David Wood, a 20-year-old student at Purdue University, was this summer's winner of the Absolute Poker "Win Your Tuition" tournament. He won a full year's tuition for his efforts and also took home a new laptop.
Wood was one of six finalists who made it to the final table of the "Win Your Tuition" tournament offered by Absolute Poker. He went up against Jim Pappas, a student at Bradley University in Mount Prospect, Ill.; Kyle Garis, from the University of Delaware in Lansdale, Penn.; Justin Rausch from Penn State University in Scottsdale, Penn.; David Wilke from Southeast Missouri State University in Saint Louis, Mo.; and Jamie Webster from Georgia College and State University in Marrietta, Ga.
All six finalists had to battle their way through thousands of other college students in online tournaments to make it to the final table. They were awarded a trip to New York City where the final table was played in the VIP room of Crobar, a dance club in New York City Aug. 9.
Heads-up came down to Wood and Rausch. Rausch, 21, has been playing poker since he was 10 and was introduced to Texas Hold'em at 18. His experience wasn't quite enough to take down Wood, though, who started playing poker when he was 16.
Rausch received a semester of college tuition for his second place finish, with Wood receiving a full year of tuition paid, and all of the finalists received new laptop computers.
Originally, Absolute Poker was going to pay one semester of the winner's tuition, so Wood was surprised when officials informed him he was being awarded a full year instead.
"The program has grown so much that we wanted to increase the prize," said Patrick McKenna, Win Your Tuition program manager. "Our goal is to give away a year a month if we can do it. We really believe in higher education."
For more information about the tournament or the schedule for the next one, visit www.winyourtuition.com.