NAPT Las Vegas
The NAPT returns after a 12-year hiatus in November as Las Vegas plays host to the returning tour.

From front and center in the poker boom of the early 21st century to a discarded tour forgotten by many, The North American Poker Tour (NAPT) was once a jewel in the crown of PokerStars. Coming to the fore of a raft of national event hosted by the poker giant in 2010, barely a year of NAPT competition ended when Black Friday effectively shut down all online poker in the United States in April 2011. That put paid to the structure and format of the NAPT.

12 years later, the NAPT is back in Las Vegas, and has the potential to be bigger than ever before.

The NAPT Returns in November

The NAPT is back on November 4th, as fireworks night will welcome players for nine days of competition. Ending on November 12th, this year’s NAPT, the first in 12 years, takes place just one week before Max Verstappen, Charles Le Clerc and Lewis Hamilton descend on Sin City for the first-ever Formula One race to hit Las Vegas.

With the $1,650 buy-in NAPT Las Vegas Main Event starting on November 6th and running to the 11th of the month, there are plenty of other events that will attract players not only from the United States, but from the rest of the world too. The $500-entry PokerStars Cup will be played out between the 9th and 12th of November, and the $5,300 High Roller will take place between the 10th and 12th, so there are events for every bankroll.

There will be extra events added to the schedule, but these are yet to be confirmed. What is certain is that PokerStars are bound to promote the return of the NAPT heavily, with the first iteration arguably coming some time after the initial post-Moneymaker ‘poker boom’ and this one coming in the middle of a mushrooming of poker attendances across the globe.

Who Were the Biggest Winners on the Old NAPT?

The original cast of winners on the NAPT read like a Who’s Who of yesteryear, only proving how quickly poker eras pass. The first NAPT – and subsequently some others – fulfilled part of other poker tours, and as such the 2010 NAPT took place in The Bahamas. Harrison Gimbel won the first-ever NAPT Main Event for a top prize of $2.2 million. The final contained one of the most incredible bluffs ever played when a major title was on the line as Gimbel represented the flush against Reiman’s flopped straight.

In February of 2010, a month after its launch, the NAPT had already decamped to Las Vegas, Nevada, where Tom Marchese won $827,000, with Ashton Griffin also taking a title to earn $576,000.

Moving to The Mohegan Sun in Conneticut was a pivotal place to be, as it proved to be the favorite stomping ground of the only double NAPT winner, Vanessa Selbst. She won for $750,000 in the Spring of 2010, and took $450,000 on April 13th of 2011, just 48 hours before Black Friday rocked the poker world. In between Selbst’s victories, Jason Mercier ($475,000), Joe Tehan ($725,000) and Galen Hall ($2.3m) all won big but the closure of online poker meant that 12 years would elapse before the popular poker tour would return.

Could the United States Become Poker’s Capital Country Again?

The diversity of worldwide poker tournaments today is very different from 2011. PokerStars had a bigger market share of a smaller market place a decade ago and the poker world has changed immeasurably in that time. In a sense, it would be impossible for the NAPT to have the same impact today as it had when it came along 13 years ago, but hopes are high that its return is now more permanent.

What could help the NAPT nail down its place on an ever-increasing raft of annual events that make up the professional poker circuit is a consistent location. Taking trips around the U.S. with its first iteration was a unique selling point to the tour, but poker has changed. There will be big decisions to be made as to whether the NAPT remains largely Vegas-based, or roams from the West Coast to East Coast in a manner that caters to the wider United States of America. Either way, it seems certain that players will be selling their action to the festival on the PokerStake staking page.

Before November, PokerStars are hosting their – albeit a little late for the season – Summer Series at Live! Hotel & Casino in Philadelphia. With a $1 million guaranteed prizepool across three events, it’s another point on the graph of poker’s resurgence in the United States. Whether we can read into that the possibility of both live and online poker being readily available in all 50  states soon is a matter for debate.