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Inaugural Crazy Pineapple world champion crowned

9 Apr 2009

STATELINE, Nevada -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- If Crazy Pineapple has a home, it's surely in northern Nevada. Casinos in Reno and around Lake Tahoe have been spreading the game for decades. Admittedly, Crazy Pineapple will never rival Hold'em or other poker games in popularity. But northern Nevada has embraced this game as its own. Therefore, it's only fitting that the first designed "Crazy Pineapple World Championship" would be offered in the high Sierras.

Crazy Pineapple is both fun and different. For those out there asking -- What is Crazy Pineapple? – here's a quick lesson. The game is played much like Hold'em, with two blinds. Players are dealt out three cards. There is a round of betting. Next, three community cards are dealt, which is the flop. After another round of betting, those still in the hand must muck one of their cards. That leaves only two down cards. The remainder of the hand is dealt out like Hold'em, with a turn and river followed by successive rounds of betting. The twist in Crazy Pineapple is the game is played for both High and Low. For there to be a low hand, there must be an eight qualifier. So in essence, Crazy Pineapple is a cross between Hold'em and Omaha High-Low Split. It is deceptively simple to learn how to play, yet has strategies all its own.

The 2009 Sierra Poker Classic included one Crazy Pineapple tournament on the schedule. After some initial research, organizers learned this is the largest buy-in Crazy Pineapple tournament in the world (at least, this year). Most of the previous Pineapple poker tournaments held in Reno were for low stakes -- in the $50 to $100 range. Accordingly, Event #11 on this year's schedule has been trumpeted as the "2009 Crazy Pineapple World Championship."

The latest poker champion is (drum roll, please) Tom Christopher. He is a 52-year-old contractor from Las Vegas, NV. This marked Christopher's second final table appearance this week. He took ninth place in a previous event. Christopher is a regular player in Las Vegas and elsewhere. He plays many mid-level tournaments. However, this was his most coveted victory as the game's world champion.

"I lost big money betting sports today," Christopher said afterward. "About ten minutes before this tournament started I realized this was the only game left. It was my chance to get even. So, I decided to enter. Now, I'm the world champion? How cool is that?"

The newly crowned champion received $3,124 in prize money. Christopher can also claim to be the "Crazy Pineapple World Champion" for 2009. In lieu of a trophy or gold bracelet, Christopher was presented with a ripe pineapple for his achievement. The taste of victory was very sweet, indeed.

Years from now, when history looks back on this event which ended on a blustery Wednesday night on the south shores of Lake Tahoe, who knows if this tournament will be remembered as the first of its kind. Back in 1970, a few people gathered in Las Vegas about the same time of year and decided to call their game a world championship. The rest, as they say, is history.

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