’m not a really big name here in Vegas. Some players know me. Most know “Odd Oddsen” but they don’t know me. It’s pretty funny. I sat at a Bellagio table when I first got here, playing $50-$100 pot-limit Omaha, and I just heard some people talking about Odd Oddsen, and I was sitting right there. It was really funny. They didn’t know who I was. I go around anonymously here. I really like it.

BP: Can you talk about how your year is going online?

OA: I am swinging a lot. I was up a lot at the start of the year, but I lost a lot now in June. I think I lost $700,000 just in June. I am a bit up for the year, but June has been a bump in the road. It’s good to take a small break. The online games have been pretty dry lately, so it is good timing too.

BP: Any thoughts of playing the $1 million buy-in?

OA: If I bink the [Players Championship] I might consider it. But the thing is in Norway, the tax…I couldn’t sell any action. You get deducted 30 percent from winnings here. People won’t buy a piece of you if they have to pay 30 percent of their winnings. I probably wouldn’t play One Drop anyways, unless I managed to sell 95 percent or more of myself. But no one wants to buy when you get deducted 30 percent. It’s not attractive. It’s really stupid, I hate it.



over 7 years ago

Tax is an obligation to pay in any countries. But you can deduct 30% withholding here in US when you file your income tax in your country.