Over 5,000 Norwegians have won money playing poker online since 2010. Felix Stephensen tops the list with an accumulated profit of $5.8 million. Annette Obrestad comes second with $4 million and Thor Hansen third with $3 million.
Ola Amundsgaard, who became famous after challenging local legislators to play 10,000 hands of poker in 2011, has won over $2 million. Ola wanted to prove poker was a game of skill and should remain legalized. He defeated one MP 2,666 times before the politician quit.
Against that backdrop, Norwegians love poker even though online gaming is largely prohibited in their country. Here’s why.
Legal Game of Skill
Poker is legal in Norway. Real money poker gaming is provided by the country’s only online casino: Norsk Tipping. Norwegians can also play poker at home although it must be limited to ten players.
Legality aside, poker is a game of skill. That’s why it attracts so many people who want to win casino games but dislike games of luck. The game is easy to play, which makes it easy for newbies to get started.
With that in mind, Norwegians haven’t always had many casino gaming choices. Gambling is heavily restricted in Norway. So, poker is one of a few games people can play free in the country.
Widely Available Online
Nearly all professional poker players in Norway play online. From Thro Hansen and Johnny Lodden to Stephensen and Preben Stokkan, most Norwegians poker players discovered their talents online.
Surprisingly, Norwegians poker players don’t always use Norsk Tipping. Instead, some players move to the UK or the US. Alternatively, they play through overseas online casinos. Most of them use both options.
Online casinos are easier to access and more convenient. All you need is to choose a trustworthy casino—you can compare poker sites here. Then you can deposit as little as 10Kr and you get play a variety of poker games.
For the uninitiated, there are two types of poker websites: operators that offer poker games only and sites that offer poker and other casino games. Poker professionals prefer excusive poker platforms.
If you’re like most poker players, you’ve played the game for fun a lot of times. You’ve also dreamed of playing for real money. Bonuses help turn your dream of playing poker for real cash into a reality.
They come in several forms. At some websites, you receive $10 immediately you sign up an account. It’s enough money to get into a low-limits poker game. It also helps to evaluate a poker website before you start to deposit money.
Most poker websites give you huge bonuses after your first deposit. In many cases, you get a 100% match on your amount. If you deposit 1000Kr, you receive 1000kr as a gift. You can use your bonus to play any offered game at poker casinos.
The best casinos also reward your loyalty with bonuses. And if you’re a high roller, you get more than betting credits. For example, you could receive an account manager to cater to all your poker gaming needs. Or you could earn a paid trip to your favorite Las Vegas casino.
Let’s cut the chase. Most people play poker because it provides a fair way to win real money. Sure, it doesn’t offer guaranteed money. But it is not based on pure chance like slots, roulette and bingo.
How much can you win at online poker? This depends on your skills and bankroll. Let’s say you have $1000 to bet but you’re a new player. With your limited skills, your winning potential will be low.
As you improve your skills, though, you can double or triple your bankroll at poker games easily. And if you move to the high roller section, you can win tens of thousands of dollars weekly. The most exclusive poker tournaments have payouts exceeding $1 million.
That said, the biggest poker tournaments aren’t found online. Sure, you can qualify for the World Series of Poker online. But you must travel to Las Vegas to play the event. WSOP event pay up to $7,104,000 to the winners.
It’s a Social Game
When you think about it, poker is not the only casino game Norwegians can play. They could choose slots, video poker or roulette. But not many people like to play slots with friends. Instead, they choose poker because it is fun to play with friends.
The rules are simple to grasp as we mentioned above. The betting limits are inclusive and everyone gets the chance to fold increase blinds or bluff.
Of course, poker is most exciting when money is involved. You can play the game for small amounts of money. But when everyone knows their cash is one the line, they tend to be more active and to practice their skills more.
Norwegian Poker Championships
The Norwegian Poker Champions is the biggest poker tournament in the Nordic region. It started as an underground event back when poker was restricted in Norway. Then it was legitimized but held in Dublin for legal reasons.
After Norway relaxed poker laws in 2014, the Norwegian Poker Championship created a sub-event held in Oslo at the same time as the main tournaments in Dublin. On average, the annual convention hosts 75 poker games.
Inspiration from Successful Players
With over 5,000 profitable poker players, prospective poker in Norway stars have numerous mentors. Youngsters might not every online poker player by name. But there’s a handful of professionals everyone admires for their success.
Ola Amundsgaard, for example, is admired for championing poker legalization in the country. He’s also a self-made millionaire thanks to Texas Hold’Em. In contrast, Thor Hansen is one of the most experienced poker players in the county—he’s has won two WSOP bracelets.
As mentioned, the most well-known Norwegian poker star is Felix Stephensen. His most successful tournament was the 2014 WSOP event. He emerged runner ‘up to win $5.2 million. There are more poker celebrities in Norway. And together, they inspire thousands of compatriots to like and play poker online.
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