PokerStars Does It Again: The NAPT Las Vegas Wraps Up in Style
Last Updated: November 13, 2023
There was a lot of hype surrounding the big return of the PokerStars North American Poker Tour. After a 12-year hiatus, the operator decided to bring back its iconic tour to the United States, choosing, fittingly perhaps, Las Vegas as the place to kick things off.
In the weeks leading up to the Las Vegas NAPT festival, players had ample opportunities to qualify online, with PokerStars offering different types of satellites and packages. This helped further boost the hype and fill up some seats at the Resorts World, the event’s official venue.
Yesterday saw the final day of play as the last few events wrapped up, and we can now officially say that the return of the North American Poker Tour was a success in every which way. Guarantees were shattered, big money was awarded, and players had loads of fun. What more could one ask for from a poker festival?
NAPT Main Breaks Guarantee, Winner Banks Over Quarter Million
The $1,650 NAPT Main Event was certainly the pinnacle of the series, with PokerStars putting a rather generous guarantee of $1.5 million on it. With six starting flights and players eager to get in the action, the operator had no doubts about meeting the guarantee, and their confidence proved justified.
By the time the registration window closed, the tournament clock was showing a total of 1,095 entries. This was more than enough to eclipse the guarantee, bringing the final prize pool to $1,675,350. Of that number, $268945 was reserved for the eventual winner.
The Main Event was an interesting mix of hardened professionals, PokerStars ambassadors, casual players, and many qualifiers who won their seats playing online. Out of all of them, 159 made the money, pocketing at least something for their efforts.
Naturally, big bucks were reserved for the final table, which saw several well-known names in the running for the title, including the crusher that is Nick Schulman.
However, poker gods favored Sami Bechahed this time around, as he was the one lifting the trophy and pocketing just shy of $270,000 for his amazing run.
Images courtesy of PokerStars
This was Bechahed second-best score of his poker career, bringing his lifetime winnings to over $1.2 million. Sami is what you could call a true poker grinder, as he accumulated his winnings over time, playing in low buy-in tournaments over the last couple of years and consistently finishing in top spots.
Solid Turnout for the High Roller Event
Following the successful conclusion of the Main Event, the NAPT wrapped things up with a few more tournaments, including the $5,300 High Roller. This one came with a rather high buy-in (justifying its name) but ended up attracting a very solid field of 150 entries.
This resulted in a very respectable $727,500 prize pool, which was shared by the top 20 finishers who made the money. The biggest cut of the pie went to Samuel Laskowitz, who was the last person standing and pocketed $180,850 for that achievement.
His biggest obstacle on his way to the title was Jesse Lonis, the man who took down the $10,300 NAPT Super High Roller just a few days prior and was aiming for the double crown.
It wasn’t meant to be for Lonis, though, as he eventually busted in third place despite starting the day as the chip leader. Laskowitz then had to win the final skirmish against Shannon Shorr, which he was able to do without too much fuss, booking the second-largest win of his career.
Plenty of Action on the Sidelines
While the Main Event and high rollers were the focus of the 2023 Las Vegas North American Poker Tour, there were plenty of side events that saw a nice turnout and dished out some nice prices and trophies to go along.
One of these was certainly the $5,300 Mixed Games event. The tournament attracted a fairly small field of 32, and the title eventually went to Eli Elezra, one of the poker legends who’s been holding his own for decades now.
If you think mastering one game is tough, try eight…
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) November 11, 2023
We must mention the fact that PokerStars also used this opportunity to bring back its legendary The Big Game show in style, selecting two loose cannons for the new season that will be aired in 2024.
All in all, the return of the North American Poker Tour to US soil was a great success and a sign of things to come. PokerStars live events are coming back to the United States, and this is excellent news for all fans of live tournaments, as few operators can match PokerStars when it comes to organizing these events.
As for the NAPT, we now eagerly await the news on what’s coming next, and we’ll make sure to keep you up to date with any details as they become available!