World Team Poker Signs Annette Obrestad for Team Norway

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Full Tilt Poker pro Annette Obrestad will play for Team Norway as part of World Team Poker. The former Betfair pro will join Thor Hansen to represent the Scandinavian country. Team Norway did not compete in the kickoff World Team Poker event, which played out at the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas last month.

Obrestad is one of several females who may take part in the World Team Poker Championship event, which has yet to be announced. Taking to the felts on behalf of Team USA are reigning National Heads-Up Poker Championship winner Annie Duke and fundraiser extraordinaire Jennifer Harman. According to the World Team Poker website, other members of Team USA include 10-time bracelet winner Doyle Brunson, 11-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, Allen Cunningham, Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, and Erik Seidel.

Team Australia includes Women in Poker Hall of Fame member Marsha Waggoner, who will likely take to the felts alongside her teammates from Down Under, 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Player of the Year Jeffrey Lisandro, Tony G, Mel Judah, Billy Argyros, Gary Benson, David Saab, Steve Topakas, and Grant Levy.

Representing her home country of Vietnam is Karina Jett, who recently took down “He Said, She Said” week on NBC’s “Poker After Dark.” Team Vietnam features Poker Hall of Fame nominee Men “The Master” Nguyen, John “The Razor” Phan, Kenny Tran, WSOP Main Event and $50,000 HORSE champ Scotty Nguyen, Van Nguyen, and Tim Phan. That’s a gauntlet of talent.

Also featuring a wealth of poker talent is Team China, whose roster includes recent “Amazing Race” contestant Maria Ho. Her countrymen include former World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship winner David Chiu, back-to-back WSOP Main Event winner Johnny Chan, high-stakes cash game pro Chau Giang, Winfred Yu, Rich Zhu, and Derek Cheung. China took down the inaugural World Team Poker event.

Nancy Todd Tyner, who cashed in Event #3 of the 2010 WSOP, graces the World Team Poker tables on behalf of Team Czech Republic. Also representing the European country are George Kozel and Eric Aude, whose 42nd place put him right behind Tyner on the leaderboard in Event #3 last week.

Rounding out World Team Poker’s female clientele is “American Pie” actress Shannon Elizabeth, who plays under the Lebanese flag. Elizabeth’s claim to fame in the poker world is reaching the semi-finals of the 2007 National Heads-Up Poker Championship, where she fell to eventual champ Paul Wasicka. Team Lebanon also features well-known pros Joe Awada and Freddy Deeb, along with Dany Joe Georges and Mark Betor.

Poker News Daily has learned that the signings of several other top female pros are in the works for countries across the globe. A teaser episode of the Golden Nugget tournament will air on Fox Sports Net on July 14th. Then, the remainder of the World Team Poker event can be seen on Sunday nights starting in September. Five tables were held, with the top two players from each advancing to the finale. Then, each remaining country’s chips were combined into one stack, leading to an eventual win from Team China. Players can be swapped in and out based on game and situation.

Details for the forthcoming World Championship have not been released. However, the event is expected to feature 32 countries from across the globe. On World Team Poker’s website, countries fielding squads include Armenia, Australia, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Italy, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, and Vietnam.

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