BEMIDJI -- It will be a sea of green (felt) this weekend as hundreds of pool players will be at the Sanford Center.

Bemidji’s event center is hosting the 2019 Midwest Poolplayers Association Pool Championships, which started on Wednesday with 9-ball singles. Play starts at 10 a.m. every day through the weekend and will be busiest in the evenings. The 8-ball singles started Thursday night and the five-person team tournament begins on Friday and goes into Saturday.

“We expect about 600 players all together between the 9-ball, the 8-ball and the team,” said John Stich, president of the Midwest Poolplayers Association. “They’ll be coming from all over the state of Minnesota. We have players from Iowa, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay (Ont.).”

Members will be competing for their entry fees, plus a $25,000 prize fund, which Stich said comes from the Midwest Poolplayers Association sanctioning money. Players must be a Midwest Poolplayers Association sanctioned member to participate in the tournament.

The event is free and open to the public to watch the matches.