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In 2007 Annette Obrestad won a 180-person online poker tournament without looking at her cards a single time. Obrestad, then just 18 years old, covered the portion of her computer screen that showed her hole cards with a piece of paper and proceeded to crush her way to victory playing aggressive, position-based poker. Obrestad has since won the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for £1 million but says more people know her from winning a $4 online tournament blind than being a WSOP champion. In the latest episode of PokerListings.com's new series “Best Poker Moments”, Obrestad reflects on what it was like winning that tournament blind and the reaction she got from poker players and fans. In addition to being an amazing feat, her accomplishment also stands as compelling evidence for poker being a predominantly skill-based game. Listen to Annette Obrestad talk about her best poker moment and keep your eye out for new episodes coming to PokerListings.com soon.
I was playing online poker on a Sunday. This is like way back in the days. . . I want to say 6 years ago, and I decided to just fire up a 4 dollar sit-and-go and put some paper on my screen so I couldn't see my cards and just play it. And at first, it was kind of weird because it was so different to not be able to have any other reason for bet-sizing and how people had played before. The more I played, the more I realized that, you know, you don't always need to see your cards to be able to pick up on stuff. I went really deep in this tournament and I got to the final table, and I'm like, "Oh my god, I might win this by playing it blind. How sick is that?" So I really tried to play my best poker and I ended up winning it and I'm like, "Oh my god, I need to post this to a forum, because who does this?"
Basically what it comes down to is that poker is a game of reading people and the more you play, the more you understand how the betting patterns work and how people think, and once you get into people's head, you understand more how they play. That's what you really have to do to become a good player. It's not so much about the cards. Now every time I sit down at a live table, whenever someone starts a sentence with, "Is it true that...?" I'm like, "Oh my God, I know what's coming. You're going to ask me about the blind tournament." Yeah. I actually think that more people recognized me for having won a tournament blind than being a world-series champion and I think that's kind of funny.