WSOP Champ Wins Extreme Poker Challenge - Monday 3rd of April 2006

KEMI, Finland – Robert Varkonyi, the 2002 WorldSeries of Poker Champion, is accustomed to keeping his cool under pressure,but today's InterPoker.com Extreme Poker Challenge forced him to heat thingsup in order to stay alive. In a dramatic come-from-behind victory, Varkonyisent chills through his competitors Peter Larsson of Sweden, Ulrik Jensen ofDenmark, Rene Christensen of Denmark, Daniel Stein of England and reigningExtreme Poker Champion and local favorite Juha Helppi of Finland.

Battling temperatures that reached minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus23 degrees Celsius), the Extreme Competitors were given the option ofrepurchasing lost chips in exchange for their coat, forcing them to play inonly a T-Shirt. Within the first three hands, Internet qualifier Daniel Steinhad not only stripped Varkonyi of his chip stack, but also forced him to peeloff his protective layer of winter clothing in order to stay in thetournament. Varkonyi later resorted to running laps in between hands tomaintain circulation and stave off frostbite.

Ultimately, only Varkonyi and Helppi remained in the tournament, withVarkonyi playing in just a T-Shirt, and Helppi securely wrapped in his Parka.Varkonyi drew 9/10 off suit, and Helppi held suited K/9 of clubs. The flopuncovered off suit 10/7 and a 3 of clubs, giving Varkonyi a pair of 10s andHelppi a flush Draw. Helppi pushed all of his chips in, and Varkonyi calledhis bet, his lips turning blue, and his body growing tired from hisincreasingly rapid jogging around the frost-covered table. The turn gave a 7,and the river another 10, leaving Varkonyi with a Frozen Full House to claimthe Extreme Poker Title.

"Winning this title makes my suffering through the most excruciating coldI've ever experienced worth it, and I know this tournament will prepare mewell for the 2006 World Series of Poker," said Varkonyi. "Juha really gave mea run for the title, and my hat and coat are off to him."

With this victory, Varkonyi will join Juha at the 2006 Extreme PokerChampionship, to be held in a sunken ship off the coast of St. Kitts, as willtop-placed InterPoker.com Internet qualifier Ulrik Jensen from Denmark.

"The tournament was absolutely stunning the players sat atop aseemingly endless ice shelf on the Arctic sea and played a frostbitten game ofpoker, as the frigid winds tore across the table," said InterPoker.comspokesperson Peter Marcus. "All of the players showed an amazing amount ofconcentration, skill and pure grit during this tournament especially ourInternet qualifiers, who I anticipate will have very promising poker careers."

Despite losing the InterPoker.com Extreme Poker Title on his home turf,Helppi remained gracious in defeat. "Rob is a true champion, and hedemonstrated today that he is willing to do whatever it takes to win,including removing his clothes in subzero temperatures and running in circlesto fight off hypothermia," said Helppi. "I congratulate Rob his victory, andlook forward to facing him in the next Extreme event to take back my title."

Internet qualifier Ulrik Jensen was excited to play against the pros atInterPoker.com's Arctic Freeze Out Tournament, but seemed to be moreinterested in the prospect of facing Varkonyi and Juha once more in St. Kitts."My face, fingers and toes are all numb after sitting for 90 minutes in thefrozen tundra and nothing sounds better than visiting a tropical paradisefor a week of sun and poker."

At the close of the Finland event, InterPoker.com announced that everyplayer who qualifies for the World Series of Poker through InterPoker.com WSOPsatellite tournaments are automatically entered into qualifying round theupcoming July Extreme Poker event titled "Loser's Leap," to be held in10,000 feet above the Las Vegas Desert. Players will compete in a plane, andwill be forced to parachute out when they run out of chips.

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