The top three podium winners return to the High Roller Hold ‘Em lineup for 2014.
What happens when you combine Texas Hold ‘Em, a massive big air jump and 10 of the top snowboarders in the country? High Roller Hold ‘Em, of course.
On April 5, 2014, Heavenly, in partnership with Snow Park Technologies, will host the second High Roller Hold ‘Em event on World Cup run on the California side of the mountain, a combo of the perfect spectator event and perfect viewing area. The event will feature a Red Bull guest DJ, the Heavenly Angels, an exhibition with local athletes, and pyrotechnics (aka fireworks!).
This invite-only event will feature 10 of the top snowboarders in the industry, including many that will have just competed in the Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, five competitors have been announced, including: Chas Guldemond, Gjermund Braaten, Eric Willett (all the top-three finishers at last year’s event), Sage Kotsenburg and Billy Morgan.
Four of the first five competitors announced are returning competitors from last year’s event, which tells you a little bit about how much the athletes love this edgy format. Heading into the event, they have no clue what tricks they might be sending, or attempting to send, that night. Each snowboarder is dealt a hand of cards that feature a different combo of tricks. These riders then place bets on which tricks they think they can send.
Note that these tricks are not a set routine that these riders have been practicing beforehand. In fact, some of these tricks might be ones these guys haven’t done for days, months, years or even ever! That’s what sets this event apart from other big air comps. Anyone could take home the jackpot. Anything goes!
This year, there’s more at stake than just a huge winner-take-all cash jackpot…the overall winner will receive a 2015 X Games Big Air event exemption, meaning that the top finisher at High Roller Hold ‘Em will gain automatic entrance into the X Games and will not be subject to meeting the qualification-criteria that the remainder of the field will be assessed under. Yep, after only one time putting this event on, it was recognized by some powers-that-be at X Games that High Roller Hold ‘Em is a legit competition featuring the best of the best in snowboarding.
So, mark your calendars for April 5 and plan on being ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ by the talents of these amazing athletes!
*The event will also be available live on ESPN3 and will be aired as a one-hour show on ABC’s “World of X Games” the following week.