Andreas Høivold Forced to Leave Norway for Pro Poker

Andreas Hoivold
Norwegian poker pro Andreas Høivold now calls Las Vegas home.

EPT champion and professional poker player Andreas Høivold has had to leave his home country of Norway because of high taxes and laws forbidding poker.

“It hurts to leave my family and friends in Norway and I would probably still live there if there were somewhat sane taxation rules,” Høivold told PokerListings at the World Series of Poker.

Norwegian poker players are subject to an almost 50 per cent tax on their winnings and run into additional problems with being able to deduct losses.

Add to that the fact that live poker is illegal and it doesn't make for very hospitable conditions to make a living playing poker.

Høivold echoes the sentiments expressed by Norwegian poker legend Johnny Lodden.

“I would like a tax system where you pay less tax on your winnings and where you can tell the authorities that you did not win anything this year so you cannot pay taxes,” Lodden recently told

For Høivold leaving his home was a difficult decision, but a necessary one.

“I will never move back to Norway because I plan to play poker for a long time and you just can't make a living paying such high taxes and not being able to play legally,” he said.

Høivold now lives in Las Vegas but he'll continue paying taxes to Norway for another four years, according to the tax rules for expats.

Andreas Hoivold 2
"I will never move back to Norway."

“It's really hard for me to make money playing these events but I really want a WSOP bracelet and you can't win if you don't play.”

Andreas Høivold to Play PokerListings Battle of Malta

Andreas Høivold is no stranger to big buy-in poker tournaments, but big dollar amounts aren't the only reason he travels to events.

This September Høivold will hit the Mediterranean for the second-annual PokerListings Battle of Malta, a €200k guaranteed tournament with a €550 buy-in that will be hosted by Kara Scott.

With a focus on fun as well as poker the 2013 BOM is going to be as much about the parties, restaurants and socializing as it is about playing cards, and that's something Høivold says he's looking forward to.

“When I go to smaller buy-in tournaments like the Battle of Malta a big part of it is to have fun,” said Høivold. “But I still really want to win.”

And in addition to the poker and parties, Malta has a lot to offer as a vacation destination.

“I also love using poker as a way to visit nice places and I've never been to Malta before,” said Høivold.

“I know the action will be there at the Battle of Malta and the good thing is if you bust it's not a big deal because there will be a lot of fun things to do.”

To get a taste of what BOM is all about check out our event recap video from 2012.

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