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Grudzien Wins InterPoker.com's Loser's Leap

27 July 2006

JEAN, Nev. -- Nick Grudzien, a 29-year old semi-professional poker player from New York City, won InterPoker.com's latest Extreme Poker Challenge – "Loser's Leap" – on Wednesday morning.

The third in a series of exotic poker tournaments, Loser's Leap featured four Internet qualifiers against one of the most "extreme" poker players on the professional circuit: Phil "The Unabomber" Laak.

The tournament took place on a plane 10,000 feet above the Jean Airport 20 miles south of Las Vegas, and when a player busted out, they took a tandem jump out of the plane, hurtling themselves back towards Earth.

For the win, Grudzien receives a $6,300 entry into the Caribbean Poker Classic in St. Kitts in late November.

Using a very aggressive style in the short sit-and-go tournament (perhaps "sit-and-jump" would be a more appropriate description), Grudzien built an early chip lead. He knocked Laak out in fourth place, and Laak soared to the ground, slowed by a giant "InterPoker.com" parachute.

"Nick is sick," said Laak, who estimates he has been skydiving 12-15 times before. "But how can you lose in this thing? If you lose the tournament, you get to jump out of a plane?"

Previous Extreme Poker Challenges have taken place underwater in the Caribbean and on a frozen lake in Finland. InterPoker.com is planning at least one more, to-be-determined Extreme Poker Challenge before hosting another tournament underwater in St. Kitts, dubbed the Deep Water Series of Poker (DWSOP).

Notes: While Laak was disappointed in his performance, it's understandable as he had just few hours of sleep after finishing the first day of a World Series of Poker event among the chip leaders. He was not without good humor upon arriving, however, sporting a form-fitting purple jump suit for the flight. When asked if it was his own, Laak replied: "If this was my own (suit), maybe my package wouldn't be so prominently displayed." ... Antonio Esfandiari and Scott Fischman were originally scheduled to participate in the event, but Esfandiari was a last-minute scratch as he came down with a cold and did not make it to Jean Airport. Fischman, who endorses InterPoker.com, was at the event, but did not participate due to a wrist injury. A fourth Internet qualifier was added to increase the field to five players.


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Best of Aaron Todd
Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.