The young Norwegian online pro rocked the poker status quo in 2007 when she won the inaugural WSOPE Main Event for $2 million.
Just 18 years old at the time, Obrestad represented a dramatic shift for a poker community that had been dominated by males for most of its existence.
Since her historic victory Obrestad has proven many times over she’s no one-hit wonder with significant scores on the EPT, Aussie Millions and WPT to hit $3.7 million in live-tournament earnings.
One of the only places Obrestad has yet to make a big score is the traditional WSOP in Vegas where she’s cashed six times but has yet to make a final table. Looking to change that this year, Obrestad recorded her deepest run ever, finishing eighth in the $3k Heads-Up Hold’em/PLO tournament.
“I’ve already had a better Series than last year,” said Obrestad. “Last year I ran like shit and wasn’t really motivated to play.”
Last year Obrestad failed to record a single cash and admitted she registered late for a number of tournaments.
“It’s just a bad idea,” said the Lock Poker pro. “At least this year I’ve gotten up for most tournaments. I’m having a lot more fun.”
Even outside of the WSOP, it is obvious Obrestad is in her element in Las Vegas. A night owl, Obrestad would live in the city if she could.
“I just love Vegas,” she said. “I’m always excited to come here. All my friends are here. I like that everything is open 24/7. I just have a good time. The poker is a bonus.”
Vegas is a far cry from Obrestad’s small hometown of Sandnes in Norway. Although she’s on the road the majority of the time, Obrestad still returns to Norway in between tournaments.
It’s in Norway that Obrestad still plays most of her online poker. She has won hundreds of thousands of dollars online and continues to find success in that arena despite the dramatically smaller fields since Black Friday last year.
“I haven’t really had a problem,” she said. “It’s definitely more aggressive though. It’s not what it was in 2007. The games have changed. I don’t think that’s all because of Black Friday. It’s just people getting better.”
Best Norwegian Poker Players Found in Underground Games
While in Norway, Obrestad has been known to frequent some of the private games in the area, where some of the best Norwegian poker players hone their craft.
“Johnny Lodden is probably still the best but when I play in the underground games at home there are a ton of really good players that no one knows about,” she said.
Obrestad went on to say it’s unlikely those players will ever make it out to the WSOP as most of them have regular jobs but the competition is fierce.
“Even I have a tough time in those games,” she said.
With half the 2012 WSOP complete, Obrestad remains hopeful she can still pull off some deep runs in the prestigious poker series.
Unfortunately her favorite tournament – the 4-Max event – is already complete.
“I love that event,” she said. “Usually I’m so bored in tournaments that I’ll play Words with Friends on my phone. I didn’t play a single word for the entire tournament. That’s a good sign.”
Instead Obrestad will have to settle for playing other favorites like the Main Event and the $5k No-Limit Hold’em tournament.
“I take it one day at a time,” she said. “If I don’t want to play I don’t play. That’s pretty much it. I can’t always get myself out of bed for the $1,500 events.”