To the online poker community, Annette Obrestad was like a superhero for a while. In her heyday, she represented the face of women in poker. She was seen as a self-confident young woman, insightful and fearless. She was able handle well her male competition, in virtual as well as land-based tournaments.
Recently, the Las Vegas Venetian’s poker room chose Obrestad to be their new face; however this was not well received by the online poker community, as this poker room owner, Sheldon Adelson, is one of the biggest anti-online poker lobbyists. It is common knowledge in the poker industry that Adelson is vehement opposed to online poker.
In 2007, Obrestad won the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOP) Main Event, at that time she was still 18 years old. That was when she started making a name for herself, until now she still is the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in the history of the event. She is also known for earning a massive bankroll without even making a deposit. Over the years, Obrestad has built a successful and respected online poker career.
After the announcement of Obrestad becoming the face of the Venetian’s poker room, a member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame, Kathy Liebert, was clearly upset. In response to the announcement she tweeted the following:
“That is weird. Does she live in Vegas now?”
Liebert frequents the Venetian’s poker room and according to her, Obrestad does not. At least, Liebert has never seen her there. Obrestad replied she joins Deepstack tournaments “from time to time”.
Obrestad also said that a couple of years ago, she had played at the Venetian’s poker room “a ton”. Liebert’s response stated she had never seen Obrestad there, in contrast with the former WSOP Main Event Champ Carlos Mortensen, where she was seen plenty of times.
Not only Liebert find it odd Obrestad was chosen to be ambassador; other poker players also commented their surprise on Twitter. Even though Obrestad was a top female poker player a few years ago, she wasn’t in the top for some years already.
During her poker player career, “Annette_15”, as Obrestad is known on Full Tilt Poker has earned over $3.9 million. Among Norwegian players, she is right behind Felix Stephensen. Stephensen won $ 5.1 million in the WSOP Main Event in 2014; in total during his career he earned $5.5 million.
Obrestad scored big for the last time in 2013 and many members of the poker community believe that she had passed her prime. That’s why Liebert as well as other poker player are upset with a non-regular nomination.
Obrestad doesn’t have a cash in any Deepstack event she claims to have played. Players might also be upset because they remember she was the face of Lock Poker, even when the site was having major issue paying out their players.
Lock Poker dropped her too, when their resources were exhausted.