Annette_15 turns 21 as WSOPE kicks off

Annette Obrestad
Watch out America: Betfair's Annette Obrestad turned 21 today.

Friday marked not just the start of the World Series of Poker Europe presented by Betfair, but a very important day for the event's first and possibly most notable champion.

Norway's Annette Obrestad, the online poker phenom who started playing poker at 15-years-old and won the very first WSOPE Main Event in 2007 at just 18, turned 21 Friday.

"I am so excited you have no idea," she told PokerListings at a party marking the occasion upstairs at the Casino at the Empire in London, while play on Day 1a of the 2009 WSOPE's first event continued downstairs.

"This is the biggest birthday for me by far, because I have so many more opportunities now."

The opportunities waiting for Obrestad lie largely in the United States, where, until now, the Betfair Poker sponsored pro has been unable to ply her trade.

In fact, despite being a World Series of Poker bracelet holder and a legend in the online poker world, she has yet to play in the Las Vegas edition of poker's most storied event.

"Basically I've been waiting for six years for this," she said. "After I turned 18 it was like "God, still another three years," but finally, today is the day."

Obrestad says she will definitely play a full schedule of events at the 2010 WSOP, but that is still more than nine months away.

The World Poker Tour's Festa al Lago at Bellagio in Las Vegas Oct. 20-26 will most likely be her major tournament debut in on American soil.

In the meantime, she plans on playing all four bracelet events at the WSOPE and the inaugural Caesars Cup event, as captain of the European squad taking on a team from the Americas.

"I love London, it's one of my favorite places," she said. "There are so many memories here and all of them are awesome. I can't think of any other place that means as much to me as London does."

PokerListings' comprehensive coverage of the World Series of Poker Europe continues daily from London on our Live Tournaments page.

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