HomeTag Poker

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For the past two years, Norway’s Petter Northug has been the best in the world. One look at the medals tables from the 2009 World Championships and 2010 Olympic Games serves as proof: Over the 12 competitions at those two events, Northug took gold in five of them, and reached the podium on two other occasions. FasterSkier had the opportunity to talk with Northug over breakfast in Las Vegas in July, immediately following the rollerski...

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I step off the bus from the Strip into the Las Vegas evening and walk inside the Palms Casino, about 40 minutes early for the poker game between Marcus Hellner and Petter Northug. I haven’t eaten since breakfast, and I’m just coming off a two or three mile walk in search a loaf of bread, jostling tourists in 100-degree heat. The only place I can find to make my peanut butter and jelly sandwich is...

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It’s not oil, fish, or aquavit that’s behind the Norwegian sports machine, which delivered the most medals per capita of any nation at the 2010 Olympic Games—at least not entirely. Instead, a healthy portion of the funding for Norway’s sports organizations comes from Norsk-Tipping, the state-owned gambling company. Norsk-Tipping dedicates 45.5 percent of its annual profits to sports—more than $241 million U.S. dollars in 2009 alone. That’s one of the reasons that quadruple Olympic-medalist Petter...

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11:28 PM: With ten minutes to go in the first day of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, it appears that both Petter Northug and Marcus Hellner have survived, and will head into a second round of play later this week. The two each have comfortable stacks of chips, and will be in decent position as the tournament continues on. 4:50: For once, it looked like Petter Northug was faced with a comeback...

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Marcus Hellner one, Petter Northug zero. In an hour-long production worthy of two A-list celebrities, Hellner outlasted Northug in a one-on-one game of Texas Hold’em at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas on Sunday evening. Orchestrated by the Norwegian men’s magazine Vi Menn and the online gambling company PokerStars, the event showcased the kind of status that the two athletes enjoy in Europe. Clad in a crisp white button-down shirt emblazoned with a Norwegian flag...