The stakes are high in Norway as the new government plans to liberalize the online gambling market. Many of the poker players born in Norway say that the current gambling legislation is outdated and changes must be made as soon as possible.
And now, one of the biggest online poker winners who plays on PokerStars under the nickname “Odd_Oddsen” has just raised all-in. “I challenge all politicians in Norway to play with me a Heads-Up freeroll of one million krone (about $170,000), paid from my own pocket if one will be able to beat me in 10,000 hands,” Ola Amundsgård told the Danish site PNN.dk. “I offer this challenge to prove that poker is not a game of chance (as the law of Norway claims to be). But a thinking game based on skills, alongside chess and bridge,” Odd_Oddsen explained.
The Norwegian politician from the Progress Party, Erlen Wiborg, has already responded and is prepared to take on the challenge: “Poker player Ola Amundsgård challenges all Parliament members on a game of poker. His goal is to focus on the need to legalize poker as it is a game of skill. Both I and the Progress Party agree with him and therefore, I am pleased that the new government will soften the rules and make sure to allow poker in a controlled manner,” Wibord stated on his blog.
Amundsgård hopes the current online gambling situation will improve in the near future. “Poker is here to stay. If countries like France and Italy join the common network available, it will be good. A common market is definitely the best for poker, especially for online poker. I really hope that the U.S. will return as soon as possible and I also think there is potential for a small poker boom in Asia, which will also be extremely positive for poker,” the Norwegian poker pro said.
Odd_Oddsen is 22nd in the biggest online poker winners leaderboard, according to HighStakesDB. He won over $2.67 million in 370,157 hands. But many of his hands are still unaccounted for as he told PNN.dk last month that he played over 4 million hands throughout his career. He started as a No-Limit Hold’em player but transitioned to Pot-Limit Omaha, becoming one of the best at PLO in recent years.