2021 World Series of Poker

Five of the Best Norwegian Poker Players

Ola Amundsgaard, Thor Hansen, Johnny Lodden, Felix Stephensen and Preben Stokkan

Thursday, May 17th is the Norwegian Constitution Day, a day spent celebrating Norway gaining its independence. So what better way to pay homage to this historic day than by looking at five of Norway's elite poker players?

Ola “Odd_Oddsen” Amundsgaard

Ola Amundsgard
Ola Amundsgard

Ola Amundsgaard, better-known as “Odd_Oddsen” in online poker circles, is a high stakes cash game player who started his career playing no-limit hold’em but is now a pot-limit Omaha specialist.

Amundsgaard had a breakout year in 2012 when he played millions of hands of PLO against the world’s best players. The popular grinder achieved Supernova Elite status at PokerStars after logging some incredible volume at the site.

High Stakes Database has tracked Amundsgaard’s winnings since 2011 and has him at $1,733,612 in profit at PokerStars and an additional $2,127,695 in profit at Full Tilt.

He also did his part to help keep poker legal in Norway by challenging any member of parliament to a $170,000 freeroll over 10,000 hands of PLO to prove poker was not a game of luck. Erlend Wibord of the Progress Party took up Amundsgaard’s offer only to quit after 1,056 hands, during which time he had lost 2,666 big blinds to Amundsgaard.

Thor Hansen

Thor Hansen
Thor Hansen

Thor Hansen is a legitimate poker legend. Born in 1947, Hansen has cashes on his Hendon Mob page dating back to 1987. Hansen’s total winnings weigh in at $2,949,644 and he is third on Norway’s all-time money listings.

Hansen is a regular figure at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas where he has cashed an impressive 55 times for combined scores of $1,215,493. He has two WSOP bracelets to his name having won the $5,000 Limit Seven Card Stud in 1988 and the $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball in 2002.

The Norwegian legend’s volume has dropped considerably as he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012. Hansen is still seen playing live poker though, and even made it into the money of the 2018 Norwegian Open in Dublin in March 2018. Long may he play this crazy game.

Johnny Lodden

Johnny Lodden
Johnny Lodden

With $2,833,374 in live poker tournament winnings, Johnny Lodden is fourth on the Norwegian all-time money listings.

The former Team PokerStars Pro, now part of the partypoker stable, was a familiar face on the European Poker Tour and was arguably the best player to have not won an EPT Main Event.

Lodden has cashed in more than 20 EPT Main Events, has cashed in 13 different countries and has reached the money in five WSOP events. That last figure would surely be much higher if Norway were not heavily taxed on their winnings, which dissuades players from grinding the WSOP.

Before switching to tournament poker, Lodden was one of the original nosebleed cash game players. He is thought to be the player behind the alias “bad_ip” who used to crush games on the Prima network and is thought to have won millions from untracked cash games and tournaments online.

Felix Stephensen

Felix Stephensen
Felix Stephensen

It would be wrong to compile a list of the top Norwegian poker players without including the man at the top of the all-time money listings, Felix Stephensen. Now living in the United Kingdom, Stephensen shot to fame when he finished as runner-up to Martin Jacobson in the 2014 WSOP Main Event, a result worth $5,147,911.

Stephensen has since won an Aussie Millions ring in 2018 and has added more than $700,000 to his live poker tournament winnings. He is no slouch in the online arena, either. Known as “FallAtYourFeet,” Stephensen has been seen playing pot-limit Omaha cash games with blinds up to $25/$50 and occasionally as high as $200/$400.

Preben Stokkan

Preben Stokkan
Preben Stokkan

Preben “prebzzz” Stokkan is currently the number one ranked Norwegian live poker tournament player according to the Global Poker Index, a position he has obtained thanks to some excellent results over the past couple of years.

Stokkan won $275,856 in 2016 and $804,533 in 2017, including victories in the Norwegian Championships in Oslo in November 2016 for $172,896 and a career-best haul of $275,000 after winning the $10,300 MILLIONS High Roller at the 2017 partypoker Caribbean Poker Party in Punta Cana.

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