Annette Obrestad is among the most fearless and fearsome poker players in these massive EPT fields, all the more so for her impeccable poise at the table. Sure, between hands she’ll merrily chat away with anyone talking and happily pose for photographs, sometimes even signing autographs for railbirds. But with two cards in front of her, she may as well be a statue. She is utterly still and emotionless, a waxwork wrapped in designer shades.
Today her perfect calm is even more notable than usual as she has found herself sat beside the incorrigible Peter Hedlund, a player who is comparably impossible to read but for all the contrary reasons. Hedlund simply never stops: talking, moving, betting, talking, moving, betting, then up and dashing to the lobby, almost wiping out the tournament director Thomas Kremser en route or to talk to friends, then dashing back in time for the next hand. It’s as though he is powered by Duracell and has neat Red Bull flowing through his veins.
Moments ago, Hedlund was involved in a pot against his fellow Swede Chris Bjorin, who has more of an Obrestad-esque table style: silent and immovable. Bjorin, who has two World Series bracelets to his name and is a highly-respected veteran of the world game, had made it 800 to go pre-flop and Hedlund wanted a count. Bjorin moved his stack into view; Hedlund still couldn’t count it and so requested the dealer to give him an accurate tally. When he was tolf that Bjorin was playing about 7,600, Hedlund folded.
The next hand, he raised pre-flop, flinging 750 into the middle and picking up the blinds and antes. “Neuf, neuf,” he said in a Swedish accent to the Norwegian Obrestad, then to the Costa Rican Felipe Montenegro Sansonetti, neither of whom replied with anything but a quizzical expression. “Neuf, neuf,” said Hedlund again, undiscouraged. “Nine, nine in French.”
Etc., etc., and so forth.
Obrestad talked to the video blog team earlier today:
Watch EPT S5 San Remo: Interview with Annette Obrestad Day 1a on PokerStars.tv
Meanwhile Andreas Hoivold has joined Reuben Peters as a former EPT champion on the rail. No one saw his exit, but he’s gone, leaving only Jason Mercier, Mike McDonald, Arnaud Mattern and Joao Barbosa as champions in today’s field.