The competition will be the first of its kind.
Big name pros in a big air event is nothing new, but Heavenly added an intriguing gambling twist that will make Saturday’s first High Roller Hold’em competition a must-see.
The High Roller Hold’em competition mixes massive air with poker-inspired strategy and adds a $50,000 pot.
Chas Guldemond, Ulrik Badertscher, Gjermund Braaten, Sage Kotsenburg and Torstein Horgmo originally signed on for the event. Mark McMorris was added to the roster Thursday, as well as Eric Willett, Pat Burgener, Eric Beauchemin, Ian Thorley and Mark Hoyt.
The event is all going down on Heavenly Mountain Resort’s World Cup and begins at 4:30 p.m. with a big air exhibition. The competition kicks off at 6:30 p.m., and a DJ and pyrotechnics show will end the evening. The event is open to the public free of charge Two-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White will host the event.
“The High Roller contest has a stacked lineup this year,” White said in a press release. “With guys like Torstein and Sage competing, I’m honored to be part of it.”
Each rider will be dealt three cards per hand with each card featuring different tricks based on the face value of the card. The riders will then bet on the trick of their choice and must execute the trick to win that round. The rider who lands the trick with the highest level of difficulty will win that round and qualify for the $50,000 super final.
This will all go down on one massive big-air jump, built on World Cup by the best in the snow-pushing business, Snow Park Technologies.
Guldemond and Hoyt can be considered the local riders. Hoyt lives on the South Shore, while Guldemond is a former Truckee and West Shore resident.
Now residing in Reno, the 25-year-old Guldemond is a slopestyle master. He was third at the 2013 Burton U.S. Open, fourth in the 2013 X Games Aspen, first at the 2013 Copper Grand Prix and second in the 2012 Dew Tour.
“Riding with all my good friends in my home zone is going to be a blast,” Guldemond said.
Hoyt, a South Shore resident, is known for his smooth riding style and his versatile repertoire of tricks. In addition to having all four double corks dialed in, Hoyt showed that he can compete at the top level of snowboarding when he stomped a triple at Superpark 16 last year.
McMorris, a 19-year-old Canadian snowboarder, is one of the top athletes on the snowboarding competition circuit. Among a host of other podium finishes, McMorris has won back-to-back X Games Snowboard Slopestyle gold medals, and his final run at the 2013 X Games Aspen received a score of 98.00, the single highest scored snowboard slopestyle run in X Games history.
Badertscher, a 24-year-old from Norway, placed fifth in big air at the 2013 X Games Aspen, fifth at the 2012 Dew Tour in big air, second in slopestyle at the 2012 Burton U.S. Open, and first at the Oakley and Shaun White Beijing Air and Style in 2011.
McMorris, a 19-year-old Canadian, is one of the top athletes on the competition circuit. Among a host of other podium finishes, he’s won back-to-back X Games Slopestyle gold medals, and his final run at the 2013 X Games received a score of 98.00, the highest snowboard slopestyle run in X Games history.
Kotsenburg, 19, holds a Dew Cup title, silver medal in X Games Slopestyle, bronze in X Games Big Air, silver medal in X Games Tignes Slopestyle and took second in Dew Tour Big Air.
Willett, a Breckenridge pro team rider, is one of the best slopestyle competitors in the world, and has a collection of four X Games Snowboard Slopestyle medals to his name. Coming into High Roller Hold ‘Em, Willett will be looking to defend his first place finish at the 2013 Air & Style event in Innsbruck, where he took top honors with a switch backside 1260 mute.
Burgener is widely considered to be Switzerland’s top big air competitor, and is credited with landing the first ever switch backside triple cork 1440 in April 2011. The 18-year-old rider was named Swiss National Champion in big air in both 2011 and 2012.
Horgmo, 26, placed second at the 2013 Burton U.S. Open in slopestyle, and first in slopestyle at the 2013 Burton European Open. He also holds two gold medals and a silver in X Games Aspen Big Air and is a participant in the 2013 X Games LA Real Snow Backcountry.
“Any night time event with SPT and pyrotechnics involved is sure to be fun,” Horgmo said.
Heavenly Mountain Resort contributed to this report.