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Norway Hosts First Legal Poker Championships on Home Soil
For more than a decade, Norwegian poker players have had to travel abroad to compete in their annual Poker Championships.
The event has been held in Sweden, Latvia, England and, lately, in Dublin, Ireland.
Norwegian poker history was written today as the first legal Norwegian Poker Championships on home soil started in Oslo.
“The Norwegian Poker Association has been working the past few years to legalize poker in Norway," says Geir Ove Neset of PokerListings Norway.
"Their hard work and lobbying has finally paid off with the first legal Norwegian Poker Championships in Norway.
"The Norwegian poker community has really been looking forward to this event since it was known it would happen some six months ago.”
Capped at 2,200 Players; Broadcast on National TV
Despite its legal status interest in poker in Norway has always been high.
In March this year 1,274 Norwegians traveled to Dublin to play the championships. The number has even been higher some years.
After a change in government in 2013 the ban against poker tournaments in Norway was lifted – although only to a certain degree, but enough for the championships to come home.
The Norwegians have done everything to make the championships an event to remember.
Already 1,300 players have bought in to the 5,000 kroner ($575) Main Event and the tournament might even challenge Battle of Malta’s record as the biggest standalone tournament in Europe. The tournament is capped at 2,200 players.
The Championships kicked off today at Thon Hotel near Oslo’s main airport Gardermoen with the Pot-Limit Omaha championships. The Main Event starts tomorrow.
Norwegian TV2 will broadcast live from the tables from Day 1A on national TV and Norwegian poker stars such as Johnny Lodden and Thor Hansen will of course be there.
In total three Norwegian champions will be crowned and the final table of the main event will be played out on Tuesday.
5% goes to charity
Since October regional qualifiers with a buy-in of 1.500 kroner have been held in Oslo, Kristiansand, Bodø, Trondheim and Bergen.
More than 1,500 players tried their luck and around 370 players made it through to this week’s championships.
The Norwegian Championships is organized by Global Poker Tours, also the organizer of the European Poker Tour and other PokerStars events, and Norwegian NGO Blodkreftforeningen.
5% of all buy-ins will be donated to Blodkreftforeningen, which helps people with leukemia and does cancer research.
Players at the Norwegian Championships will also be encouraged to donate blood as there is currently a lack of blood donors in Norway.