Who Are The Biggest Winning Swedish Poker Players?

There is something about Swedish poker players that makes them formidable opponents, especially these five big live tournament winners.

Swedish poker players make up a significant percentage of the game’s best players. They play loose-aggressive styles and are entirely fearless at the tables. Swedish players dominated the online poker world for years, and some still do. However, this series of articles focuses on the live poker world and on who player you may find at the 2021 World Series of Poker.

The Swedish tax laws are such that many online poker stars do not bother traveling to live events because their winnings are taxed so much. This is why you rarely see such superstars as Niklas Astedt, who has $36 million in online winnings, frequenting the live poker world.

Martin Jacobson the Swedish WSOP Main Event Champion

Martin Jacobson the Swedish WSOP Main Event Champion

Martin Jacobson was already held in high regard before he won the 2014 WSOP Main Event. The Swedish pro is a fully trained chef who lived in Paris, France, before switching to London, England. Jacobson cut his poker teeth in the online world, but is a beast of a live player, too.

Jacobson’s first recorded live cash was a €197,904 ($247,688) score for a third-place finish in the EPT Budapest Main Event in October 2008. He finished second at WPT Venice for €238,840 ($319,518) six months later.

More six-figure hauls followed for a second-place at EPT Vilamoura and a fourth at EPT Berlin, but a big win eluded him. That changed in 2014 when the Swedish star won the WSOP Main Event for a massive $10 million. He has racked up another $3 million in cashes since, taking his total to $17,040,135.

Chris Bjorin the Swedish Poker Legend

Chris Bjorin the Swedish Poker Legend

Chris Bjorin is a Swedish poker legend who has more than 300 cashes dating back to 1989. Bjorin lives in London, like Jacobson, although he was hardly home during his prime. Bjorin has 95 cashes at the WSOP, including a pair of bracelets. His winnings weigh in at $5,760,113.

Bracelet number one came in 1997 in a $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event. Victory in a $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em event in 2000 was Bjorin’s second bracelet.

Bjorin won six figures in 19 of 22 years between 1991 and 2012, which is incredible. He does not play as much as he once did seeing how is 73-years-old.

Michael Tureneic the $5 Million Dollar Man

Michael Tureneic the $5 Million Dollar Man

Michael Tureneic is another Swedish poker star with more than $5 million in live winnings, $5,183,745 to be exact. Tureniec began playing online poker in 2004 after leaving the Swedish military, and enjoyed instant success.

He is known for his slow, methodical style. It is a style that works, as his 12 six-figures scores are evidence of. Tureniec has an EPT title and WSOP bracelet. He won EPT Copenhagen in February 2011 and the $1,111 Little One for One Drop at the 2016 WSOP.

Tureniec has $5,187,184 in live earnings. Expect that figure to rise if he frequents Las Vegas for the 2021 WSOP this fall.

Martin De Knijff the Former WPT Championship Winner

Martin De Knijff the Former WPT Championship Winner

Martin De Knijff is not a name that you will likely know, not even if you are Swedish. This is true despite De Knjiff having $3,875,472 in live MTT winnings. The Swede made a name for himself in 2004 when he won the $25,000 WPT Championship. He outlasted 342 opponents at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, and walked away with $2,728,356. That score is still one of the largest awarded by the World Poker Tour.

De Knijff only has three cashes since 2011, although one was for $404,250. He mostly plays cash games and bets on sports for a living these days.

Johan Storakers Shines in Europe

Johan Storakers Shines in Europe

Johan Storakers raked up cashes between 2002 and 2009 and looked set for super stardom. He won a €3,200 buy-in event at the Master Classics of Poker in Amsterdam for €243,540 ($282,365) exactly a year after finishing second in the same tournament for €117,000 ($116,569).

Several more six-figure prizes followed, including a €237,000 ($299,685) prize for a fourth-place finish at EPT Dortmund.

Storakers made a comeback in 2019 with a final table appearance at EPT Barcelona, but the COVID-19 pandemic stopped him in his tracks in 2020.

Brad Johnson

You name the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brad has either played it or placed a wager on it! Brad calls himself a natural gambler, and someone who gains as much enjoyment from writing about the crazy game of poker as he does playing it.


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