10th annual Texas Hold’em tournament begins today

The 10th annual Texas Hold’em Championship will be held today through Tuesday at The Vegas Motel in Minot.

Tournament co-founder Wendy Rupert said the prize pool for the poker tournament has grown to $172,000, with the first prize worth $50,000, assuming that there are 1,500 entrants.

“By the time it’s all said and done, with payouts for this year, we’ll have paid out close to $1 million in prizes over the 10 years,” said Rupert. “That’s a lot for a charity tournament.”

Proceeds from the Texas Hold’em Championship go to fund marketing scholarships for the Minot State University Alumni Foundation. Marketing majors at Minot State also help to promote the event, gaining valuable experience by doing so. Rupert said the students learn how the tournament’s organizers gather and collect information, how they contact current and future poker players and work with different communities to promote the event.

“The planning for the event is year-long,” said

Rupert. She said organizers will begin planning for next year’s event as soon as this one is over.

While the main tournament promotion is done in North Dakota and surrounding states and provinces, Rupert said the Texas Hold’em Championship also is known on a national scale.

“Players have attended from 39 different states,” said Rupert, adding that it has been promoted in the Las Vegas area as well as in other states that have some of the larger poker tournaments.

Rupert said her goal when she helped found the tournament was to create a community event to be held at the end of each year that would be fun and exciting and bring trade and tourism to the area. Poker players and their families from all over the country enjoy getting together at the event each year. Her aim has been successful.

“It’s been estimated that we have a $2 million economic impact on the community,” said Rupert.

For more information about the tournament and registration guidelines, log on to the hotel website at (