In surprising news surfacing on Saturday, Norwegian sensation Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad signed on to become the newest member of Full Tilt Poker‘s team of Red Pros. Obrestad joins a talented stable of Red Pros that includes female players Cyndy Violette, Amanda “Mandy B” Baker, Svetlana Gromenkova, Esther Rossi, and Beth Shak. The 21 year-old Obrestad will be hosting the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) XVI Main Event on Sunday, May 2nd.
Obrestad signed with online poker site Betfair during her World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe run in 2007 and had been a sponsored team pro of the site ever since. Full Tilt was reportedly involved in the Obrestad sweepstakes during that time, hoping to sign the rising tournament star, but she ultimately chose Betfair. On Friday, Obrestad hinted at a “big announcement” on her Twitter account, leaving many to wonder whether she would be switching over to a major online poker site.
Obrestad’s rise to fame began when she was still under the legal age to play online poker. She began her career grinding freerolls and eventually built her bankroll large enough to not only play the highest stakes online, but also crush them. Obrestad has more than $2 million in online tournament earnings, including nearly $700,000 on Full Tilt, where she has wins in the $1K Monday and Sunday Mulligan.
In addition to her online success, Obrestad has collected $2.7 million in live tournament earnings during her young career. She became the youngest bracelet winner ever in 2007 by winning the inaugural WSOP Europe Main Event the day before her 19th birthday. The $2.1 million prize edged the record for a single-event payout to a female player, set previously by UB.com’s Annie Duke, who won $2 million at the 2004 WSOP Tournament of Champions. Obrestad also has a second-place finish at the 2007 EPT Dublin stop for more than $425,000.
In an exclusive interview with Poker News Daily on Saturday, Obrestad commented, “I am very excited about joining Full Tilt Poker. It’s been my favorite poker rooms for years and I’m proud to be part of such a great group of players.”
Obrestad will be donning her new Full Tilt Poker gear when she arrives in Las Vegas for the 2010 WSOP. The youngster has spent time in Sin City during the Series over the past couple of years, but finally gets her chance to compete for a stateside bracelet in 2010.
“You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for the World Series of Poker,” Obrestad said in an interview with Full Tilt Poker earlier this week. “Well, pretty much three years. And I’ve been in Vegas every year watching my friends play, hearing about how bad the players are. It was terrible!”
When asked which events she plans to play, Obrestad confessed that she hadn’t even looked at the schedule yet. “I should probably do that,” she joked. “Most of the No Limit Hold’em and PLO events; maybe a few of the smaller HORSE events, but I suck at those.”
Obrestad also intends to participate in the Ladies’ event on June 11th: “I have nothing against the Ladies event. I guess it’s kind of like saying, ‘Women suck at poker,’ but I guess that’s true for the most part. I’m not saying everyone sucks because there are certainly girls who know how to play. In general, I just feel like they are weaker. Maybe they don’t play enough… maybe they’re not aggressive enough. I don’t know. But yeah, I’ll play it. Why not?
Poker News Daily will be bringing you all of the 2010 WSOP action from Las Vegas when the series kicks off on May 28. Stay tuned!