Colleges may not be offering full-ride poker scholarships, but pro poker player Lou Krieger, author of Poker for Dummies and Internet Poker, is offering the next best thing.
As the host of the inaugural College Poker Championship, Krieger is determined to find the best college Texas Hold’em, No Limit poker player in the world. And with sponsorship funds from online poker giant Royal Vegas Poker, he’s offering $50,000 cash to the winner, along with a charitable donation of $10,000 to the organization of the winner’s choice.
Although poker — online as well as in dorms, fraternities and sororities, and campus recreation areas — is quickly becoming the new college pastime of choice, the College Poker Championship is the first event to bring college poker players together from all over the world.
But gambling this isn’t: Krieger is focusing on the charitable giving and scholarship aspects of the tournament. And to prove it, he’s made entry into the tournament entirely free, with no purchase ever required of participants.
"It’s about giving back to the community, both scholars and charitable organizations, while at the same time enjoying a game that is fast becoming the next spectator sport," Krieger said. "Poker is a game of skill and not of random chance. Its value is increasingly being recognized by university professors around the world as a game that encourages strategic thinking and competitive analysis."
Open to university and college students worldwide who are enrolled between January and June 2004, the College Poker Championship began January 25, 2004; qualifying rounds will be played at RoyalVegasPoker.com every Sunday at 2 p.m. EDT for 18 weeks.
Each week, $500 will be won and 30 students will go through to the semifinal round. The top 200 will then compete in the Final Event, Sunday, June 6, 4 p.m. EDT, for the grand prize of $50,000 in cash and $10,000 in charitable donations. Students can register online at CollegePokerChampionship.com.
"This is a world first. It’s a great opportunity for students from around the world to meet one another online and compete for large cash scholarships," Krieger said. "So far, poker enthusiasts from Australia to America and from Cornell to Cambridge have registered for this first in a series of annual college poker championships. The winner can truly claim the title of Best College Texas Hold ”˜em No Limit Poker Player in the World - and then pay for the rest of his or her education."