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Poker News: January 9th, 2010

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HEADLINE: PokerStars to Launch North American Poker Tour


What has long been a rumor has finally been confirmed as official. PokerStars, the online poker room behind popular poker circuits like the European Poker Tour (EPT), Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) and Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT), announced earlier this week that it would be spreading to North America.

As part of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) festivities currently underway at the Atlantis Resort and Casino on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, PokerStars announced the launch of the new North American Poker Tour (NAPT). The inaugural season begins with the PCA and will include stops at the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas and the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.

The first of the States-side events is set to take place from February 20th-24th. The $5,000 buy-in event will be held at the Venetian and will also serve as the Main Event for the casino’s popular Deep Stack Extravaganza series. There are four Venetian Deep Stacks throughout the year, but for the now at least, the spring series will be the only one affiliated with the NAPT. The tournament is set to take place around the same time as the Los Angeles Poker Classic (LAPC), one of the more popular stops on the NAPT’s biggest nemesis, the World Poker Tour (WPT).

The second stop on Season One of the NAPT will be held at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Unlike the Venetian stop, the East Coast leg of the tour will consist of a 20-event to-be-determined schedule set to take place over the course of two weeks. The buy-ins are expected to range from $200 to $25,000.

NAPT officials said they hoped to add more stops in the US and Canada as the tour grows, but there are currently no immediate plans to expand Season One past these three stops. The tournaments are all going to be filmed for television by 441 Productions, the same production company responsible for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) coverage on ESPN. The tour will be hosted by model Joanna Krupa, who is perhaps best known for her stint on “Dancing with the Stars.”

The NAPT is not Krupa’s first encounter with poker. Recently she took part in the PokerStars-sponsored “Million Dollar Challenge”, the Fox poker program that was the most widely watched poker program in history. She, along with Playboy Playmate of the Year Jayde Nicole were just two of the celebrities who squared off against contestants in the heads-up game show format.

There is no official word where audiences will be able to view NAPT broadcasts, but PokerStars announced at the official NAPT press conference that the tour did have a contract with a first-tier broadcasting network.

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Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on January 9th, 2010

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