Early in the evening of Friday, April 30th, Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad made a mysterious post on her Twitter account, saying, “Big announcement tomorrow :)”. Fortunately for all her fans and fellow poker players, she didn’t leave everyone guessing for very long. The next day, she announced that she had officially become a “red pro” at Full Tilt Poker.
Obrestad had been with Betfair since 2007 and her defection must be disappointing for the Europe-facing site. It is a double-whammy of sorts for Betfair, as another of its pros, Sorel “Imper1um” Mizzi, left for Titan Poker of the iPoker Network last week. On top of all that, Obrestad took the live tournament circuit by storm by winning the first World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event in 2007, when she was just 18 years old, and guess who was the primary sponsor of the WSOPE? That’s right, Betfair.
Her signing with Full Tilt came just in time for the FTOPS XVI $600 + $40 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, which took place over the weekend. The host for the event had been listed as “TBA” for the longest time, but once the signing was announced, Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad appeared on the schedule as the Main Event’s new host. Coincidental timing? We think not.
Obrestad got her start playing online freerolls as a teenager, eventually winning $9 in a tournament and building her bankroll from there. Before you knew it, this young girl was making six figure cashes in online tournaments, including $117,000 in Full Tilt’s $500,000 guaranteed. By the time she was able to play in the WSOPE at age 18, she was already a feared player. Then she made history, becoming the youngest bracelet winner of all time and the first woman to win a WSOP Main Event, as well as scoring the largest prize ($2.1 million) by a woman in poker history. The following month, the Norwegian placed second in the European Poker Tour Dublin Main Event. This year, she both won the $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event and made the final table at the Main Event at the Aussie Millions. At just 21 years of age, Annette Obrestad has already won more than $3 million in worldwide live tournaments.
Now that she has finally turned 21, she can play poker in United States casinos. Of course, this means that this summer will be her first appearance at the tables of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. In an interview with Full Tilt Poker after her red pro status was announced, Obrestad said of the anticipation, “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting. Well, pretty much 3 years. And I’ve been in Vegas every year watching my friends play, hearing about how bad the players are. It was terrible!”
She added that while she hasn’t examined the schedule yet, she plans to play most of the No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha events and some smaller HORSE events, although those are not her strong suit.
She has also said that she intends to attempt a repeat of the “no-peeking” tournament win that has become part of her growing legend. In 2007, she played in a $4, 180-person Sit-and-Go on PokerStars with a Post-It Note covering her hole cards. Going on just bet sizes and player reads, she won the tournament while never seeing her own cards. The next attempt will actually be in a live tournament at the Bluff Europe Poker Academy at the Victoria Casino in London on Saturday, May 8th.

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