Annette Obrestad was 18 years old when she won the biggest Hold’em tournament in the history of Europe: on September 17, 2007 at the official age of 18 years and 364 days, the teenage girl from Norway took home the £1,000,000 (a shade over $2,000,000 USD) first prize for the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe $10,000 Buy-In Main Event. It not only marked the youngest victor in World Series of Poker history, but the £1,000,000 first prize also represented the largest victory for any female player in any recorded live poker tournament.
Annette Obrestad began her poker career at the age of 15 under the screen name “Annette_15.” She never deposited any real money into her account, but in the style of “Jesus” Ferguson she won her first bit of cash through a freeroll tournament. Within two years she would have built up her bankroll sufficiently enough to begin regularly buying into $100+ rebuy tournaments, and in a period of one year – culminating in her World Series victory – Annette made approximately $1,000,000 alone through victories in tournaments on PokerStars, Ultimate Bet and Full Tilt Poker. After accounting for her World Series win, Annette amassed more than 30 first and second place finishes and countless other cashes for a total of about $3,000,000 between her September 18th 2006 and September 18th 2007 birthdays. While a number of prominent poker pros began their careers at tender illegal ages as well, Annette’s meteoric teenage rise has begun to draw comparisons to the legendary Stu Ungar.
Before becoming a world champion, Annette addressed any questions concerning her considerable talent by winning an online tournament in the dark. In July of 2007, Annette Obrestad won a 180 person NL Hold’em tournament without ever looking at her cards.
She is not even 20 and is already a terrifying player and one of the most talented I have ever seen. In 5 to 10 years holy crap! I don’t ever want her on my left again because I will get outplayed. That I know for sure –
Those were the words of Annie Duke following her first experience playing with Obrestad in the 2007 World Series of Poker Europe. Annette will turn 21 on September 18, 2009 making her eligible to begin her US World Series of Poker career in the summer of 2010 edition. At 19 years old, she is already the highest-earning Norwegian poker player of all time.
Click here for Annette Obrestad’s interview with Poker News Daily.