The odds may seem against you-- but smart play and a little luck can take you a long way on less then penny in the Poker world.
Jon Schaeffer shows you how a hand full of people from Bismarck are trying to take their poker face to the sport's biggest stage through a free game.
Jon Schaeffer-KX Sports: Across North Dakota you can find local bars playing host to a game of poker put on by the Free Poker Network. It doesn't cost players a dime to get in.
Howard Burns-Poker Player: "It's a great way to get into the sport to learn there's no pressure on you. you can come out have some fun people are going to show you how to learn the game it's a great atmosphere to pick up the game and actually turn it into something."
Mike Fisk-Poker Player: "It's a free poker league. There's probably a poker game every night of the week. The top 10 percent make regionals then the top 10 percent at regionals make it to state and if you win state like I did then you earn a trip to vegas to play in the world series."
Jon Schaeffer-KX Sports: Along with Mike Fisk-- 15 other players from North Dakota are heading to Vegas this weekend to show their skills against players from all over the country at the Free Poker Network's National Tournament.
John Sayler-Poker Player: "They have a good turnout. It's between 100 and 125 players and it's the best of the best from across 17 states that have the free poker network."
Jon Schaeffer-KX Sports: Players only pay for travel to get to the national tournament-- a cost that seems small in comparison to the potential winnings.
If you win nationals you get a 10 thousand dollar seat paid for in the World Series of Poker Main Event-- Poker's biggest stage.
Howard Burns-Poker Player: "It's a great opportunity to get in for no money really getting in a little bit of travel expenses but uh the payout can be great."
Mike Fisk-Poker Player: "I'm glad the state has something like this. you know it gives somebody that chance you know. Somebody that wouldn't normally have enough money to go to vegas play in the world series in the main event."
Jon Schaeffer-KX Sports: the Main Event payout last year was over 8 and a half million dollars-- but for some of these players the chance just to play next to some of the great names in the sport-- is a payout in itself.
John Sayler-Poker Player: "Well that'd be fantastic to be sitting at the table with some of the great names in the poker just the experience of it all and the thrill of it all but it'd be a highlight."
Mike Fisk-Poker Player: "Just to say that I'm good enough to sit with those guys you know that's once in a life time."
Howard Burns-Poker Player: "It would be pretty inimidating to sit down with some of the big names of poker but I look at it as a great honor and I'm Ready to do it."
For KX sports Jon Schaeffer.
You can find where you can play free poker on their website-- free poker network.com
Last year--over 6 thousand players were entered in the World Series of Poker Main Event.
This year's tournament starts July 6th at the Rio in Las Vegas.