5/2/10 – The one-time teenaged online and tournament poker prodigy Annette Obrestad – now 21 years old – has signed up with Full Tilt Poker, the firm has announced.
Best known by her online poker handle "Annette_15", this youthful player is described as “a living legend of online poker” by the internet poker company. Starting from scratch, she has built a huge bankroll and won millions of dollars by dominating her games with a fiercely aggressive style of play.
Born and raised in Stavanger, Norway, Obrestad was originally a student of bowling. While watching a bowling tournament on TV, an ad for an online poker site appeared above one of the lanes, prompting her to sign up.
Starting with zero money in her account, Obrestad played Freeroll tournaments in hope of building a bankroll. Eventually she won a Freeroll for $9, from there playing her way up the levels, starting with $1 Sit & Go tournaments and eventually moving on to larger Full Tilt Poker Multi-Table Tournaments.
With five and six figure tournament scores becoming the rule rather than the exception, Obrestad quickly became one of the most prolific and successful players in online poker history.
Despite her numerous big scores, Obrestad is probably most famous for her play in a $4, 180-player Sit & Go tournament. Wanting to truly test her skills at the table, she challenged herself by playing blind. With the exception of one hand where she was all in, she did not look at her hole cards for the entire tournament – and she won.
In just her fourth live event, she took down the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe Main Event in September 2007. Unfazed by the glitz and glamour of her first major tournament, she stormed through a field of more than 360 world-class players to make history in two ways: she became the youngest bracelet winner, along with claiming the 1st place prize of more than $2 million – the largest score ever by a female player.
Obrestad has also been very successful on the European Poker Tour, finishing 2nd at the 2007 EPT Dublin stop for more than $425 000 and 13th at the 2009 EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo for better than $100 000. More recently, she was seen tearing up the felt Downunder at the 2010 Aussie Millions, winning the AU$1 000 Pot Limit Omaha event and making the final table of the Main Event, and taking home a combined total of over $200 000.
She filmed an episode of the hit poker TV show Poker After Dark, and will be in Vegas this summer for the 2010 World Series of Poker, looking to dominate the action at her first WSOP on American soil.
She has been to Las Vegas twice since her 21st birthday; to participate in Poker After Dark, and on a second visit to play in the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship at the beginning of March. True to form, Obrestad made a deep run in the heads-up event, cashing and coming once match short of the quarter finals.