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Exclusive interview with Annette Obrestad

We bring you exclusive interview with Annette Obrestad. This Norwegian poker player became famous under nickname Annette_15 in online games and just recently is starting to dominate in live games, too. She is winner of this year's WSOPE MAIN EVENT in London, where she has earned solid 1.000.000 £. Annette answered to our questions within one hour and presented like very nice person.

Hello Annette, first of all I would like to congratulate you on your victory at WSOPE. You have been my favorite since the beginning and it is a pity I was not able to bet anywhere that you will win. Now to the questions....

Thank you! :)

I know you will take part at Main Event of EPT in Prague. Will you also play in any side games or just at the Main Event?

It depends. I'm not much of a cashgame player except of some omaha from time to time. I will also be busy doing lot of interviews before, after and during play lol. Hopefully I'll get in the 1k or the 2k side events if I bust early at the main event. Not planning on busting but we'll see ;)

Many people believe you are really a TOP player, some of them think you are No. 1 - what do you think about it? Do you think there is still some space for your improvement?

It means a lot to me that I have ppls respect. Makes me more confident in my game. Its absolutely amazing to be considered one of the very top players at 19. I take the game very seriously and do whatever I can to improve. I know I still have a lot to learn like everyone else and I'll never get to the point where I know it all. Poker is such a complex game with so many different scenarios and situations. Nobody plays perfect poker, and thats just the way it is. Just gotta try to make less mistakes than ur opponent and it'll pay off in the long run. 

It is well-known that you have never invested a single penny into poker and you have gained everything through freerolls.

Could you please describe your first steps in poker and in which way and period you have mastered each limits?

Its been 3 years now since I started playing so I dont remember everything in detail, but I played low limit sng's with the $9 i won untill I could afford to move up. I was always careful with my bankroll because I didnt wanna lose what I had won and have to start from scratch again. I gradully built my bankroll and started playing more MTTs when I got tired of Sng's. I've always been a winning player so it was never a problem for me to move up.

Tell me how hard it was to move from online to live poker. I´ve heard somewhere it took you one month to remove your tells and stop being readable for your opponents.

Hmmm I struggled some in the beginning when I played my first live tournaments because I just wasnt comfortable playing my game like I do online. I'm very aggressive so it involves a lot of bluffing which I found quite diffecult live because I was afraid that ppl could read me and I just started playing really tight instead. I think what helped me the most was when I travelled to Turning Stone, NY. Its a 18+ casino in the states. They ran a week of tourneys with different buy ins every day. I decided to just literally don't give a damm and just try to play my game. Get a stack early and not be afraid to run big bluffs. It helped me tremendously because not only did I get to practise for less money, but I also noticed that I was getting away with more than I should and that ppl were really having a hard to reading me. So after that I've been playing pretty much the same style in most of the live tourneys I've been in, but always being more aware of what image i give off and what I do when I'm involved in hands to make sure ppl cant pick up any tells.

Have you ever met any player you were not able to read or who dominated you, I mean long-term. Is there a player you are afraid of?

I dont think so actually. I havent played enough live to know the players very well. I have of course been outplayed by several opponents, but I dont know if they were bluffing or just had a hand.  Its always tough to play against good aggressive players. I was having a really hard time vs John Tabatabai in London, the runner up. He played great poker and I respect his game a lot.

You are very young and you mostly meet only men at poker tables. Has it ever happen to you that you met a guy who was so likable that it influenced your game, that you have been playing less aggressive against him, or even more aggressive? :-)

Hahahah thats such an awesome question. Actually. I think its more the other way around. That some guys might let me off the hook easier, or show me more respect than they should, letting me get away with bluffs and stuff. On my part its no mercy in poker. I dont care if its the sexiest guy Ive ever seen sitting across from me. I just want his chips :), whatever happens after we leave the table is another story lol :)

Do you have any plans about your home town after you are 21? I mean, do you consider moving from Norway to Las Vegas?

Yeah, I'm definitely moving. Dont know where, but gotta get away from the 28 % taxes :/

Do you have any other hobbies and do you have time for them?

Its been so busy the last years that all I've had time to to is play poker.

Is Texas Holdem your favorive game or do you train and improve in other poker games? I mean, do you play tournaments like H.O.R.S.E.?

NLH tourneys is my best game by far, but I've been playing a lot of PLO also lately which I think I'm getting pretty good at. Not a big fan of limit games in general, but I will definately try to get better at em before I play the WSOP HORSE events.

Is it possible to meet you at Betfair tables and play against you? Do you play only tournaments in here or also cash games?

Yes, you can play with me every Tuesday and Friday in my special 'Annette tourney'. Its a $200 buy in with a bounty on me into a $320 tourney. I also play some omaha there as well as other tourneys.

Do you have any poker idol? Have you studied his game?  In fact, how did you improve your game, just by playing?

No I dont. I've mainly just learned by playing and getting experience. I talk a lot of poker with friends and disciss strategies, hands etc whenever I can, but I dont have a  special player that I look up to. There are a lot of players I respect tho.

What does your family think about you being poker star and celebrity? Has anyone followed your poker path closely with you?

They love it! And they're following every live tourney on the internet for updates :)

What would you suggest to beginning players so they could achieve at least part of your accomplishments? What is the most important thing?

Start at the bottom. Dont expect to be a winning player right off the bat. Its hard work and u have to be willing to put in a lot of hours if u wanna be successful. Also, dont give up if ur going through a tough time. Things will eventually turn. Its a game of skill with luck involved, so the best players wont always win. Also, read up on how to manage ur bankroll. Find articles online, read books, sign up for trainingsites online and PLAY a lot.

Thank you very much for your time and wish you best luck at ETP Prague and at other tournaments. We will be following your poker story very closely at Pokerman.czWe would like to thank for help with this interview.

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28.11.2007 | Autor: Jaroslav Vajgl

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