In 2014, Norway's Ministry of Culture issued a recommendation asking to allow poker home games, small poker tournaments, and a national poker event inside the country. At the time, many speculated that the Norwegian Poker Championships, which had been held on foreign soil since 2008, would finally return home. It's taken more than a year, but indeed the prestigious event is headed back to where it all began.
Global Poker Tours Ltd, an Amaya Inc. company, have announced the first-ever legal live poker event to be held in Norway with the return of the 2015 Norwegian Championships, which will host five regional championships around the country before embarking on the nation’s capital, Oslo, for the Championship Main Event.
Organizers are expecting a turnout of approximately 2,000 players, which was evidenced after more than 100 players registered for the event on the first day of pre-registrations. To put that in perspective, the last iteration of the Norwegian Championships, which took place in Dublin, had 1,274 players.
"It’s been a long time coming, and I’m incredibly excited to finally play a major poker tournament on home soil," said Johnny Lodden, one of the most successful and respected Norwegian poker players of all time. "No matter what sport you play, there’s always something extra special about competing at home, and this is no exception."
Ola “Odd Oddsen” Amundsgard, who famously played Norwegian politician Erlend Wiborg heads-up over 10,000 hands to help put poker regulation in the national spotlight, echoed those sentiments to PokerNews.
"I'm super happy that we finally can play the fantastic game we all love — poker, legally in Norway," said Amundsgard. "Even though there are still some restrictions and a ways to go to get it fully legalized, this is a big step in the right direction. It's been a bit weird playing the national championship out of the country, it should be played on home soil. I want to give a shoutout to Sigurd Eskeland and Frode 'Fropsy' Fagerli for the amazing job they have been doing for poker in Norway."
Here's a look at the 2015 Norwegian Championships schedule:
|Østlands Championships||Oslo||October 10-11|
|Sørland Championships||Kristiansand||October 17-18|
|North Championships||Bodø||October 24-25|
|Central Championships||Trondheim||October 31 - November 1|
|Western Championships||Bergen||November 7-8|
|Norwegian Championships||Oslo||November 18-24|
The buy-in for each of the five Regional Championships is 1,500 NOK (approximately USD $180), and these events will act as satellites to the Championship Main Event in Oslo. No cash prizes will be awarded.
The Championship Main Event will feature three scheduled tournaments, highlighted by the 5,000 NOK (approximately USD $600) buy-in Main Event.
Norwegian charity Blodkreftforeningen, which translates to The Leukemia Foundation, specialize in leukemia and bone marrow cancer research, and are the official charity partner of the Norwegian Championships. 5% of all buy-ins from the Regional and Norwegian Championships will be donated to the cause.