Coolbet Poker Ambassador Ylva Thorsrud: Poker is a Lifestyle
As poker ambassadors go, Ylva Thorsrud more than delivers for Coolbet. As you’ll see below, despite doing fine at the tables, her ethos revolves around all aspects of the game, particularly the social side. Such an approach deservedly proves popular, and it fits in perfectly with what The Festival endeavours to deliver.
There are all sorts of reasons to join the Coolbet community, one being the chance to win both €500K GTD Main Event tickets and packages for the Bratislava leg of the Series, with satellites on Wednesdays and Sundays.
€1,300 Coolbet Passport
- Five nights twin hotel room (plus breakfast) in the Crowne Plaza for two (11-16 October)
- €550 buy-in to The Festival Main Event
- €175 travel compensation
Given that Ylva puts so much passion into streaming about her passion, I recommend you tune into her stream. Meanwhile, here’s a brief interview with the Coolbet flag-bearer.
We inteviewed Ylva Thorsrud
(The Festival) You’re a successful and popular poker streamer as part of your role as Coolbet Ambassador. Does that bring a burden of responsibility in how you communicate with your followers, and perhaps even how you play when streaming?
- (Ylva Thorsrud) I feel a commitment to my followers on stream since twitch is all about community. But it absolutely does not feel like a burden. Poker for me is a lifestyle. It is my work and also my biggest passion. I think of myself as a live player, so I do play differently when I stream; I’m learning how to play online while streaming... I still feel like a beginner when it comes to this context.
(TF) Re live/online poker, are your approaches to the live game and online similar, or do you think that there are distinct strategical differences?
- (YT) I have played live poker for 15 years, avoiding the online format. That changed with the arrival of the COVID pandemic, since when it’s been a learning process. I understand, for example, that maths is perhaps more important when playing online compared with live poker.
(TF) The Festival Series goes to great lengths to provide all sorts of activities away from the tables - would you advise players to make the most of opportunities to enjoy this social side of poker events?
- (YT) I would absolutely recommend that those who have won the Hospitality Package try to take part in this social side of The Festival as much as they can. I believe that the social aspect with people you meet around the table is as important - if not more so - than the results at the table. Results are just a bonus.
(TF) Regarding the so-called Bricks & Mortar poker format, it’s quite possible that your own qualifiers for The Festival Bratislava will see packages won by those who have only ever played online. What advice would you give to newcomers to live poker?
- (YT) I’d start by pointing out that there’s no such thing as a stupid question! Don’t be afraid to ask friends for tips and tricks. Many players get nervous the first time that they find themselves literally face-to-face with their opponents after being used only to the ‘lone’ online environment - if you feel more comfortable wearing sunglasses, then do it! Also, remember that it’s better to announce your actions out loud and clearly before moving your chips forward. Even experienced players can sometimes do the live poker equivalent of a missclick by putting in the wrong amount of chips, involuntarily raising, making a string bet... Remember that live poker is a social game. Most players are there mainly to have a good time. Poker is not life or death, and if you feel that way, then maybe you’re playing stakes that are too high.
(TF) As a chess and poker pro I’ve witnessed the involvement of women in both fields evolve (or not!) over time. Would you say that the last few years have seen sufficient progress for women in poker?
- (YT) Using my home country as an example, I think the female poker community in Norway has come a long way. We had the first official Norwegian Championship for Ladies in Dublin in 2012, and during the decade that followed the event has grown from 48 to 152 players. Additionally, a lot of those who would have been hobbyists now have a different approach, with more of an emphasis on studying the game.
(TF) Do you have any suggestions going forward as to how the set-up and environment might be improved to make the poker world more attractive and welcoming to women?
- (YT) I don’t have any more good ideas other than to keep having tournaments and events for ladies. I have seen that many believe that a ladies’ tournament is a good first stepping stone in to the world of poker. And, of course, it is important for everyone to remember that we all have been beginners at one point, and we should always make sure we welcome and include new players, regardless of their gender.
(TF) The Festival Bratislava will feature competitions in both casino games and sports betting alongside the poker schedule - how’s your roulette?
- (YT) I am very boring, and not a big fan of casino games – I don’t like the House edge, so my roulette game is weak...
We can all agree that Ylva is far from boring, and if you’re new to live poker you’ll be fortunate indeed to find yourself with her at the table. You might lose your chips, but there’s much more to poker than keeping score...