Shaun White hosting Big Air event at Heavenly
Heavenly Mountain Resort is partnering with Snow Park Technologies (SPT) and two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White to host High Roller Hold 'Em, a high-energy, innovative big air competition that will takes place Saturday, April 6.
There is $50,000 at stake in this casino-inspired event that combines the thrill of a high-flying big air competition with the cunning strategy of Texas Hold 'Em poker. Throw in a live DJ, fireworks, laser lights and the Heavenly Angels, and this will be an epic party befitting Lake Tahoe's south shore.
"What better place to combine the thrills of snowboarding and poker than Heavenly," White said. "South Lake Tahoe is a pretty unique destination and this event is the brainchild of my friend Chris Gunnarson, who is very talented and a huge part of snowboarding. I'm going to go all in and say, it's gonna' go off."
Vail Resorts, Inc. has a worldwide multi-year partnership agreement with White, a professional snowboarder and skateboarder. White represents all six of Vail Resorts, which include Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly and Northstar, where he trains on the resort's superpipe.
High Roller Hold 'Em will take place on the World Cup run at Heavenly, with a monster big-air jump created by SPT, which is known for building the world's top competition venues, including ESPN's Winter X Games.
In this unique poker-style format, each rider will be dealt two cards (three in the super final) with each card featuring a different trick. Each rider will then bet on the trick of their choice and must execute the trick during that jump to win that round. The rider that lands the trick with the highest level of difficulty will win that round and qualify for the big cash in the super final.
"Heavenly is an amazing venue for big-air competitions like High Roller Hold 'Em," said Gunnarson, SPT's president. "After the success of the Nike Chosen event last year, you can bet your whole stack that we're going to take the competition and the party to the next level. This format breaks the traditional mold for big air competitions and incorporates a mental strategy to compliment the riders' physical talent."
Some of the world's top professional snowboarders will compete in this high-production, signature night-time event, which will also feature live DJ music, an exhibition with local athletes, and pyrotechnics. Red Bull and GoPro are sponsoring the event, which is slated to stream live on ESPN3.
"This is one giant, unprecedented party for both athletes and spectators that only Heavenly can pull off," said Pete Sonntag, Heavenly's general manager. "We're firmly planting a stake in the ground that Heavenly is the place to go for the most high-energy winter vacation you've ever had."
Author Jeffrey Weidel, an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region, can be spotted skiing the powdery slopes at Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts or trying to lower his handicap at local golf courses. He can be reached at email@example.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.