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Today in the 3-Bet we find 1,000 poker-playing Norwegians fleeing en masse to Ireland, a new contender for the next, great young female pro and a case for dropping out of college and playing poker.
1) 1,000 Norwegians Driven to Ireland to Play Poker
Despite being home to some of the greatest poker players in the world (see Johnny Lodden, Annette Obrestad), Norway is still one of the few places in Europe where live poker is illegal.
So when it comes time to play the Norwegian championship, 1,000 or so poker diehards have to leave en masse to compete for their own national title.
England, Sweden and Latvia have played host before but this year the Norwegians have descended on the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, Ireland for the week-long championship series.
With buy-ins rom €300 to €2,000, the exclusively Norwegian field has settled in for a week-long run of tournaments and side games to claim their highest national honor.
The legal climate for poker in Ireland isn’t exactly clear either as casinos are technically illegal but about 50 venues offer casino-type games including poker but are run as private members’ clubs.
More from the Irish Times here.
2) Veronika Pavlikova: The New Annette_15?
Speaking of Obrestad, a new rival for best young female player in Europe might be emerging with the first big win for Czech teenager Veronika Pavlikova over the weekend.
The 18-year-old from the Czech Republic took down the 2012 France Poker Series Snowfest Evian Main Event for €70,000.
Even more impressivly, Pavlikova beat out a 300-player field that included big-name players Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov and Guillaume Darcourt.
The comparisons to Obrestad flooding in may be a bit preemptive as Annette won a much larger tournament – the World Series of Poker Europe main event – at 18 for €1 million but had already dominated online by the time she was 16.
Pavlikova will have a chance to match Obrestad’s early live exploits at the 2012 WSOPE in Cannes, France in September.
Obrestad’s most famous accomplishment might not even be her WSOPE win either as she also is renowned for winning a 180-player SNG without ever looking at her hole cards:
3) Dropping Out of College to Play Poker: +EV?
Dropping out of college to play poker professionally is, to put it bluntly, a very hit-and-miss proposition.
Some players run well, manage their bankrolls wisely and set themselves up for life. Others make, err, poorer decisions.
For 21-year-old Matt Plecki, featured in a recent article on the USC journalism school's digital news outlet, it was an easy choice:
“School was taking up poker time, which was almost $1,000 a day,” Matt explained. "Why would any intelligent, self-motivated 21-year-old want to spend his days in class instead of making $300 an hour doing something he actually enjoyed?”
With tuition at USC topping $20k for a semester, Plecki dropped out after his junior year and played online before moving to Costa Rica after Black Friday. Still playing and now involved with DraftDay.com with Taylor Caby, Plecki says it’s working as he can get his education and live the lifestyle he wants:
“I still enjoy learning, but schools like Stanford and MIT have free classes online. I signed up for two Stanford classes in entrepreneurship, two in programming, and am able to spend eight hours on some days going through stuff, then taking maybe a week off to golf."
“I also don’t have to study anything not ‘useful,’" Matt continued. "In addition, I’m involved in a handful of other job opportunities and investments in startups, so I wouldn’t ever really need a degree to get to that next step. However, I do miss the social part of school.”
If you're thinking of making the move yourself, read the full piece here.