Sunday January 12,2014 : NORWEGIAN POKER CHALLENGE STILL ALIVE (Update)
But few takers among politicians.
If you thought that we had seen the last of Norwegian poker pro Ola Odd_Oddsen Amundsgard and his million-kronor, $170,000 challenge to his nation's politicians to beat him in a poker series in order to demonstrate the role of skill in the game, think again.
Amundsgard reminded the publication NutBlocker this week that the challenge remains alive until May this year despite his rapid and convincing inaugural victory over Norwegian Progress Party politician Erlen Wiborg in 2013
However, it appears that challengers from Norway's political establishment are few and far between thus far, with only one potential contestant considering having a go.
Amundsgard wants to use his challenge to publicise the need to recognise poker as a game primarily of skill rather than chance, and so far he has certainly managed to command the mainstream press headlines, especially in Nordic countries.
This week he repeated his challenge in PokerNews, saying: "I would like to challenge all members of the Norwegian parliament to play a Heads-Up freeroll of 10,000 hands, where the prize money is one million Norwegian kroner, paid from my own pocket, should any of the politicians beat me.”
“I make this offer to demonstrate that poker isn’t merely a game of luck (which is the status of the game according to the current legalization in Norway), but a mind sport based on skill, like chess and bridge.”
Politicians who accept the challenge will have to play 10,000 hands of Pot Limit Omaha (or until they are busted) and commit to a minimum of 20 hours a month of poker.
As Erland discovered in his clash with Amundsgard, playing a pro and having to focus for relatively long periods on often fast moving action and decisions can be an intensely tiring exercise.
It took Amundsgard just 1,056 hands to dispatch him, and the experience left the politician exhausted whilst the poker pro was just getting warmed up!