SHAKOPEE (AP) -- All the seats were filled and more than 100 other players were on a waiting list as Canterbury Park opened Minnesota's first legal poker room at the horse track.
The poker room, with 28 tables seating eight or nine players each, officially opened to the public at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Within minutes, all the seats were filled and more than 100 other players had their names on ''the board,'' the room's version of a waiting list.
By 5 p.m., arriving players were being told that they'd have to wait about two hours before being assigned to a table.
In a second room for ''California games,'' where no seats are assigned, crowds of people milled behind 10 blackjack-like tables, hoping for an open seat. The games included ''pai gow poker,'' ''super 9'' and ''Minnesota 21,'' a variation of blackjack.
The track has weathered financial hardship since it opened in 1985 and hopes to take in annual revenues of $10 million to $12 million from the poker room. If that happens, the revenue will boost racing purses by $1 million to $1.5 million.
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