NAPT Mohegan Sun Draws Big Numbers

Greg Raymer
'The numbers have impressed us all.'

The North American Poker Tour’s first trip East appears to be an unprecedented success.

NAPT Mohegan Sun kicked off Wednesday in the forests of Connecticut with a whopping 716 players registering for the $5,000 main event.

"716 people showed up here and, you know, this is not the most convenient place to get to from around the world cause you've got to fly into an airport that's still almost an hour drive," said Team PokerStars Pro and 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Greg Raymer, who'd made the trip.

"The numbers have impressed us all and we expect the rest of the NAPT to be equally successful."

Joining Raymer at the Mohegan Sun Wednesday was a virtual poker who's who, including names like Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, 2009 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Cada, PokerListings blogger Jason Mercier and fellow Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, who is hosting another of the NAPT's $25k Bounty Shootout events later in the week.

Bodog sponsored pro David Williams grabbed the overnight chip lead on Day 1 with 443 players surviving.

The 716 registered players, including a boatload of online poker qualifiers, generated a total prize pool of over $3.2 million. The top 104 places will be paid with the winner taking home $750,000.

With a total of 872 players at the inaugural NAPT Venetian in Las Vegas in February, there appears to be no stopping the burgeoning North American Poker Tour.

"We're still waiting to finalize the venues, but I promise you:  I know the people that are behind the scenes putting together the NAPT personally, and these are guys that are going to make sure it's a venue that the players enjoy, that will result in a great tournament and therefore, hopefully, a great champion," added Raymer.

Play with Jason Mercier on PokerStars

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