2/22/10 – The well planned launch of Pokerstar.net's inaugural North American Poker Tour at the Venetian in Las Vegas got off to a good start with its $5 000 buy-in NLHE tournament over the weekend, with 872 players registering, many of them well known names in international poker.
Although the registrations fell short of the 890 player cap the organisers had placed on the event, it was nevertheless an impressive turnout, especially when considered against the fact that the WPT Invitational was held in the same timeframe at the Commerce in Los Angeles.
Well over half the field, including names like Justin Bonomo, Kevin Saul, Hevad Khan, David Benyamine, Phil Hellmuth, Shaun Deeb, Kathy Liebert, Theo Tran, JC Tran, Chino Rheem and Chad Brown had been eliminated by Sunday, with 475 players remaining to battle it out with an eye on the main prize of over $825 000. The survivors were led by local pro Andy Seth in the chip counts.
The big event also paid homage to charity, with a tournament on Friday titled the Pokerstars.net NAPT Venetian Charity Tournament that involved the Pokerstars Pro aces from the site and a slew of celebrities, including Christian Slater, Jason Alexander, Slash and T-Pain. This side event raised over $42 000 for Southern Nevada's Three Square food bank.