The North American Poker Tour kicked off at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles on Friday. It’s the NAPT’s first ever trip to the City of Angels, and Day 1a saw 330 players pony up the $5k buy-in, including November Niners Joseph Cheong, Matt Jarvis and Soi Nguyen, as well as Matt Affleck, Annette Obrestad, Liv Boeree and NAPT Mohegan Sun champ Vanessa Selbst. Day 1b gets underway on Saturday and play will continue until a champ is crowned this coming Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the APT Macau is well underway. Among the 161 players who made the trip east were Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Johnny Chan, John Juanda and Chau Giang. The event runs until Nov. 14, with the winner due to take home $215k.
Finally, ESPN viewership for the World Series of Poker was down 30% this year. In 2009, some 2.2m pairs of eyeballs were glued to their TV screens, but only 1.563m tuned in to watch Jonathan Duhamel’s recent triumph. (Do Americans hate Canadians that much?) Nevertheless, EPSN honchos remain ‘bullish’ on poker, saying they’re already looking forward to next year. Beats airing those cheerleading contests, that’s for sure.