Feb 222006
Authors: Danielle Yuthas

Winning free tuition or other prizes including a laptop or an iPod is all in the cards.

Absolutepoker.com is offering students a scholarship based on their Texas Hold 'Em skills. This is a chance to go to school free for a semester not based on grades or community service. All applicants can register on the Web site.

This is the third consecutive semester for the tournament.

"We want people that are passionate about poker," said Patrick Makenna, vice president of business development for Absolutepoker.com.

From each of three scheduled rounds, the top 18 winners are paid the $500 Scholarship Prize Pool and the top nine will advance to the final. The final game will be played live in an "undisclosed location" which, according to Makenna, will most likely be Vegas or somewhere tropical, and the game will be televised.

Absolutepoker.com also offers poker enthusiasts an internship in Costa Rica for three students per term. Students get a chance to learn the ins and outs of marketing for an online business and provide student perspective.

"It's about us giving back," Makenna said.

The company caters to students as a charity project. Since Absolutepoker.com was started by students at the University of Montana, they understand what it means to live on a college student budget. This company originated as a means for a few students to earn some cash to go out at night by playing poker in a tavern, Makenna noted. Today it has escalated to more than100 thousand players per day.

"It is a perfect match of technology to have the Internet and poker come together," Makenna said.

They can virtually add a vast number of tables in a split second. What it would take a major casino to do in land and hiring, they have done in software, he said. With the ability to have so many games going at a time from all different locations, it opens the possibility to play games with widely varied denominations. Small money (10-cent) tournaments to big money ones are readily accessible, whereas in a casino only the set denominations can be played, and only when there are enough interested players.

At any given time nearly 2,000 tables could be playing in comparison to the 15 to 20 tables at the Bellagio, Makenna said.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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