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Johnny Lodden: “Thor Hansen is a Legend in Norway”
There will be a slew of poker-hungry Norwegians at the 2014 Battle of Malta on Nov. 6-9 including heavy hitters Johnny Lodden and Thor Hansen.
Last year around 100 players travelled from Norway to Malta, and based on the number of sold packages and buy-ins the number will double to around 200 this year.
But what is it that draws so many Norwegians to Battle of Malta? According to Johnny Lodden the nice weather is a major reason:
“The cold is starting to arrive in Norway, so Malta in November is enough good reason for me!" said Lodden.
"I will bring my family with me and will see it is a small vacation after the focus on my trial this autumn [Lodden sued the Norwegian tax authorities over some poker losses and won]. And then I can combine it with a bit of poker.”
The fact Norwegians are still unable to hold tournaments in their own country is also a major reason why many of them are happy to travel abroad to play.
“As long as we do not have casinos in Norway and it is illegal to play, many Norwegians will travel abroad to play," he said.
"The Norwegian Championships has attracted a couple of thousand players to Dublin, and I think it is also the combination of having a fun trip with friends and enjoying your hobby at the same time what draws people.”
Lodden, Hansen Attending 2014 Battle of Malta
Another poker pro at Battle of Malta will be none other than the Godfather of Norwegian poker, Thor Hansen.
He has received a special invite for Battle of Malta to receive a PokerListings Spirit of Poker Award in the Living Legend category.
Johnny Lodden is looking forward to see his good friend receive the award.
“This will be a big honour for Thor. He is a legend in Norway and deserves the award. He always takes time to talk to everybody and has a positive outlook.”
Concerning the play at the felt Lodden also has great expectations for Battle of Malta.
“I have had luck lately with two ITMs in London and my ambition is as always to get as far as possible. I expect a very nice atmosphere and numerous players. I am sure it will be a nice tournament. Definitely I will play the Main Event and then the other tourneys will be a bonus.”
Another famous Norwegian pro, Andreas Høivold, will join countrymen Lodden and Hansen at the 2014 Battle of Malta.