NAPT Venetian: Finding the Best of the Best on Day 4

NAPT logo.jpgWelcome back to beautiful Las Vegas and the luxurious Venetian.

Inside, the poker room is buzzing with excitement already. Players will trickle in shortly. Fans will gather outside the ropes.

We have some important poker to play today.

NAPT Venetian_S1_Joe Giron_IJ74913.jpg

The 24 players that start Day 4 have proven themselves to be quite the skilled poker players. They started in a field of 872 and worked their way through three days of grueling, intense play to take their seats on the fourth day of the NAPT Venetian. That, most certainly, was no easy feat.

Luck can only take a player so far, but to accumulate hundreds of thousands of chips over the course of several days, never once losing a do-or-die race or succumbing to the pressure of putting chips at risk carelessly. Skill and discipline must come into play there, along with mental and physical strength and stamina.

So to say that Day 4 will result in determining the best players in the field is a bit of a narrow statement. All 24 players that take their seats today are names to be noted.

The noted player to keep an eye on going into today's action will be Eric Blair, who sits atop the leaderboard with 3,700,000 chips. He was a consistent climber on Day 3 and will be a force on Day 4.

NAPT Venetian S1_5KMainEvent_Day3_JoeGiron_IJ76611.jpgEric Blair contemplating Day 3 chip leader status

Not to be discounted are others who made their mark at the end of Day 3, including Sam Stein with 3,409,000 chips and Steve Billirakis who survived a roller coaster of a day to end with 2,372,000.

And of course, it is necessary to note the obvious, that any of the players in the field are a double-up or two away from joining the ranks of the chip-millionaires. One player who will need to do that but returns proudly to the Venetian Poker Room as the last woman standing is Christina Lindley, who looks to make the most of her 130,000 chips.

NAPT Venetian S1_5KMainEvent_Day2_JoeGiron_IJ76555.jpgChristina Lindley

We will be heading to the tournament area shortly so as not to miss the excitement. There will be double-ups. There will be eliminations and disappointment. But we look to end the day with eight very excited players who will have secured their spots at the NAPT Venetian final table.

As you take a few moments to get comfortable in front of your laptops, check out this video from PokerStars.TV to bring you up to date on the last day's action:

Watch NAPT Venetian 2010: Day 3 Recap on

All photography (c) Joe Giron

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in North American Poker Tour