For many who take the game of poker seriously, they can point to another player who has had a profound effect on their game.
Whether it’s emerging from obscurity to win the Main Event of the World Series of Poker, pulling off heart-stopping bluffs on High Stakes Poker, or crushing the nosebleed stakes of online poker, some of the best poker players in the world have helped to inspire generations of new players find their way in poker.
We’ve spoken with some of the biggest stars in the game today about who it their poker idols are.
For the better part of 10 years, Sweden’s Sofia Lövgren has been in the poker spotlight as an ambassador for online poker site 888poker. During that time she has earned over $425,000 in a tournament career that shows her putting up results all around the world in prestigious events including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, Asian Poker Tour, and 888poker LIVE.
Her career-high cash came back in 2016 when she went on a deep run in the WSOP Millionaire Maker, an event with 7,190 players where she took 11th place for over $75,000. Since that time, Lövgren has continues to travel the globe playing poker while also spending time grinding online in the deep stack cash games she originally came up playing.
When you first started playing poker, who was the player you admired the most?
I remember back in the days when I used to watch Poker After Dark on TV at home with my dad and brothers. Patrik Antonius was playing there and it was a lot of fun to watch him. He was also very exciting to rail when he was crushing sky-high levels online.
What was it about that player that you liked or admired?
I liked his unpredictable style and cool poker face. Totally impossible to get a read from.
When did you first get to see them play (either on TV, or live)?
I was watching Poker After Dark at home on TV, already before I started playing poker. It was exciting to watch and I decided that I would like to learn poker myself.
Did you ever get to meet that player and what was that like?
I have met him several times and he is really a super nice guy. Cool, always friendly, and very relaxed.
Can you tell us about something either on the felt or off of the felt that you learned from them?
I have definitely picked up knowledge and poker moves by watching YouTube videos. TV tables where hole cards are shown is a very good way to learn from and improve your game. Next to playing poker myself, I find watching videos of people who are better than myself the most effective way to learn.
How does it feel to know somebody out there looks at you the way you looked up to your favorite player?
It always makes me happy when people come up to say hi and that they admire my poker. I also like to talk to any poker player and listen to their poker stories.