Annette Obrestad is/was an online poker superstar. She is also the youngest person ever to win a WSOP bracelet.
Annette has not been seen at the poker tables in recent years. She has turned her attention to building a YouTube channel, Annette’s Makeup Corner.
Despite this, it’s rare to find a modern poker player who has not, at least, heard of Annette Obrestad on some level. Her story is remarkable because she climbed the poker ranks so quickly and from such a young age.
She also started her poker bankroll without depositing a single dollar.
Let’s look at her story in more detail.
Annette - The Origins
Annette was born on 18th September 1988. She believes she had a great childhood, although her parents were divorced when she was around four-years-old. She says it didn’t bother her too much since she still saw her dad every two weeks or so.
Annette first discovered poker after seeing an advertisement for an online poker site on TV. When growing up, she used to play cards with her dad and always had a passion for competitive games. As a result, she decided to register for an online account after seeing the ad.
Technically, Annette wasn’t quite of the legal age to be playing. But she didn’t make a deposit and was just playing freerolls. She played under the screen name Annette_15, 15 being her age at the time!
Eventually, she managed to bink $9 in a freeroll and started using it to enter real money events.
By the time a couple of years had passed, poker had turned into quite a lucrative hobby for Annette. At the age of 17 (still underage), she made more money from poker than her mum was from her job.
Annette eventually told her mum that she wanted to quit school and play poker professionally. Her mum was supportive after seeing how Annette was making decent money playing online.
Annette - The Professional
Annette made almost a million dollars playing poker between September 2006 (Annette’s 18th birthday) and February 2007. She won $500,000 on PokerStars, $200,000 on Ultimate Bet and $136,000 on Full Tilt Poker.
As a demonstration of her skill, Annette reportedly won a $4 buy-in 180-person sit and go where she played the entire tournament without looking at her hole cards. (Although she did check her hole cards once to help demonstrate the importance of position and awareness of opponent types).
Annette had already made a lot of money by this stage. But her big win came on 17th September 2007 with the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event. She took down first place a day before her 19th birthday, making her the youngest WSOP bracelet winner of all time.
The prize was 1 million GBP, which also means she broke the record for the highest single-event payout for a female player. One million GBP was roughly $2.01 million back in 2007, meaning Annette edged out Annie Duke’s $2 million cash in the 2004 WSOP Tournament of Champions.
Annette took down some other big scores, not limited to, but including the following -
- 2nd in the 2007 EPT Main Event for $429,181
- 2nd in the 2011 Wynn Classic for $215,922
- 1st in the EPT Heads-Up N- Limit Hold’em for $187,788
- 7th in the 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event for $161,518
- 1st in Episode 8 of The Poker Lounge for $120,000
Annette was also sponsored by several different poker rooms during this time. So, she was able to enjoy playing poker while travelling the world.
Annette - Into Fitness
By her own admission, Annette did not continue to work hard on her game. As unlikely as it seems for such a talented player, Annette felt she was no longer making enough money playing professional poker. She’d let her game slip.
Undoubtedly, Annette could have worked on her game. But she felt that the passion for spending long hours in the poker lab wasn’t there like it used to be.
With support from her husband, Annette looked to get into better shape and delved into the world of fitness and diet. Between 2012 and 2014, she lost 45 pounds. The more she began to enjoy working out, the less she played poker.
She also became obsessed with food, counting calories and saying no to many situations where she would be invited out for food. Despite focusing on diet, Annette explains that she never had any sort of eating disorder at any point.
At this point, Annette believed she had found her new calling, but negative variance began to get in the way. Annette sustained several undiagnosable long term injuries.
It started out as a problem with her hamstring that lasted for more than a year and eventually a problem with her arm. Despite many MRI’s, doctors could not understand the source of the pain since things appeared normal.
Her new world became about dealing with pain, chronic constant pain. This period appears to be a definite low point in Annette’s life. The pain was bad enough that it was very difficult for her to work out and burn the calories that she needed.
After physical therapy, it appeared that Annette’s condition was improving. But she again seriously injured herself deadlifting at the gym.
Although she had thoughts of becoming a personal trainer, she was beginning to realise that this future was impossible for her.
Annette - YouTube Star
After hitting a low point, Annette has slowly climbed back into the everyday world. She has found a new passion which is makeup and creating makeup tutorials.
She now runs a successful YouTube channel called Annette’s Makeup Corner.
At the time of writing, Annette’s channel has 4.61M views, over 43,000 subscribers and 744 videos. She built the channel from scratch without using any of her influence in the poker world. But it does appear that poker players (with no interest in makeup) like to drop by from time to time to leave messages of goodwill.
Interested in makeup (or curious to see what Annette is up to now)? It seems likely she will welcome new visitors, subscribers, comments and likes.
Annette - Return to Poker
It doesn’t appear that Annette has any plans to return to professional play. According to the Hendon Mob, Annette has played live events as recently as June 2018. But there appears to be no data on her poker playing activities after that date.
Annette entered several events between 2012 and 2018 (and cashed in quite a few). But her volume is a lot lower than it was in the earlier years.
Her total lifetime live earnings are recorded as $3,942,233.
Perhaps we have seen the last of Annette at the poker tables. But if history teaches us anything, it’s that ‘retired’ poker players often make a significant comeback at one point or another.
Time will tell in this case!