PokerStars Announces North American Poker Tour to Return, Kick Off in Las Vegas

  • NAPT Las Vegas will run November 4-12 at Resorts World
  • The Main Event will cost $1,650 and have six starting flights
  • The NAPT originally ran for parts of two seasons, 2010-2011
  • Black Friday made PokerStars exit the US market, ending the tour
PokerStars NAPT banner
The North American Poker Tour is back for the first time in over 12 years. [Image:]

Blast from the past

President Barack Obama was a bit more than halfway through his first term the last time an event was played on the PokerStars North American Poker Tour (NAPT). Many poker fans probably have never even heard of it. On Wednesday, though, PokerStars announced that the NAPT has been reborn, with the first stop set for Las Vegas November 4-12, 2023.

Resorts World Las Vegas will host the “inaugural” North American Poker Tour event. The complete schedule has yet to be finalized, but PokerStars has said that the $1,650 buy-in Main Event will run November 6-11 and will have six starting flights.

Other key tournaments that are known at this point are the $550 NLH Cup, the $5,300 High Roller, the $10,300 Super High Roller, and the $1,100 Mystery Bounty Event. As one would expect from PokerStars, online poker players – on Stars’ North American sites and around the world – will have opportunities to earn their way into the NAPT Las Vegas tournaments via satellites.

First go was short lived

The North American Poker Tour was one of the earliest live tournament tours founded by PokerStars, beginning in January 2010 with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. There were seven total events that year, some of which were high roller tournaments.

In addition to the Bahamas, the NAPT visited Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, the Venetian in Las Vegas, and Bicycle Casino (“The Bike”) in Los Angeles during that first year. Buy-ins were higher than it looks like they will be with the new version of the NAPT – Main Events ran $5,000 or $10,300 and High Rollers were $25,000, with some variation of the prize pool/fee split depending on location and whether or not it was a bounty event.

Vanessa Selbst won the Main Event for the second year in a row

The second season began in January 2011, again at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The tour then moved to Mohegan Sun in April, where Vanessa Selbst won the Main Event for the second year in a row. But little did anyone know that that would be it for the NAPT until 12 years later.

Black Friday’s effects were widespread

The Season 2 NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event ended on April 13, 2011. Two days later, an indictment was unsealed in a criminal case against PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, the Cereus Network (Absolute Poker and UltimateBet) and several individuals, a day infamously known as Black Friday in the poker world.

The online poker rooms withdrew from the US market and with them went live poker events like the North American Poker Tour. It took nearly a year for the NAPT website to stop displaying information for the tour, likely because PokerStars had more pressing matters than worrying about updating a website.

Other poker television shows were irreparably damaged, as well.

ESPN2 canceled its scheduled airing of the NAPT on April 17, 2011; not only was the NAPT a PokerStars tour, but the broadcast was sponsored by Other poker television shows were irreparably damaged, as well. Both High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, two extremely popular programs, died because of Black Friday, mainly because the withdrawal of the poker rooms from the US meant sponsorship money dried up. They have since been brought back by poker streaming service PokerGO.

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