North American Poker Tour Loses A Sponsor


Pokerstars leaves the stage

The latest report from the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) came this week, informing that online poker company Pokerstars decided to end its sponsorship for NAPT, out of undisclosed reasons. However, it is speculated that this decision emerged due to the intervention by Californian gaming regulators.

The Tour will keep going and it will be held this week at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, only this time under the name The Big Event, as it was titled in an agreement between the casino and the NAPT. Apart from this, another novelty is that the main event will not be filmed for ESPN (although the Bounty Shootout will) and it will be presented on webcast via Live at the Bike instead.

NAPT Spokesman Jeffrey Haas on this occasions stated:

'The North American Poker Tour LA event scheduled for March 5 to 12, 2011 at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, California, will proceed as planned, but not as a NAPT event.

'The NAPT and the Bicycle Casino reached the voluntary decision to hold the event without branding after constructive discussions with California gaming regulators.

'Due to the above, the following changes have been made to the tournament:

'The Main Event will continue as planned but it will no longer be filmed for ESPN. It will, however, be webcast. Players can see it via "Live at the Bike".

'The Bounty Shoot Out will still be filmed for ESPN, and will now be filmed over three days (March 10-12) with two Day1s on the 10th and 11th. The final table will occur on the 12th as planned.

'The Main Event structure will not change, and the full schedule of Side Events will still provide an incredible experience for all players. We have been working closely with the Bike for the past few months to provide a great schedule for players, and the Bike is dedicated to the success of the whole festival.

'We will allow online qualifiers the option to defer their buy-in to a future NAPT event, but we will not defer the Hotel portions for full-package qualifiers.

'Our [Pokerstars pro] team are still planning to be present at the event to provide support and guidance to our players, and all activities planned around the event will still go ahead.

'All the player bags will be given at the Hotel, together with the party wristbands. We do hope to still see you in LA for what will still be an amazing tournament.'

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