T-Pain to Headline PokerStars NAPT Venetian Launch Party

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On Friday, the launch party for the PokerStars North American Poker Tour (NAPT) stop at the Venetian will feature a headlining performance by T-Pain. The artist helped popularize the hit song “I’m on a Boat.”

The $5,000 buy-in NAPT Venetian Main Event kicks off on Saturday from Sin City and will crown a champion on February 24th. The launch party will pan out the night before from 8:00pm to 10:00pm local time at the Tao nightclub at the Las Vegas Strip casino. Only NAPT Venetian Main Event players and their guests will be serenaded by T-Pain, who also released the chart-topping hit “Buy U a Drank” in 2005.

In addition to his solo work, T-Pain has been featured on a host of collaborative singles, including Chris Brown’s “Kiss Kiss,” Flo Rida’s “Low,” Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It,” and “I’m a Flirt” from R. Kelly and T.I. The Lonely Islands released “I’m on a Boat,” which became a hit via the NBC comedy franchise “Saturday Night Live.” The melody was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2010, but lost out to Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Rihanna’s “Run This Town.”

Prior to T-Pain taking to the stage, PokerStars will host a charity poker tournament benefiting the Three Square Food Bank of Las Vegas. A solid lineup of celebrities will appear at the gala, including skating legend Tony Hawk, who helped bring U.S. Olympian Shaun White into the forefront of the snowboarding world. White won a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino in the Men’s Halfpipe and will be featured on tonight’s NBC Olympics programming, likely performing a Double McTwist 1260.

Also appearing at the charity poker tournament will be actor Christian Slater, whose movie credits include “Broken Arrow,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “Untamed Heart,” and “Young Guns II.” Slater also made a cameo on a recent episode of NBC’s “The Office.” Joining Slater will be fellow actor Brad Garrett, who appeared on the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Garrett, a regular in high-profile tournaments like the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, has lent his voice to a variety of films including “Night at the Museum,” “Ratatouille,” and Disney’s “A Bug’s Life.”

NAPT hostess Joanna Krupa will play in the Three Square Food Bank benefit, as will Team PokerStars Sports Stars member Orel Hershiser. Also taking to the felts will be talk show host Montel Williams, former Guns N Roses guitarist Slash, actor Marlon Wayans, and “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” Season 2 winner Lou Diamond Phillips. Members of Team PokerStars Pro will battle as well.

As you’d expect, the benefactors are looking forward to the star-studded cast appearing in the name of charity. Julie Murray, President and CEO of the Three Square Food Bank, commented in a PokerStars press statement, “We are pleased to be a part of such a prestigious event. Hunger is a large and growing issue in our valley. It is with the help of dedicated organizations like PokerStars.net and the support of charity-minded celebrities that we can make significant advances in our battle against hunger in Southern Nevada.”

Following the NAPT’s Venetian stop, the tournament series will head to the Mohegan Sun from April 7th to 11th. Coverage of each event and the corresponding High Roller tournaments will air on ESPN2 on Monday nights beginning in April. ESPN also holds the rights to carry the WSOP and WSOP Europe. On January 28th, the final two episodes of the 2009 WSOP Europe Main Event will air on ESPN2 with footage from the final table.

Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest from the NAPT Venetian.

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