The first freeroll hands have been dealt at this years 9th annual North Dakota Texas Hold 'em Championship at the Vegas Motel in Minot.
The main tournament is scheduled to get underway Saturday morning at 10am and will continue to the New Year until the roughly 12-hundred contestants is done to just 1.
The winner is expected to take home 45-thousand dollars with a total of approximately 149-thousand dollars being given away during the four days poker tournament.
Wendy Rupert, a co-founder of the event, says the word about the electric atmosphere at the Poker Tournament has been spreading far and wide and organizers are seeing a lot more outside interest in the tournament.
(Wendy Rupert, Vegas Motel-Minot) "Especially on our facebook page from out of state players that are hearing about our tournament through word of mouth from oil workers to construction workers that are here in North Dakota and they're heard about the tournament so that word of mouth is spreading far outside of North Dakota, Montana and Minnesota."
Rupert says they are also seeing more married couples entering the tournament.
The Poker Champion is expected to be crowned on New Years.