photos: Ryan “Huggy” Hughes

In an interesting twist on a big air competition that combined Tahoe’s legendary casino nightlife with its snowboarding heritage, Shaun White hosted the first-ever High Roller Hold ‘Em at Heavenly on Saturday, April 6th. Invited riders, including Mark McMorris, Chas Guldemond, Eric Willett, Sage Kotsenburg, and Ulrik Badertscher, played hands of poker in order to determine tricks they would have to land to advance through the rounds of the contest. Example: Mark McMorris drew an ace, but he wasn’t able to make the triple cork the ace stood for, so he didn’t win that round. Ian Thorley drew an eight of diamonds and landed a cab 900 in order to advance. Each round represented a hand of poker. Get it? We don’t exactly either, but it sounds like it worked out well. Local favorite Chas Guldemond bested the field and walked away with $25,000, a pot that would stoke out anyone on the World Poker Tour. Gjermund Braaten and Eric Willett took second and third, respectively, and everyone seemed to have a good time throwing down under the starry skies of South Lake.


First – Chas Guldemond
Second – Gjermund Braaten
Third – Eric Willett