110 international matches for Norway, more than 300 Premier League matches and 99 matches in the Serie A, Champions League winner and Ligue 1 champion – John Arne Riise is one of the highest profile football players from Scandinavia.
Riise played at Liverpool, Roma, and Monaco, to name just a few. He also has more caps in the national team under his belt than any other Norwegian player.
The 38 year old retired two years ago and quickly found a new sport to pursue: poker. Sponsored by Betsson he has been playing the WSOP, several big tournaments and finished 2nd in the the Irish Poker Open & Norwegian Championships last year.
Now he’s here in Malta, playing the BoM, and it looks like he’s as proficient at the poker table as he was on the football pitch. We just witnessed him take out the Italian player Placido Russo.
Riise opened with 6♣ 6♥ from UTG and the two players in the cut-off and on the button called the raise. The flop gave Riise a set: T♣ 6♠ 7♥. He checked his monster and after another check Russo moved all-in for 10k (more than twice the pot). Riise had an easy call and the player in cut-off folded his hand.
Showdown: Placido Russo turned over K♦ T♦ for top pair, but he was drawing nearly dead. Turn and river fell A♣ A♠ and thus Riise took his opponent out of the tournament, stacked more than 45k chips and is started looking very comfortable.
Then he got up and walked out like all the other players did. It’s the second break of the day.