By popular demand, Heartland Poker Tour announced a tour stop in the company’s home state of Minnesota. The nationally-televised poker show will film two episodes at Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino in Shakopee April 20-30, 2012. The event, which could offer the largest poker tournament prize pool ever in the state, is open to the public.

Players can take a shot at “life-changing” money for as little as $65. The two-day Main Event begins April 28 and concludes on April 29 when the field is reduced to six, with qualifying rounds beginning April 20th. The remaining six players will advance to HPT’s TV production set, assembled on site, on April 30. Thirteen high-definition cameras will capture all of the No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em action until a champion is named. To date, 582 poker enthusiasts have played their way to national television exposure on HPT.

Since humble beginnings in Moorhead, Minnesota, HPT built a nationwide following of poker enthusiasts with the mission, “Real People, Unreal Money.” Because the buy-ins are reasonable and the prize money is substantial, HPT tournaments appeal to players at every skill level.

“We see Cinderella stories at every stop,” said HPT Executive Producer Greg Lang, referencing retired police officer Craig Casino who recently won $293,270. “Anyone can have a shot at that life-changing moment on a national stage,” he added. Since 2005, 97 champions have experienced the thrill of an HPT victory. The tour has awarded over 32 million dollars to date.

HPT is expected to continue an upward growth swing in Season 8. For the poker tour that began in one of the most unlikely places, Fargo, North Dakota, 2011 was a year of new heights. The season began with a sellout event in Las Vegas and went on to break attendance records in many markets, including Colorado, Michigan and New York. The tour recently celebrated its first million-dollar prize pool in Colorado with 668 players.

While growing the brand nationwide, Lang said, loyal Minnesota players campaigned for a tournament at home. “They shouted, we listened,” said Lang. “We’re looking forward to seeing many familiar faces in April.”

Located near the Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis, Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino will see a bump in business while the tour is in town, as will other businesses in Shakopee, as players travel from across North America to participate. A top Twin Cities’ gaming destination, Canterbury Park provides 18,000 square feet of casino-style action around the clock for all levels of players. The card room features 34 tables of Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Seven-Card Stud.

“We are excited to host Heartland Poker Tour at Canterbury Park,” Michael Hochman, Senior Director of Card Casino Operations, said. “An event of this stature is a perfect fit for Minnesota’s premier poker room. The opportunity to offer what could be the largest poker prize pool in state history is great news for our players.”

Family, friends and fans are invited to watch the taping live on set or at HPTpoker.com. Seats are available in the audience on a first-come, first-served basis. HPT is available on TV in over 100 million US households in addition to widespread distribution throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Schedule and broadcast information is available at http://www.hptpoker.com/

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