PokerStars North American Poker Tour Returning to Las Vegas
After a hiatus of more than a decade, PokerStars is set to bring back the North American Poker Tour (NAPT). The return is scheduled to take place at Resorts World in Las Vegas from November 4-12, 2023.
That’s just a week before the much-anticipated Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 18, where PokerStars’ partner, Oracle Red Bull Racing, will be among the racing teams competing.
PokerStars originally ran the North American Poker Tour in 2010 with seven events. The second season was interrupted by PokerStars’ unceremonious exit from the U.S. market. That’s when federal investigators shut down half a dozen high-profile U.S-facing poker sites on Friday April 15, 2011.
The day became known as the Black Friday of the U.S. poker world at the time. Now, in a different landscape that has seen legalized gambling spread across America in various forms, the event is set for a triumphant return.
“We are delighted to announce the return of this iconic series and once again hold the NAPT for poker players in North America,” said Steve Preiss, VP for PokerStars North America, in a joint press release.
“We’re working hard to ensure that this is a spectacular series and can’t wait to head to Las Vegas to get the show on the road.”
A Grand Return with a Packed Schedule
The NAPT’s return is marked by a series of events that cater to a wide range of poker players of various budgets and experience.
The schedule includes a $5,300 buy-in high roller tournament set for November 10-12, a $550 buy-in PokerStars Cup event from November 9-12, and the highlight, a $1,650 main event running from November 6-11.
Resorts World Las Vegas, the chosen venue for the NAPT’s return, is equally excited about the partnership.
“We are thrilled to partner with PokerStars as we celebrate the return of the North American Poker Tour with the first stop at Resorts World Las Vegas. NAPT Las Vegas is sure to bring players in from all over the globe, and we look forward to hosting them once again at our world-class property,” said Leon Wheeler, director of poker operations at Resorts World Las Vegas.
Resorts World is in need of some good press this month, which the return of a much-loved poker tour will offer.
Earlier in August, it emerged that several high level employees may be under scrutiny from federal investigators. The feds are looking into potential associations with an illegal California-based sports betting operation that was busted last year.
The Genting-owned casino was also at the center of a widely publicized incident in which a high stakes gambler posted an offensive message about a Las Vegas Strip nightclub manager on the giant Resorts World screen, which could be seen by hundreds of thousands of people across the city.
NAPT’s Past and Present
The NAPT made its debut in 2010, starting with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Harrison Gimbel emerged as the champion of the $10,300 buy-in tournament, taking home a cool $2.2 million.
The last event was held just two days before Black Friday, on April 9, 2011, at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Vanessas Selbst walked away as a $450,000 winner that time after winning the same event in the Season 1 edition of the NAPT.
The return of the tournament is aimed primarily at the North American market, as you might think. But international competitors are also welcome. It is widely expected that some of the world’s best poker players will be in attendance for the main event.
Interestingly, though, Nevada online poker players will have to travel out of state to compete in qualifying events. PokerStars, now operating in fully legal U.S. markets under ownership of Flutter Entertainment since 2019, is currently only available in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.