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  • Meet Online Qualifier Sturla Hiller: 50 Years of Flops

Meet Online Qualifier Sturla Hiller: 50 Years of Flops

Meet Online Qualifier Sturla Hiller: 50 Years of Flops

At The Festival Series we like to introduce to you poker players who have a special place in our humble hearts. To be able to follow our ideals, to create a poker event not only about poker, but about so much more such as Hospitality events, Casino Game events, and above all, an electric atmosphere, it is from upper important to have people like Sturla Hiller among us. The always-friendly Norwegian is a true qualifying hero and is an absolute pleasure to talk to. Guys like him, show that the poker Dino’s from this world, are not per definition outplayed yet by the newer generation of poker players. Get to know more about Sturla with this nice read, and you might just bump into him on our next Festival Series stop in Malta!

Melvin TF: Hi Sturla. I've seen you already during our stop in Bratislava last year, and this year also in Nottingham. What attracts you from The Festival Series?

  • Sturla: I have been three times at The Festival Series in three different countries, and I loved it. It is very well organized with a good mix of tournaments. The event is about getting a community whit a lot of regular players. It’s a bunch of lovely people working and playing in The Festival Series. The founder, Martin ‘Franke’ von Zweigbergk is like a generator of good mood and laughter, and we love him.

Melvin TF: If you would need to describe yourself as a poker player. Would you say you are recreational/semi-pro/professional? Do you play online as well or mainly live?

  • Sturla: I am a recreational / semi-pro player who plays a lot of poker, both live and online. Mostly on Coolbet.

Melvin TF: As from what I know, the situation in Norway is quite rough when it comes to poker in general. Especially live events. What other things keep you busy in daily life besides poker?

  • Sturla: In Norway where poker is more or less illegal, we have to play at private clubs and travel abroad for bigger events which I can do as a 50% pensioner, the rest of the time I buy and sell collectibles of various kinds. But me and my wife Lisbeth, prioritize trying to live the Good Life and we move from Norway to Tenerife (Spain) and live there every winter. Not a luxurious life, but on a budget.

Melvin TF: Your latest cash in TheHendonMob is from Malta in October 2022. Will we see you during The Festival Series from 15-21 May this year again in Malta? If yes, are you playing any satellites for it? How is it going with that?

  • Sturla: Actually, I have already won a package for the Festival stop in Malta through a satellite on Coolbet. I will be there from the 14th of May up until the 22nd of May. In fact, in all my recent poker travels I have won at Coolbet as a package with hotel and buy-in for the Main Event. In 2022, I and my wife were twice in Tallinn (Estonia) once for The Festival and another for Coolbet Open. We also went once to Bratislava (Slovakia) for The Festival and once to Malta. In 2023, it all started with The Festival in Nottingham, where I also got myself a package for through a satellite at Coolbet.
Sturla Hiller & Co. are peacefully enjoying The Festival Nottingham hospitality package

Melvin TF: What is important for you when you visit a live poker series?

  • Sturla: For me and my wife it’s important that it’s located at a place where you can do other things than just playing poker. When it comes to poker, it needs to have a big variety of tournaments and different kinds of buy-ins. Even lower than €100, since I am not a poker millionaire just yet 😊.

Melvin TF: Last but not least, what is your ultimate poker dream? Or in other words, what is on top of your list when it comes to poker achievements?

  • Sturla: If I need to choose something to be at the top of my list, it must be playing the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. However, soon I am turning 63 years old, and my poker skills are probably going the wrong way when it comes to beating young dedicated poker players who study poker theory half of the day. Not once I opened up a book about poker, but I played my first poker at the age of 12. I am playing poker now for more than 50 years, so I am floating a bit on experience, and I like to think that I am quite good at reading people. There are a lot of extremely skilled poker players out there, and it’s getting worse for an antique like me to keep up with them. Another problem in regards to this ‘so-called’ dream is the economy, which won’t allow me to play a $10K tournament unless there will be a good run in several other poker tournaments first 😊.
  • So, then I will maybe have to take down my dream to a more sober goal and hope to have the ability to stay in the poker community as long as I can. Because the poker people are lovely and of a unique kind, the kind of people who will be difficult to live without.


  • The Hendonmob cashes: $14,438, ranked #975 Norwegian all-time money list
  • Package wons through any kind of online satellite: At some point, online operators refused to count them because there are too many of those so prediction says - more than 1 and less than a million.
  • Personality: Sturla always likes to make jokes, which is why he thinks that the world's most boring people are his good neighbors - the Swedes. Rumor says that Sturla thinks that even Estonians are much funnier than Swedes.
  • Second biggest poker dream: Another rumor says that although Sturla may think that his biggest dream is to play poker in Las Vegas, his second biggest dream has already come true at one of our previous festivals. He once played a game where there were no instructions in the books on how to play it. We call this game -"Franke’s Flip Flops". If you haven´t heard about Flip Flops, then read about it more here.
  • Sturla's biggest secret: Sturla told his wife during The Festival Nottingham stop, that he will not drink any tea. We know... wait for a second. Let's pretend that it never happened.
Sturla taking a selfie next to someone's "tea" in Nottingham
  • Sturla's two best friends: wife Lisbeth & Coolbet bear
Coolbet bear says: "Hei Sturla! I hope to meet you again soon. Good luck to you in Malta."

Would you like to join Sturla in the hunt for a Festival Series title in Malta? Do you think you can beat him during one of the many qualifiers? Yes? Then make sure you know the starting times of all our online satellite tournaments. Otherwise, it might happen that by the time you get to the tournament, Sturla has already won it, and then what? We need to write an article again about Sturla's winnings and not about you.