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Card Player Europe Profile: Annette Obrestad

Obrestad Discusses Her Live Success, Her Mistakes, And How Her Game Has Improved

Obrestad Talks About Her Recent Live Success, What Mistakes She's Made, and How Her Game Has Improved

Annette ObrestadAnnette Obrestad is a Norwegian teenager who burst onto the poker scene, as Annette_15, with her formidable online play. Recently, she began to play live events, and it has worked out well; she won the first World Series of Poker Europe main event and earned $2 million. Less than a month later, she came in second in the European Poker Tour Dublin main event.

Lizzy Harrison: You are known for your online play, but last fall you had some incredible live results. What was it like to enter the final table of the European Poker Tour event in Dublin as the chip leader so soon after your World Series of Poker Europe win in London?

Annette Obrestad: It felt great! I was running extremely well in that tournament before the final table, and I was feeling good about my game. So, I liked my chances going into the final table, and I was aiming for nothing but first place. This is because I really wanted to prove to everyone that I could pull off another big win.

LH: What is the best way to play a big stack at a final table?

AO: I think that it depends on your situation. Some players really need the money. Those players should just play tight and hope to climb up the ladder so that they can get the most money possible just by being patient. Personally, I like to take control and show them who is in charge by playing aggressively. I like to let people know that they are going to have to be willing to risk a lot of chips if they want to get involved in a pot with me. It is, of course, a high-variance style, and it will sometimes backfire. When it does, you can end up losing all of your chips and busting out in ninth place. But that is something that will happen from time to time if you are playing to win. You will get more top-three finishes by playing this way than you will if you are just folding and waiting for people to bust.

LH: How did you use your stack to eliminate as many players as you did?

AO: My loose image really helped me because people began taking stands against me with hands they probably would not have taken stands with against the other players at the table. At this final table, I was lucky enough to actually have a hand in the spots when they moved in on me.

LH: Were you confident of victory going into heads-up play?

AO: I liked my chances of winning going in to the final table, that’s for sure. But I also know how quick things can turn, so I was prepared for the worst.

LH: You gave a lot of chips to Reuben Peters during a hand that you later said you should not have played. Can you tell me about it?

AO: Peters raised preflop, I reraised to about $150,000 with A-10, and he called. The flop came K-Q-X. I counted out a bet of what I thought was $220,000. It turned out that I had bet 420,000 because I had totally miscalculated the value of the chips! Peters shoved on me and I had to fold. That hand put me on tilt a little because I made a mistake, and that gave him a lot more chips than he should have had.

LH: Were there any other flaws in your game at the final table?

AO: Not until I got heads up with Peters. I think I played my best game the entire final table. I did get lucky in a pot or two, but it was because the other player let me get lucky, not because I chased and sucked out.

LH: If you could go back and make a change to your game, as a whole, at that final table, what would it be?

AO: If anything, I would only change my heads-up play. I know I made mistakes there that I usually do not make. I will probably never forgive myself for trying to force things the way I did, because I know I could have slowly chipped him down.

LH: Did you learn anything in Dublin that will help you improve your game in the future?

AO: Yes, definitely. I think I went after the right players at the right times, and I timed my bluffs well. It was also a great experience, not to mention a challenge, playing against Andy Black. Black is good player, and I respect him. It was too bad that he blew up before the final table. I think it would have been really interesting if he had stuck around for a little longer.

LH: You keep showing up at final tables, is there one aspect of your game that helps you to succeed at the highest levels?

AO: Aggression. Most online players know how to deal with loose-aggressive opponents by now because aggression is so common there. But the average live player plays a lot tighter and they are not used to crazy players raising a lot. Live players tend to back off instead of playing back at you, which is what they should do. We will see how long it lasts, though. I will definitely take advantage of it while I still can. To succeed, you also have to be willing to take some risks and not be afraid to bust out of a tournament. No guts, no glory.

LH: What is your biggest poker-related goal for your future?

AO: My goal is just to continue to play well. I want to study the game, even more than I have, so I can get better. Also, I hope to live up to Betfair's expectations; I want to do what I can to please them. I am also extremely hungry for an EPT title. I went to the Bahamas for the EPT tournament there [PokerStars Caribbean Adventure]. I will also be at the Aussie Millions.

LH: Anything else going on with you?

AO: I actually have my own tournament on twice a week; there is a bounty on me! The tournament is on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. UK time, and it has a $200 buy-in and a $20,000-guaranteed prize pool. Also, please visit my blog at


Tags: europe