If you play online poker tournaments, you have probably come across Annette_15. She's been taking the poker world by storm over the last few months. Her real name is Annette Obrestad. The 18-year old poker prodigy is from Stavanger, a coastal town in southwest Norway that was once considered the herring capital of the world. These days, it's the home town of one of the best online poker players in the world.
Annette_15 has been crushing the competition over the last year. In 2007, she's won over $300,000 in online tournaments. In the first two weeks of May, she's earned over $68,000! That's substantially more money than I make in a year as a poker writer. Did I forget to mention that she's only 18 years old and hasn't even graduated high school yet? And there's a rumor floating around that she started playing online poker at the ripe age of 15. Her biggest score to date was a 7th place finish in a $2,500 buy-in World Championship of Online Poker main event on PokerStars. Although she didn't win, she made the final table and took down $163,000 in an impressive performance. She's also the Queen of the $100 no-limit rebuy tournament on PokerStars, having won that weekly tournament on multiple occasions. She's often in the top spot on Pocket Five's leaderboard and has won their Triple Crown.
Annette_15 got her first exposure to poker from her father who taught her how to play five-card stud and seven-card stud as a young girl. Aside from that brief introduction, she's a selftaught player. She improved her game by reading articles online and several poker books such as David Sklansky's Tournament Poker for Advanced Players.
She eventually signed up for an online poker account and as the legend goes, her mother refused to let her fund an account with a credit card so Annette_15 ended up winning $9 in a freeroll and has not looked back since. She has never made a single deposit to an online poker account, which is simply amazing. She started out playing 7-stud/8 sit 'n' go events, eventually migrating to hold'em where she found instant success.
"I was playing really tight, not making moves; I never bluffed and just played A-B-C poker all day. That got me to a certain point and I knew I could beat the low stakes games," she explained.
"I realized that in order to move up and be able to beat the big guys playing the higher buy-in tourneys, I had to change my game. So I started experimenting with raising marginal hands that I usually wouldn't play and decided to improve my post flop play even if that meant looking like a donkey for a while. After making many funny moves and a lot of mistakes, I finally got the hang of it and I think that's when I really started winning a lot."
At the tables, Annete_15 is fearless. Like most Scandinavian players, she's tough to read and is willing to play any two cards. She's an aggressive player and will re-raise you with absolutely nothing if she senses the slightest weakness. She's a shark at the tables and often destroys veteran NL players, which is mind blowing because most girls her age are more interested in going to the mall or spending endless hours on the phone instead of multi-tabling several tournaments.
Annette_15 has played a handful of live tournaments this year as well. She made a final table at a 500 Euro buy-in tournament at the European Poker Tournament Championships in Monte Carlo in March. She made the final table and won close to 16,000 Euros while proving that she can make the jump from online poker to live tournaments.
When she turns 21, she'll finally be able to legally step into a Las Vegas casino, which means you still have a couple of years to improve your game until Annette_15 comes to town. In the meantime, if you find Annette_15 at your table... look out!