(Image courtesy of Frode Fagerli, poker.no).
The “Millionduellen” challenge between high-stakes PLO player Ola ‘Odd_Oddsen’ Amundsgård and Norwegian parliament member Erlend Wiborg started 11 AM on Saturday December 7 and finished seven hours later, when Wiborg decleared defeat after 1056 hands. Amundsgård was up 2666 bb at this point, and Wiborg had lost more than a quarter of his 10,000 starting chips.
Also read: Odd_Oddsen versus the Politician.
The result of course didn’t come as a surprise to anybody who plays poker. Still, it was interesting to see a demonstration of the massive skill gap between a professional player and a beginner. The match was streamed online, and we got to see in real time how Wiborg’s strategy evolved throughout the match, and how Oddsen responded to exploit it.
Wiborg started out with some open-limps preflop and he frequently used small bets postflop. Oddsen minraised 100% of buttons, rarely 3-bet preflop, and didn’t seem to do much floating and light peeling postflop. Oddsen’s game plan clearly revolved around make-a-hand poker and keeping the pot small until he was in a position of strength (a logical adjustment to exploit an opponent who will make big and frequent mistakes in big pots).
It was very sporty of Erlend Wiborg to accept the challenge and contribute his time and effort to this event. Hopefully it will help boost the process of making live poker legal in Norway.
Below is a translation of the press statement released by Norsk Pokerforbund after the event:
The Million was never threatened
«This was much harder than I thought, and I’m really exhausted now. Ola says he could have kept going all night, but I have to get back home to the sofa and recharge,» Erlend Wiborg says with a smile.
The million duel between the professional poker player Amundsgård and parliament member Erling Wiborg was played at Felix Konferansesenter in Oslo today. After seven hours and more than one thousand hands played, a tired Wiborg chose to throw in the towel. Wiborg started with 10,000 chips and Amundsgård at that point had a chip lead of more than 5,000.
Ola Amundsgård is satisfied with the outcome:
«I was in total control throughout the match, and I feel I accomplished what I wanted today; showing that poker is a game of skill. Erlend never had a chance to win today, and my million was never threatened.»
Erlend Wiborg was not surprised about the outcome: «Ola was simply too tough. His superior skills clearly showed, and I didn’t have a chance. No million for me, but we clearly demonstrated the core principle here, namely that poker is a skill game.»
The leader of Norsk Pokerforbund, Sigurd Eskeland, had the following to say about today’s duel:
«I’m happy with the event and of course pleased with the result, although nobody with knowledge about poker was ever in doubt about who would win it. I hope this can contribute to accelerating the poker legalization process.»
Erlend Wiborg didn’t think the day was wasted: «Even if I’m worn out and I lost the duel, this has really been an experience for me. Playing against one of the best poker players in the world was a tremendous challenge, and I consider winning against Ola just as impossible as winning against Petter Northug in skiing or Magnus Carlsen in chess.»
«I hope Erlend learned some poker today. This lesson was free, the next one he will have to pay for,» Amundsgård concludes jokingly.