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The slipperiest customer in poker

The slipperiest customer in poker

Gambling-mad Erik Sangstrom pocketed more prize money last year than either Ronnie O’Sullivan, Greg Rusedski or Paula Radcliffe – and he did it all online.

He is dubbed, with a hint or irony, The Salmon and he spearheads a new school of card sharks circling online casinos.

But the chances are you will not recognise the 21-year-old Swede, who earned more than £500,000 in 2004.

He is one of the world’s top poker players, despite being too young to enter a casino. All his wins are achieved behind a computer screen in the privacy of his parents’ home.

Sagstrom began playing in his mid-teens, using Internet aliases which include Erik123, KingofDing – and The Salmon.

His earnings from one website – ladbrokespoker.com – were £540,000 last year alone, putting him ahead of snooker’s O’Sullivan (£516,000), gold medal athlete Paula (£218,000) and tennis star Rusedski (£180,000).

Sagstrom from the southern Swedish city of Linkoping is known for his aggressive bluffing, combined with a remarkable talent for memorising previous hands.

For one so hooked on gambling, he seems oddly indifferent to the cash he has won. In a rare interview, he said, ‘I tend to leave it in my online accounts and cash-out only when I get another £50,000.

‘I live with my parents, but I might buy some property or maybe a car, although I don’t really need one.’

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