Sofia Lövgren on her Main Event run, Sweden’s crushers, and heading back to Asia

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After cashing the WSOP Main Event, 888poker Ambassador Sofia Lovgren is eager to get back to playing more poker.

As one of only a handful of 888poker.com ambassadors, Sofia Lövgren is used to being in the poker spotlight. She has enjoyed a great career in cash games and tournaments so far, but like all poker players, it’s the ‘Martin Jacobson Club’ she really wants to join.

There’s no spotlight brighter than the one her fellow countryman and 888.com ambassador enjoyed back in 2014 when he won the World Series of Poker Main Event, and this year Lövgren made a deep run before ultimately busting in 322nd of 7,221 runners for $35K.

We caught up her post-Vegas to find out more about that experience, the current poker climate in Sweden, and her plans for the future.

The Main Event

“I’m happy with my poker, but disappointed with the finish because I had a great stack,” Lövgren says of her Main Event, which saw her chip count peak at 1.6 million when the average 800k. “I was expecting to go much deeper. I feel that I played my A-game for 3.5 days, with no hands that I wish I had played differently.

“But there are two hands from the end of Day 4 that I regret. One hand where I could have made a crying fold in a spot on the river with a rivered flush vs a full house. And another hand where I opened A10-suited on the button and the small blind called and big blind squeezed. I got a wrong read and pushed but unfortunately was called by AQ. I take this experience with me, and next year I will do my best to go all the way. I really want to make that final table!”

Lövgren’s experience in deep-stacked cash games seems to make these big-field, slow-structure events a perfect match for her. Case in point, last summer she finished 12th out of 7,190 players in the Millionaire Makerfor $75K.

I love the structure of Main Event,” she says. “Cash games are my bread and butter and so far this year I have played over 700 hours of cash. Many stages of these tournaments can compare with this game, so I play my best poker in these deep structured events.”

Those cash games kept Lövgren busy in Asia for the first few weeks of the WSOP. She arrived for the latter half of the series, and played six events before the Main.

“I was running ice cold in those, like busting the second hand of tournament with full house over full house,” she explains. “But I mainly came to play the Main. I believe experience is invaluable and until next Summer I will keep improving. I really want to join Martin Jacobson’s club!”

Poker in Sweden

While Lövgren and Jacobson can’t play much live poker on their home soil (“The casinos are owned by the state and no commercials are allowed, hence Swedish poker championship is held in Malta,” Lövgren explains), there’s always online poker. And in case you haven’t checked the worldwide rankings recently, the Swedes are crushing.

“When I’m in Gothenburg I mainly play online, as do the majority of tournament grinders in Sweden. The lack of live poker is the reason Sweden has a lot of good online tournament players these days.”

Indeed. Seven of the top 10 tournament players in the world right now are all Swedish!

“I’m happy to see fellow Swedish players do well and It’s good for attracting new Swedish players to the game. For sure it motivates me to play more too, when good guys like Martin win big tournaments. It’s great for the expansion of Swedish poker community.”

Most of Lövgren’s online grinding takes place on 888.com. And after three years, she still loves being part of the 888.com ambassador team.

“I’m proud to represent 888poker,” she says. “The site is continually improving and expanding and constantly looking for new opportunities and possibilities to help the growth of poker. It’s a great move by 888poker to sign up as official sponsor for WSOP.

“All of the best Swedish tournament players are now playing on 888 so it’s good to see they sponsor the Swedish Poker Championship in Malta as well as running satellites online for many good live tournaments.”

Heading back to Asia

After a few days back home in Gothenburg sailing around the Swedish archipelago, Lövgren is now heading back out East, to get back on the grind.

“I love my family and friends so having some off-time from poker now and then is very important for me. Now I’m on my way back to Asia, for cash games and holidays in Singapore, Macau, Malaysia and maybe a trip with friends to Vietnam mid-August.”

You’ll also find her playing the 888.com festival in São Paolo in September, but after that it’s all about China for Sofia. She’ll be playing the WSOP China come December.

“I will be practising my Chinese until then! I believe China is the future and I will spend lots of time in Asia in the near future. I’ll do some filming and make vlogs of my trips to share on my social media channels, so feel free to follow me!”