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VP of PokerStars North America Steve Preiss, who was previously featured in PokerNews’ Industry Insiders series and was a one-time member of the poker media at WickedChops Poker, teased that he had big plans when it came to PokerStars in the United States.
One of those things is the return of the PokerStars North American Poker Tour (NAPT) after a 12-year hiatus. From November 4-12, the poker tour will head to Nevada for the NAPT Las Vegas at Resorts World.
Although primarily aimed at the North American market, the NAPT is open to all, and PokerNews expects players to travel from far and wide to get involved in this historic rebirth. A $1,650 buy-in NAPT Las Vegas Main Event runs from November 6-11, and a $550 PokerStars Cup is scheduled for November 9-12, with a $5,300 High Roller attracting the biggest names between November 10-12. The full 2023 NAPT Las Vegas schedule will be released in due course.
Preiss, who is understandably excited for the first NAPT in 12 years and has agreed to come on the PokerNews Podcast in the coming weeks, recently spoke with PokerNews about the upcoming NAPT.
PokerNews: When did the idea to bring back the NAPT come about?
Preiss: Re-introducing the NAPT came about relatively recently. One thing I noted in my PokerNews interview when I took on this role was how live poker tournaments are thriving not just in North America but globally as well. Our EPT events are the gold standard in the industry when it comes to player experience and content production. As market share leader in North America, the timing is right to relaunch NAPT now. We want to bring those same sensibilities that has made the EPT so successful to our North American players.
How has it been bringing the NAPT back to life? Any challenges?
Launching or relaunching any brand always comes with a unique set of challenges. With NAPT, one of the biggest things we examined was how to differentiate ourselves in a market where both the WSOP and WPT are thriving.
The schedule itself will have something for everyone, giving the EPT feel. Again, it’s creating a world-class player experience.
Building a value proposition with a heavy focus on creating unique player experiences I believe will set us apart. Again, the EPT provides a great model to follow here. From the registration process to payouts to overall engagement, the EPT has carefully curated a world-class player experience. We will bring those same sensibilities to North America and amplify them with more on-the-ground activities and experiences for our players.
What can poker fans expect in terms of operations? Will it have an EPT feel?
The relaunch of NAPT this November is to primarily reintroduce the brand to the US market and set the stage for a full and proper tour in 2024. The schedule itself will have something for everyone, giving the EPT feel. Again, it’s creating a world-class player experience, and nobody does that better than us with the EPT.
What can poker fans expect at NAPT stops in terms of extracurricular activities?
Las Vegas is also home to this season’s penultimate race where PokerStars’ partner Oracle Red Bull Racing will shoot for gold. The timing of NAPT was no coincidence and we look to further capitalize on our partnerships by providing players with epic experiences both on and off the felt.
Given it is the “North American” Poker Tour, is it possible we’ll see stops in either Canada or Mexico in the future?
To your point, North America isn’t just the United States and we’re looking at the possibilities of expanding the tour to various locations across the continent.
What else can poker fans expect in the future regarding the NAPT in terms of new stops, ambassadors, etc.?
The locations and timing of the 2024 North American Poker Tour are all actively being worked on today.
The 2023 NAPT Las Vegas takes place just one week before the most anticipated Formula 1 Grand Prix in history, which takes place through the streets of Las Vegas. PokerStars will be there, Oracle Red Bull Racing will be there, will you?
Discover what makes the PokerStars Power Path so awesome.
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.