Annette Obrestad is poker’s new kid on the block and we found out how she did it

2007 WSOPE champion Annette Obrestad has since proven herself to be a true female poker icon

The highlight of Annette Obrestad’s career up to this point is undeniably her impressive win in the WSOPE 2007 main event when she was just 18. The victory gave her a raft of new records: she became the first ever woman to win a WSOP main event, the youngest ever recipient of a bracelet and received the single largest payout for a woman in history ($2.01m). However, to define her by one live event would be doing her a serious injustice.

To understand why Obrestad is such an iconic figure, you need to go back to her roots. Unlike our other three icons, Obrestad is one of the new generation of poker players. The Norwegian Wunderkind notoriously opened an online account when she was 15 (hence her online handle, ‘Annette15’). She learned her craft multi-tabling in front of a computer and hammered out new ultra-aggressive concepts with her fellow online peers.

New Kid On The Block

She built her bankroll from freerolls and between September 2006 and September 2007, accumulated an amazing set of online results, finishing 1st or 2nd in twenty rebuy tournaments on PokerStars. Unsurprisingly, she topped the PokerStars leaderboard in February 2007 and posted winnings of $500k from that one site alone.

Obrestad would have established an online following simply based on the fact she was a young successful female player – but what really enamoured her to the community was her flair at the table. She was even more aggressive than her male counterparts but anyone who watched her play could see that she was rarely reckless and always calculating.

Her innate understanding of the game was proved beyond doubt during a ‘stunt’ she played in July 2007, just a few months before her WSOPE victory. She won a 180-person sit&go but only looked at her cards once and even posted a video of the tournament online. It was a masterclass in taking advantage of position and pouncing on weakness.

Following the WSOPE main event, Obrestad almost immediately won another major tournament, finishing runner-up in EPT Dublin and it seemed that her prodigious online talent would directly translate to live play. However, she struggled to string anything together in 2008, and had to fall back on major online tournaments to keep things ticking over. She beat 20,000 players to win the PokerStars Sunday Hundred Grand and also took down the UltimateBet $100k GTD.

This year, Obrestad has shown that she is a player with a poker maturity far beyond her years. She admitted that she has been too one-dimensional in live tournaments and has made efforts to temper her natural inclinations to run over the table. A 21st place in the Aussie Millions and 13th in the EPT Grand Final demonstrate that her new approach is reaping rewards. Obrestad will finally be old enough to play in the WSOP in 2010 – it’s going to be fascinating to see what she can do.

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