If you were a part of the big poker boom back in mid 00's, you must have heard about the Norwegian poker star Johnny Lodden, who was regularly playing in all the biggest poker games at the time. After a long time away from the game, he has now announced a big comeback to the game of poker, starting in August at EPT Barcelona. Read his exclusive interview with PokerPro.cc below.
About Johnny Loden
Back in the peak of his poker career, Johnny was a regular in the highest poker cash games with up to 200$/400$ games. Besides cash games, he was also an accomplished tournament professional who traveled the world, playing in all the biggest poker tournaments he could find. He has over $2.6 million in tournament cashes with his largest coming in 2013 at the EPT Grand Final Main Event where he finished 3rd for just over $650,000.
He used to be a member of both Team Pro PokerStars and Team partypoker and will now play for the CREAM Poker Team.
Hello Johnny, awesome to meet you and thank you for taking your time for this interview. First of all, what made you decide to come back to poker?
I have missed it the last year or so. I was fed up with traveling and didn’t have the spirit/work to put in the work to succeed before Covid came so then it was the right time to pull back.
Now I got a new chance with new sponsor from CREAM Poker and a hunger for Barcelona so Lets’go!
How are you preparing for your big comeback to the game why do you feel that this is the right time to do it?
Got a new hunger after a long break for the first time in my life. Haven’t really prepared to much, but after seeing what Espen did in the WSOP Main Event I’ve noticed a hunger for myself!
What made you take a break from poker?
Was really tired of the game and had two small kids that I didn’t want to spend so much time away from. And also I didn’t win enough.
We all know poker has changed a lot since you were playing professionally. What do you think are the biggest differences in the game between then and now?
It’s much more professional. People are working really hard to improve their game. People now a days are studying the game as much as they play the game. Before you just played!
What is your favorite memory from your poker career?
Not really sure. But the MC final table from 2013 was fun. It was my first ‘big’ FT and it was only really good players.
Have you been playing any online poker these last years, and do you plan to in the next years?
Haven’t played a single hand for years online. For me it’s too much about statistics now, you only play numbers and stuff. And the level is too high!
What are the present Norway laws about poker now? We all know that your country was very strict about poker because they considered it the same as all the gambling games.
It’s still not good, improved but not good. Sadly, they don’t consider poker as a skill game, but as a lottery. So people like Espen Jorstad have to move out to play the game.
What have you missed the most about poker?
Traveling. Seeing new places. The rush in big moments. The adrenaline. The whole adventure.
Last but not least, we of course have to ask. How did the 'What Lodden Thinks' game started and what did you thought about it?
It started during WSOPE. Me, Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari was sitting on the feature table and joking around. Then it was Antonio that came up with the genius idea. And it was a talk/hit around the poker world straight away.
In the start it was a bit much, I’m not that into attention as Antonio and Phil, but thinking back on it now it’s pretty damn funny. And the games were really good!
About Cream Poker
Cream Poker is a trusted and well-respected brand, grown over a strong bond with poker live communities. Along daily cash games and tournaments, they host private PLO5 games where only amateur players are allowed. The network is very fresh and will soon launch officially together with a premium Sports Book, Virtual Sports and Casino games.
Cream Poker is also a part of the WePlay Network, where traffic is growing every day. They are currently still in Beta phase, but will officially launch in Q3 of this year.
PokerPro.cc team and Johnny Lodden will be attending EPT Barcelona that starts on August 9. Make sure you follow our webpage and Instagram for reports and pictures from the event.
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