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Play now! As the World Poker Tour (WPT) continues to see decreasing attendance and/or prize-pools, the PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour (NAPT) has had perhaps the most successful inaugural season in the brief history of major poker tours.

Three official stops of the  NAPT have cleared 700 players for all three $5,000 buy-in Main Event tournaments. The $5,000 NAPT Venetian tournament attracted 872 players and created a total prize-pool of over $4 million. The $5,000 NAPT Mohegan Sun tournament attracted 716 players and created a total prize-pool of over $3.3 million. The $5,000 NAPT Los Angeles tourney attracted 701 players and created a total prize-pool of over $3.2 million

When compared to the WPT tournaments so far in 2010 –keep in mind this is Season 9 of the WPT—it is clear that the NAPT competing with the WPT and may even overtake them.  Here is a look at the three largest World Poker Tour tournaments thus far: The $10,000 WPT Bellagio Cup VI attracted 353 players and created a total prize pool of over $3.4 million. The $3,300 WPT Borgata Poker Open attracted 1,042 players and created a total prize-pool of over $3.4 million. The $10,000 WPT Festa al Lago tournament attracted 335 players and created a total prize-pool of over $3.2 million

The NAPT Venetian tournament is the largest of 2010 so far, and whether the WPT tournaments had a larger buy-in or smaller buy-in, the total prize pool was basically the same as the other NAPT events.

Obviously the WPT Championship at Bellagio will far exceed any of the NAPT tournaments, but the NAPT Championship is technically considered to be the wildly popular PokerStars PCA. Looking at the most recent results of both the PCA and the WPT Championship shows the PCA to be the larger tournament by far: The Season 8 $25,000 WPT Championship attracted 195 players and created a total prize-pool of over $4.7 million. The 2010 $10,000 PCA Championship attracted 1,529 players and created a total prize-pool of over $14.8 million!

Watching to see how the tours stack-up against one another in the coming years will be interesting, especially if the PokerStars.net NAPT continues to branch out into other areas of the US as they add more tournaments. So why are PokerStars doing so well?  It’s likely a number of different of factors, not least of which being PokerStars brand name; the massive PCA being a part of the tour, even if it’s only peripherally; the immediate television deal that the tour signed; and also the new locations around the country the NAPT chose as host casinos. Another factor working in the NAPT’s favor is that there are far fewer tournaments on the NAPT than on the WPT.


 

 

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