Annette Obrestad is only 22 years, but she plays like someone who has been shuffling cards and riffling chips for about a century, and before you think that she’s some poker grandma with a lifetime on the baize under her belt check out her fresh innocent looks, she may look like she wouldn’t know pocket rockets from a Big Slick, but don’t let your eyes deceive you. Ms. Obrestad is definitely a name you’ll struggle to pronounce but will easily remember because in the past few years Annette has become one of the big noises on the poker scene and holds the honour of being is the youngest person to ever win a World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) bracelet .
Still just in her (very) early twenties the Norwegian doll already has a World Series of Poker bracelet to adorned her wrist and has clocked up winnings way over of $2.5 million. At the tender age of just 15 Annette put aside childish playthings and picked up the cards. Her first exposure to poker was playing online in freeroll tournaments. This was due to the fact that her mother wouldn’t let Annette use her credit card, and presumably Annette was too honest just to “borrow” it. With the amount she’s won, Annette’s mom must be kicking herself that she missed out of a share of the spoils. During her teenage years Ms Obrestad learned the ropes, collected a few tricks and amassed a tidy bank roll before heading off to try her hand at live poker tournaments, and was soon a frequently seen face at the top of tournament scoreboards, turning heads for her youth as well as her skill, not to mention the fact that she went and won plenty of $100 buy-in events. Then when she was still just 18 Annette became the youngest ever winner of a WSOP bracelet when she won the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, in 2007. Any pedants out there who have been following Ms. Obrestad will be well aware that she was only just still 18 (turning 19the following day in fact) but that hardly takes the shine off her achievement, unless you know of a younger WSOP winner. Plus Annette has also collected the highest single payout to a female poker player.
This was all before she hit the magic age of 21, the age at which the fabulous world of Las Vegas poker would open up to her, and she bided her time and polished her moves, playing online tournaments and beating table after table, which included the young lady taking first place in the Ultimate Bet 100k GTD tournament. Legend has it that in one particular tournament she played blind when she covered her cards on the screen for the duration of the event, and just based her bets on the other players’ behaviour and bets. She admits that she did peek a look at her cards just once during the tournament, when she was faced with an all-in bet. She did that because she thinks “it’s important to play position and to pay attention to the players at the table.” The story goes that in the poker tournament she beat all 180 opponents and finished in 1st place.
After turning 21 Annette is allowed to compete in the World Series of Poker, having previously been unable to before then due to the (silly) gaming laws of Nevada which state that players must be at least 21. Since going legal, her total live tournament winnings exceed $3,075,000, much of which, $1,960,000, is accounted for from her only WSOPE cash. This girl-woman is a stone cold eight cylinder phenomenon, and you should never underestimate her ability to toss a card.