NAPT Venetian: Dreams of Poker Stardom

NAPT logo.jpgStardom may be too strong a word.

This is only the first American stop of the inaugural season of the North American Poker Tour, a series of live poker tournaments that has already proven itself a serious contender in the poker world.

And there were 872 players in the $5,000 buy-in tournament, which puts more than $4 million on the line for the last of the field to survive.

The winner will receive potentially life-changing money in the amount of $827,648.

Poker fans the world over are tracking the progress of the event as the field boasts some of the best players in the game.

On second hand, maybe stardom isn't too strong a word after all.

What is certain is that the players who made it through a grueling Day 2 are looking at the bigger picture. There is an NAPT title at stake and that $827,648, along with a performance documented by 411 Productions for broadcast on ESPN2.

That's an attractive picture.

One player with eyes on the prize is the Day 2 chip leader, Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger with 618,200 chips. He soared over the 700K mark during the last level of the day but finally settled on a nice even number that will send him comfortably into the evening.

Andrew Lichtenberger - Day 2.jpgAndrew Lichtenberger

And there are others, notably a name familiar to those following from Day 1, as last night's chip leader Andy "BKiCe" Seth still remains near the top of the leaderboard. He looks to be in second, actually, with 602,600.

NAPT Venetian S1_5KMainEvent_Day2_JoeGiron_IJ76208.jpgAndy Seth

We would be remiss not to mention that there are several members of the Team PokerStars family of players still in the running as well. Vanessa Rousso leads the pack with 313,600 chips, and those with enough chips to come back tomorrow include Greg Raymer, Tom McEvoy, and Bill Chen. And we could be wrong, but there is something about that logo that provides an added boost to their already sincere and strong hopes of becoming the NAPT Venetian champion.

NAPT Venetian S1_5KMainEvent_Day2_JoeGiron_IJ75928.jpgTeam PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso

For now, players will leave the Venetian Poker Room and go their own ways, some to celebrate a job well done, others to relax and be mentally and physically prepared for the challenges ahead. Some might even entertain dreams of that final table, even the final hand, that will be played on Wednesday, just before the newest poker champion poses for photos with piles of money and the coveted NAPT trophy.

Sweet dreams, indeed.

Sometime this evening, the final chip counts for today's survivors will be posted here.

All will resume at 12:00 noon tomorrow, when the chip bags will be unsealed, those various denominations will be stacked, and cards will fly. The field will undoubtedly play into the money tomorrow (payout information can be found here), and play will be intense. Join us on this blog page as we guide you through the action.

Before heading off into dreamland this evening, take a look back at today's coverage:

Readying for Day 2

Levels 9 and 10
Levels 11 and 12
Levels 13 and 14

All photography (c) Joe Giron

NAPT Venetian S1_5KMainEvent_Day1_JoeGiron_IJ75759.jpg
Jen Newell
@PokerStars in North American Poker Tour