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Ready to Kick Some Butt - Annette Obrestad
Annette Obrestad is barely 19 years old. But having started her online poker career at just 15 by freerolling her way into a bankroll big enough to compete with the best in the world, she already talks, acts and plays like a veteran poker player.
She took the world by storm shortly after her transition to live play, winning the Main Event at the World Series of Poker Europe, and has been tearing up the EPT ever since. She sat down with PL.com during the dinner break on Day 1b of the 2008 PokerStars EPT German Open, where she'd started building a stack to make a run at her first EPT win.
How's the EPT German Open going for you so far Annette?
Pretty good; I have like 20 grand.
How did you get there? A lot of aggressive play I imagine...
A lot of small pots. I really haven't had anything. I flopped a set against one guy and made a big bet on the river but he didn't call me. I don't think I've had a hand go to showdown yet.
I saw one hand early where you had aces and picked up the pot pre-flop?
Ya, I did. I couldn't get anything with them.
You would think with your uber-aggressive reputation you might get a little action raising with anything?
Not that early - people like to fold early. I don't really want action with aces to be honest because they are so hard to play post-flop. What do I do if he calls and the flop is like 6-6-8 and I bet out and he raises. What do I do? I really can't continue with the hand.
I suppose you don't want to bust out with aces in the first few levels?
No, not in a re-raised pot.
Speaking about that hyper-aggressive reputation you've managed to cultivate for yourself, are you at the point now where you are switching things up a little, playing a little tighter, because everyone figures you for such a loose cannon?
It depends who I'm playing against really. If I'm playing against really aggressive opponents I tend to tighten up a little bit because I know they are going to be like four-betting me if I re-raise them. I just don't want to get too involved in that if I don't have to.
The win at the WSOPE really thrust you into the public spotlight. I know people online knew who you were, but has it been a difficult transition going from a somewhat private existence to a really public one?
I guess a lot of people really knew who I was before I won the World Series because of what I had done online. It really hasn't changed that much, although I suppose more people recognize me now than they did before, but I'm getting used to that.
You're sitting right beside Daniel Negreanu's table. It must be interesting to see the throngs of media and railbirds surrounding him and wonder how you might handle that kind of attention should it one day come your way?
I know if I would be watching anyone in that room it would be Daniel. He's such a good player and one of the only ones I would want to learn how to play from.
You got your start online but have transitioned to live play since becoming old enough to attend a lot of these EPT events around Europe. Are you still playing a lot online?
It's so hard to play a lot online when you are traveling, especially around Europe because of the time difference. If I want to play an online tournament I have to start at like 8 o'clock at night and I can't do that if I have a live event. But I play when I'm at home and whenever I can [otherwise].
So what does the immediate future hold for you now?
Just playing a bunch of live events - I'll just play whatever I can until I turn 21 and then kick ass in Vegas.
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Annette's not short on confidence, nor is she short on poker skill. By the end of Day 1b in Germany she was sitting on almost $60k in chips and looking to make a deep run in the EPT German Open. She may be a few years from being ready for Las Vegas, but it's not clear if Las Vegas will ever be ready for her.