Hoping to find a niche on the live tournament circuit and attract young players looking for a game after the obliteration of online poker in the United States, Card Player magazine has announced that it is launching a new poker tour, the Native American Casino Poker Tour (NACPT).
As the name implies, the tour stops will be held at Native American-operated casinos around the United States. There are over 300 such casinos around the country in more than half of the states. Oklahoma and Connecticut dominate the numbers, with over 50 Native American casinos each, while Wisconsin, Arizona, and Washington have at least 20 each. Some of the largest casinos in the country are run by Native American tribes, including Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, both located in Connecticut.
The first stop on the Native American Casino Poker Tour will be at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma from December 1st through December 11th. The Main Event will begin on December 10th and will cost $1,000 to enter ($970 buy-in plus $30 fee).
Card Player will feature the winner of this inaugural NACPT Main Event on the cover of its print edition as well as award that player a $1,600 seat into the World Series of Poker Circuit event at the Choctaw Casino in January 2012.
Like many Native American casinos around the nation, the legal gambling age at Choctaw is 18, so many young players who would not be able to play at the World Series of Poker or in many other large tournaments in the United States, will be able to participate. All told, NACPT Choctaw will consist of 20 events with buy-ins ranging from $100 + $25 to $270 + $30. Games offered will include No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Fixed-Limit Omaha Eight-or-Better. Satellite tournaments will also be available at the casino for those who wish to attempt to qualify on the cheap.
“Our vision is to combine the efforts of Native American poker rooms with Card Player’s massive poker audience, for a nationwide tour,” said Jeff Shulman, president of Card Player. “With the help of Card Player’s poker and media expertise, the Native American Casino Poker Tour will foster closer relationships between the casinos and their players.”
The Choctaw Casino Resort has its own private poker lounge on a separate floor from the rest of the casino. The posh poker room has 30 tables, though the casino can easily accommodate more players than can fit around them, as it played host to a World Series of Poker Circuit event in January. The first ring event of that tour stop saw 935 players register. As alluded to earlier, the WSOP Circuit returns to Choctaw January 5th through January 22nd, 2012.
Also playing at the Choctaw Casino Resort this year will be the popular Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS), which will run November 11th through November 13th.
NACPT Choctaw is the only stop scheduled on the tour at this point. Card Player plans to announce additional stops soon.