On Saturday April 6th, some of the world’s best snowboarders will join in South Lake Tahoe, California for the Heavenly High Roller Hold ‘Em. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White will be the official host for the event in partnership with Snow Park Technologies. The unique event combines the thrill of big air snowboarding with the strategy of high stakes poker.
“Big-time events are back at Heavenly, and after the awesome turnout for the U.S. Freestyle Championships last weekend, we are expecting an even larger crowd for High Roller Hold ‘Em,” said Heavenly General Manager Pete Sonntag. “Combine fireworks, live music, an elite lineup of snowboarders, and Shaun White as host, High Roller Hold ‘Em is going to take big air competitions to a whole new level.”
Top athletes that will be seen participating in the competition including Chas Guldemond, Sage Kotsenburg, Gjermund Braaten, Ulrik Badertscher, Mark McMorris, Eric Willett, Pat Burgener, Eric Beauchemin, Ian Thorley and Mark Hoyt.
With back to back X Games Snowboard Slopestyle gold medals and solidifying the highest score for snowboard slopestyle run in X Games history, 19 year old Mark McMorris will be one of the top athletes entered into the competition circuit.
Eric Willett has the power of four X Games Snowboard Slopestyle medals behind him going into the Heavenly High Roller Hold ‘Em. The Breckenridge pro team rider will be looking to defend his first place finish at the 2013 Air & Style event in Innsbruck, where he will always be remembered for a switch backside 1260 mute.
Credited to landing the first ever switch backside triple cork 1440 in April 2011, Pat Burgener is known as Switzerland’s top big air competitor, at just 18 years old he was named Swiss National Champion in big air in 2011 and then 2012.
Eric Beauchemin is just returning from a first place result at the O’Neill Pleasure in Austria and plans on transferring his successful momentum into the event at Heavenly.
Michigan native, Ian Thorley has been a huge threat to the competition world since 2007 with a major win from the Grand Prix at Mountain Creek. More recently, Thorley has taken home some excellent results in different major slopestyle events around the world, including a podium finish at the 2010 Winter Dew Tour.
After stomping a triple at Superpark 16 last year, current South Shore resident Mark Hoyt is certainly known for his smooth riding style and versatile arsenal of tricks. Hoyt certainly has his double corks dialed to unload during competition.
During the event, High Roller Hold ‘Em competitors will each be dealt three cards per hand, each featuring different tricks based on the face value of the card. From there, each rider will discard two cards, and bet accordingly on the final card in their hand. Once all bets are in, the riders who haven’t folded will head to the top of the big air jump, where the rider who lands the trick with the highest level of difficulty will win the round and qualify for the $50,000 super final.
High Roller Hold ‘Em, which will take place on the World Cup run near Heavenly’s California Main Lodge, is free of charge and open to the public. The event will feature Red Bull’s DJ Goldenchyld, the Heavenly Angels, an exhibition with local athletes, and pyrotechnics.
High Roller Hold ‘Em Schedule of Events
4:30 – 5:00 p.m. On-Mountain Pre-Party Starts with DJ and Big Air Exhibition
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Athlete Warm Up
6:00 – 6:30 p.m. Opening Announcements
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Competition
9:00 – 9:15 p.m. Awards Ceremony
9:15 – 9:30 p.m. DJ and Pyrotechnics Show