Student Wins PartyPoker.com Million - Wednesday 22nd of March 2006

GIBRALTAR –- Proving once again that theyouth movement is on the march in poker, a quiet 22-year-old college studentfrom Minneapolis became the youngest winner in the five-year history of theprestigious PartyPoker.com Million, claiming the $1 million first prizeamidst his wildly cheering group of 15 supporters from his home state-allpoker players themselves.

For a moment in the big amphitheatre aboard the ms. Westerdam, it seemedmore like a frat party than a poker tournament, but that exuberant tonebelied the intensity of the event which saw Schneider, in mirrored sunglassesand backward baseball cap, slowly wear down top pro Kenna James and the firstplayer ever to make two PartyPoker.com Million final tables, Scott Buller.Buller has been on every PartyPoker.com Million cruise and placed in themoney with 5th, 15th and 20th finishes before making this final table.

Buller, of Lincoln, Nebraska, mustered out third with a very nice$500,000 check as a consolation, bringing his total PartyPoker.com Millionwinnings to nearly $600,000. James, of Las Vegas, claimed the largestpaycheck of his career with a second place $700,000. His biggest previouspayday was $588,210 for a second place finish in last year's Legends of Pokerat the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles.

Two PartyPoker.com online players Drew Chitiea, a corporate pilot andflight instructor from Centennial, CO, and Richard Joel, a retiredbusinessman, from Atlanta, joined in the fun, happy to take home $300,000 and$225,000 respectively. The sixth competitor was Devon Miller, anup-and-coming 21-year-old pro from Los Angeles with a reputation for being aLimit Hold'em specialist. He was the first to exit and collected $175,000.

The world's largest Limit Hold'em tournament, the PartyPoker.com MillionV, began last Monday with a field of 528 and a $5,280,000 prize pool. WithKenna James singing at the table, joking with the crowd and his fellowplayers and Schneider's loud posse, the event indeed was true to itsreputation as the most fun event in high stakes poker.

Schneider could only say that he was "shellshocked" at his victory, buthe certainly didn't show his anxiety under the spotlight. Asked what he wasthinking behind his stoic poker face, he admitted: "oh God, oh God, oh God!"

Currently at the University of Minnesota studying journalism, he isplanning to graduate in fall 2006, and has paid for his education through hispoker winnings. The native Minnesotan began playing in home games four yearsago, and graduated to his hometown card room, Canterbury Park at 18, thelegal age in Minnesota. In 2003, he began playing online with PartyPoker.com.The PartyPoker.com Million is only his second high stakes tournament. Wisely,he hopes to put some of his PartyPoker.com winnings into investments, afterbuilding up his bankroll a bit and tucking some away for day-to-day expenses.

Schneider wasn't sure he would make it past the first three hands on thesecond day of the tournament, when he ended day one with a small stack of5,500 chips. "I had two dreams that night," he said, "one that I would bustout and the other one that I would build back up to 150,000 chips. Thatsecond dream was pretty close. But I sure didn't have a dream that foresaw amillion dollars!"

Buller, who has been aboard all five PartyPoker.com Million cruises notedthat the event has changed significantly since its inauguration. "The youngplayers have changed the whole picture. My first year there were maybe 20guys under 30. Now we have a boatload of them and at 49, I'm considered anold guy. But there is no doubt they deserve to be here. It's no accident thatMichael Schneider is holding that $1 million check. He played tough and hedeserved it."

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