Snowboarders who play poker
Poker and Snowboarding, it’s like PB and J!
By Charlie River

Snowboaders are used to taking risks out on the slopes.  Their daredevil attitudes and no fear lifestyle capture the imagination of all that watch their feats of brilliance.  It is no surprise that many snowboarders are beginning to cross over into the poker world. And snowboard poker tournaments to raise money for charity are every-day occurences.

Jeremy Jones – Big Mountain Poker

The snowboarding blog on ESPN turned into a poker blog earlier in the year when professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones put on a poker tournament benefiting his environmental group Protect Our Winters.  The purpose of the organization is to find ways of reversing global warming.  Among those in attendance were Todd Brunson, Erica Schoenberg, and Scott Ian.

Ross Powers

A true legend of snowboarding, Ross Powers, has taken his name to the poker tables on a regular basis for the sake of charity.  He regularly holds or attends various charity poker tournaments for various organizations, including his own Ross Powers Foundation and the annual poker fundraiser Thursday night at the US Open each year is legendary.  His foundation is set up to help athletes that are in financial need.

Ingermar Backman

Ingermar (Ingemar?) Backman was the first major snowboarding superstar to come out of Sweden. He became famous in 1996 for setting the world record at the time for highest air out of a quarter-pipe. (Check out a short clip of his HUGE air here.)  However, injuries would eventually put him on the shelf as a snowboarder.

Backman would then turn to poker for his thrills and quickly became successful. He finished 5th in an EPT event in 2005 and has nearly $100,000 in lifetime tournament winning.

Other Snowboarders Use Poker to Support Charity

In 2008, snowboarders Jeff Brushie, Keir Dillon, and Ross Powers were among those in attendance for the 2nd Annual Jennifer Harman Poker Charity Event that benefited the Nevada SPCA No-Kill Animal Shelter.

Other than Backman, there really haven’t been too many snowboarders that have fully transitioned into professional poker.  Of course, it is known that many snowboarders enjoy poker.

Poker just seems to go along with the snowboarding culture.  Many players will likely have to play some poker freerolls to get their bankroll started as snowboarding does not pay the big bucks like other professional sports.   Over time, I expect we will see other players, maybe even Ross Powers, cross over fully into the professional poker world.  Both have their level of risk, and the adrenaline rush of surviving an all-in should make a nice substitute for riding the half-pipe.