Phil Hellmuth, Lex Veldhuis Headline Epic PokerStars NAPT Players Party in Las Vegas

Phil Hellmuth, Lex Veldhuis Headline Epic PokerStars NAPT Players Party in Las Vegas

Its no secret that the 2023 PokerStars North American Poker Tour (NAPT), which is taking place right now at Resorts World Las Vegas, marks the first NAPT in a dozen years.

But did you know that Thursday nights festivities marked the first PokerStars Players Party in Las Vegas in 13 years? It was way back on July 11, 2010, during the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) that the online poker giant rented out the entire nightclub at the Palms for an epic party that featured an exclusive performance by none other than Snoop Dogg.

If you were fortunate enough to be a PokerStars player pre-Black Friday and attended that party, you know that it holds a special place in poker history. The year before that, Nelly performed at the PokerStars Players Party inside Rain Nightclub at the Palms, and the last time there was a NAPT in Las Vegas, which was at the Venetians Tao Nightclub, T-Pain performed on stage.

In the years since, PokerStars has made player parties a staple on the European Poker Tour (EPT), which is why VP of PokerStars North America Steve Preiss knew theyd need to have one for the NAPTs triumphant return.

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Hellmuth, Veldhuis, and More

As Day 2 of the $1,650 NAPT Main Event was winding down on Thursday night, players were invited to Resorts Worlds famed Zouk Nightclub from 8-11 p.m. for free drinks, apetizers, and entertainment. While Snoop Dogg was NOT in the house sippin on gin and juice, plenty of notables were in attendance.

Foremost among them was 17-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who earlier in the afternoon busted the Main Event about a dozen spots shy of the money. Donning his trademark black and gold tracksuit complete with matching Luxon Pay hat, Hellmuth was joined by his sister, Anne, a 33-time Special Olympics gold medalist visiting from Madison, Wisconsin.

Hellmuth stayed busy rubbing elbows with various industry movers and shakers while taking time to snap selfies with fans before ducking out around 10 p.m. to register the $5,300 8-Game tournament late taking place upstairs.

PokerStars Ambassador Lex Veldhuis, who two days earlier had competed on the return of the PokerStars Big Game, also came to enjoy the revelry.

Others spotted at the party were PokerStars US Ambassadors David Kaye, Jennifer Shahade, and Next Gen Poker.

Likewise, high roller David Peters was there, as were WPT champs Andy Frankenberger, Matt Salsberg, and Faraz Jaka, NAPT Womens Event champ Kyna England, RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) President Tana Karn, commentator Nick Walsh, Brazilian superstar Andre Akkari, and Vanessa Kade.

The return of a PokerStars Players Party to Las Vegas proved to be a big hit, and it was clear no expense was spared. To put it in perspective, it was free drinks for three hours, whereas a pair of house margaritas at Zouk run $50 during normal operating hours. If the dancing and revelry were any indication, those in attendance didnt hesitate running up a big bar tab that PokerStars was kind enough to pick up.

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