Born in Jørpeland, Norway, Johnny Lodden is one of the few players that will forever be part of poker folklore, every reg poker player around the world has heard his name and played his game.
This should be obvious to everyone reading this, but live poker is very different from online poker. In live settings, you are sitting down with another person for hours. Simple human nature would drive you to talk and to avoid any awkward silence, but sometimes you need an icebreaker, and that's Lodden Thinks.
Lodden Thinks is a very simple game that can live up a quiet table and even make you some money, but you may have some questions, such as:
- How do you play it?
- Why is it named after Johnny Lodden?
- Do you need some kind of Norwegian Casino guide to understand it?
- Where do I even find another dude named Lodden?
Lodden Thinks History - Two Degens and a Norwegian enter a Poker Tournament…
The year was 2008, Johnny Lodden was an online poker grinder that at that point had won over $560,000 in live tournament cashes. Riding a sweet tournament upswing, he decided to enter the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event.
He was seated at the feature table alongside Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak. The table was very slow so, not ones to lose TV time, Laak offered Esfandiari one of their notorious prop bets, they would both bet on what Johnny Lodden thinks about random things.
Right there and there, the prop bet became a game with a unique set of rules, and the three men played it until the table broke.
Johnny was eventually eliminated in 11th place, walked home with cash but without the gold bracelet, but little did he know his name was about to be part of poker culture.
"Lodden Thinks" was eventually broadcasted on ESPN, with its own segment documenting its creation and highlights of the first time it was played.
It has since taken a life of its own, it doesn't matter where you are in the world, if you are at a poker table you will likely find someone who knows how to play Lodden Thinks.
How to Play Lodden Thinks Like the Nords
Lodden Thinks is a game so simple that it's amazing nobody thought of it before, you just need at least three players and a question.
- Determine who is the "Lodden", this person won't be able to take part in any betting action.
- Ask a question to the Lodden.
- The two players guess what the Lodden's opinion would be.
- Whoever's guess is the closest to what the Lodden was actually thinking, wins.
A Few Things to Consider
- It can be played with or without betting, but good luck finding the non-gambling variety at a poker table.
- It's fairer if both players have the same kind of relationship with the Lodden. Whoever is closest to the Lodden has an unfair advantage.
- To maintain game integrity, it's better if the Lodden writes down their answer before the two players verbalize their guess.
- The questions need to be something simple, preferably something that can be answered with just one word or a number.
Example of a good Lodden question:
How many times do you think Sean Connery played James Bond?"
Example of a bad Lodden Question:
What role do you think the EU should have in local farm legislation?"
There you have it, now you know how to play Lodden Thinks, one of those lighting in a bottle moments that could even outgrow its own poker roots.