Curtis Roll - Poker Tournament - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Curtis Roll - Poker Tournament

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Day two of the 4 day Texas Hold 'Em tournament is coming to a close, but for one California native, poker in the Midwest has just begun.

Emily Medalen has the story.

For the last decade, poker players have traveled to the Magic City from across the US to join in one of the largest Texas Hold 'Em tournaments in the country.

And according one die-hard player from Los Angeles, poker up north is the way to go.

(Curtis Roll, Professional Poker Player) "What's special about this tournament is that there's not a lot of poker in North Dakota, so everybody here - this is their one chance of the year to really play. So there's a really high level of excitement in this room, that you don't really see anywhere else, except maybe the World Series of Poker. The main event in Vegas."

For many people, the game is simply a way to have a good time with friends on the weekends.

But Roll says that for him, it's been a way of life for years.

(Curtis Roll, Professional Poker Player) "I was working in the real estate business when I got out of college, and right when I got in the business, the market crashed in 2008. And so I was supporting myself with poker for about 4 or 5 years. And what I realized, is that over the course of time I really enjoyed it. It's what I love to do. And what I love about it, is it's a social thing. You get to get together with your friends and everybody's having a good time.

Recently, he got word of the large numbers of workers coming to this region for oil, and decided to pack up and head north.

So, he set up a poker room in Fairview, Montana, just 35 miles from Williston, and says he's there to stay.

(Curtis Roll, Professional Poker Player) "When I heard about the oil boom going on in and around North Dakota and Williston and what not, I realized that there's a large group of people there that have money, but they don't really have a lot of fun things to do. And so poker is really a perfect thing to get together, socialize, network, and make new friends. And I think that's an important thing out here as well, because there are people coming from all over the place, and they don't really have a way to meet new people. So poker is a great way to facilitate that."

It's still early, but Roll has high hopes for his first ever North Dakota tournament.

(Curtis Roll, Professional Poker Player) "I mean I'd love to go deep, I'd love to make the final table, hopefully win it, you know? But I'd also like to meet a lot of people."

And with over 1500 competitors this year, he says it hasn't been difficult so far.

In Minot, Emily Medalen, KX News.

The tournament continues through Tuesday.

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