Live poker tournaments may be allowed in Norway next year, which would permit the staging of a 2015 Norwegian Poker Championship.
The country currently has stringent gambling regulations that include fines and possible jail time for operating poker games. Anti-gambling proponents within Norway continue to make their voices heard, but Culture Minister Thorhild Widvey has volleyed a proposal that would permit poker tournaments under certain restrictions.
Those restrictions would include maximum buy-in rules and a capped prize pool “to avoid attracting the wrong crowd,” igaming.org reported. Also, the poker tournaments would require special licensing of the casinos and land-based clubs that wish to host the events.
PokerStars is hosting live poker at the Norwegian Championships 2014 form April 5 – 13, 2014, but the festival takes place at the Citywest Hotel Conference Leisure and Golf Resort in Dublin. Should Norway officials succeed in relaxing the strict rules currently enforced, such championships may be allowed to take place within Norwegian borders next year.
Norway is home to a number of poker pros who have made their mark on the world of poker. Annette Obrestad, Thor Hansen, Johnny Lodden and Elisabeth Hille have all traveled outside of their home country and found success in live poker tourneys worldwide.
Oberstad won a WSOP Europe title at 18 years of age in 2007, winning over $2 million in the £10,000 + 350 World Championship in London. Her most recent live WSOP cash came last summer at the $10,000 Main Event at the 44th WSOP in Las Vegas where an 89th place finish was good for $71,053, according to the Hendon Mob database.
Hansen has two WSOP gold bracelets to his name, the first won in 1988 in $5,000 Seven-Card Stud that earned him a payday of $158,000. The 66-year-old nabbed another in 2002 in $1,500 Limit Ace to Five Draw for $62,600.
Lodden is 3rd on Norway’s all-time money list and also earned quite a reputation playing poker online. Just a bit over a month ago, Lodden notched a runner-up finish to Dmitry Ponomarev at the PCA in the Bahamas in $2,000 + 200 No Limit Hold’em to add $78,100 to his live career cashes.
Hille burst onto the poker scene in 2012 with an 11th place finish at the WSOP Main Event and won $590,442. She and France’s Gaelle Baumann, who finished 10th, just missed the final table of poker’s most prestigious event. Poker fans the world over were rooting for either or both of the ladies to make the final table, which has happened only once in poker history.