Loss of NAPT logo costs The Big Event some 300 entrants
Last year the first ever PokerStars.net NAPT stop in Los Angeles drew just over 700 players, a number eclipsed by every other NAPT stop during season 1 of the tour. So as Season 2 of the NAPT gets underway most in the industry were expecting an even larger turnout.
However, a late change to the tournament saw PokerStars withdraw their sponsorship of the event –dropping the NAPT logo from the tournament—after complications with the California Gambling Commission could not be resolved. So without the NAPT logo, rebranded as The Big Event, and the tournament no longer scheduled to air on ESPN, attendance took a major hit as only 417 players turned out for the tournament.
The tournament still attracted the best and brightest in the poker world, but the huge drop in attendance saw the prize-pool fail to reach $2 million—last year’s NAPT tournament was in the $3.5 million ballpark—with the winner receiving $500,000.
Here is a look at the top 10 chip counts heading into Day 2 of the Big Event:
1. Chris DeMaci — 213,300
2. Alex Kamberis — 202,800
3. Casey Jarzabek — 188,100
4. Jason Wheeler — 179,700
5. Ryan Hughes — 176,400
6. Josh Prager — 169,100
7. Ali Eslami — 135,200
8. Taylor von Kriegenbergh — 128,600
9. David Baker — 121,900
10. Shawn Busse — 114,700
Just out of the top 10 heading into Day 2 are Daniel Negreanu (111,500), Vladimir Shchemelev (102,800), and Joe Hachem (90,000).
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