The PokerNews Profile: Annette "Annette_15" Obrestad
Every screen name tells a story and Annette_15's is no different. As the legend goes, Annette Obrestad, a petite, dark-eyed teenager from a small coastal town in Norway, began playing poker at age 15. Formerly a competitive bowler, she saw an advertisement for an online poker site while watching the sport on TV, and got curious. Starting out with play-chip tables and freerolls, Obrestad eventually won a $9 tournament entry chip on UltimateBet. She decided to cash in the chip instead, using the money to play $1 sit-n-goes. Obrestad ground that $9 up into the several thousands, exclusively playing low-limit SNGs and the occasional $5 tournament. Through careful study and good bankroll management, she quickly moved up and began focusing on the highest buy-in online tournaments—all without ever making a deposit.
Playing in higher buy-in tournaments, the level of play increased dramatically and Obrestad quickly realized that the 'ABC poker' she had been playing successfully in the low-stakes games wasn't going to cut it against these more seasoned opponents. Adapting to and succeeding at a higher level required Annette to re-examine her game and experiment with a more aggressive style. Whatever it was she did, it worked and she began annihilating online tournaments, taking down multiple first-place wins in the $100 rebuy events on PokerStars. Her biggest win online, though was in the Full Tilt $500,000 guaranteed this past August, which she won for over $117,000.
Fresh off that score, Obrestad traveled to London in September to play the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe. Though Annette still had more than two years to go before she would reach the legal age to play in the U.S., she was free to play live on the European circuit. Entering the £10,000 WSOPE Main Event, Obrestad put on a clinic in aggression and instinctive, read-based poker over the course of the week-long tournament. In the early morning hours of September 17, 2007, only two days shy of her 19th birthday, Obrestad beat John Tabatabai heads-up to win the WSOPE Main Event and £1,000,000. She became the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in history, the youngest WSOP Main Event champion in history, the first-ever female champion of a WSOP Main Event, and the top female money earner at the WSOP… all in one night. Additionally, Annette ended up busting some of poker's most successful women en route to her victory: Annie Duke, Jennifer Harman, and Beth Shak.
Only six weeks after breaking all of those records, Obrestad played the EPT Dublin and made yet another final table. This time, however she would have to settle for second place, taking home nearly €300,000 for her runner-up finish. Her performance in Dublin sent her 2007 live tournament earnings alone up to $2,469,453.
When she's not following the EPT, Annette Obrestad lives in Stavanger, Norway with her mom. She hopes to buy both of them a new house soon with some of her winnings. She's also newly sponsored by Betfair.