Sami Bechahed Overcomes Obstacles to Become NAPT Main Event Champion Sami Bechahed Overcomes Obstacles to Become NAPT Main Event Champion

It is all over in the PokerStars North American Poker Tour Las Vegas Main Event, as French-born Sami Bechahed takes home the trophy and the $268,945 first-place prize.

Saturday’s final table action saw Bechahed start out as a sizable chip leader and, after a series of bad beats and lucky breaks, come out on top among a tough competition that included big names like Nick Schulman and Sergio Aido.

With this score, the newly crowned NAPT champion was able to take his overall poker tournament winnings to well over a million dollars, and take down the most significant trophy of his fairly short career, which only started in 2018 and included mostly low buy-in events over the years.

The NAPT action continues today with the final table of the $5300 NAPT High Roller, which you will be able to watch in full on PokerStars YouTube and Twitch channels, as the final day of the festival plays out at Resorts World Las Vegas poker room.

Last verified: July 2024
Great Welcome Bonus!
100% deposit bonus up to $600!
  • Play one hand & get $150 in bonus play funds
  • Top-quality mobile app
  • Best online MTT schedule
Please play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800 GAMBLER.

Bechahed Overcomes Obstacles on Path to Glory

We often see big live poker events end with one player dominating the final table and never really being in doubt for the title, but that was certainly not the case this time around, as Sami Bechahed faced much adversity on his path to glory.

The French-born former poker dealer, who currently resides in California, entered the final table as a sizable chip leader, with more than 10,000,000 chips to his name and blinds standing at 50k/100k.

The very first hand of the final table saw one of his six opponents leave the premises, as the two pair of Sandeep Pallampati was no good against a flopped set of Tens of Sergio Aido, which allowed the Spanish pro to immediately take over the chip lead.

Nick Schulman, who entered the final table with a reasonable stack and the most experience of the group was next to go, as his dwindled stack forced him into a coin flip with pocket Fours, which he could not survive.

While Bechahed was the one to eliminate Schulman, a period of attrition ensued, and in that period Sami’s title hopes were put into serious question. He ran into a series of cooler scenarios that would have seen a lesser player either lose all their chips right there or go on tilt and give it all away.

Bechahed, on the other hand, remained composed and waited for his opportunity, which came when he made a runner-runner flush and got paid big by Sergio Aido, swinging things back in Frenchman’s favor.

Aido left the table next as his small stack didn’t allow him much play, and a fairly standard shove and a call sent the Spaniard to the showers.

Bechahed more or less won the tournament in a hand that unfolded shortly after, as his pocket Nines flopped a set in a 3-bet pot against Ping Liu, who was second in chips at the time. The two players got all their chips in, the set held up, and Sami took a commanding chip lead he would never relinquish.

In fact, it did not take long for him to eliminate David Coleman in third place with AQ against K7, before defeating Jonathan Borenstein in a short and uneventful heads up duel.

While the final hour or so of the final table action was certainly all about Bechahed, it was a title well-deserved for the young soon-to-be-father, whose patience and immense skill sent him all the way to the top.

With the NAPT Main Event action now officially closed, here is a look at all the final table payouts:

Position Player Country Payout
1 Sami Bechahed France $268,945
2 Jonathan Borenstein USA $168,175
3 David Coleman USA $120,130
4 Ping Liu USA $92,410
5 Sergio Aido Spain $71,080
6 Nick Schulman USA $54,680
7 Sandeep Pallampati USA $42,060

NAPT High Roller Down to a Final Table

As the NAPT Main Event played down to a winner, Resorts World Las Vegas also played host to Day 1 of the $5300 NAPT High Roller event, which saw a significant turnout, with 150 entries creating a prize pool of $727,500 created.

The event brought together a who’s who of the poker world, with the likes of former World Champion Ryan Reiss, PokerStars Ambassadors Marria Konnikova and Parker Talbot, WSOP Bracelet winners Andrew Lichtenberger and Ethan “Rampage” Yau, Hollywood actress Arden Cho, and the GOAT himself, Phil Hellmuth, all seen playing the event.

The field of 150 saw a total of 20 players make the money, with 13 of those already eliminated from the field on Day 1, and only seven still remaining in the hunt for the trophy.

Among those still in contention in the NAPT High Roller is the chip leader Jesse Lonis, who has already had some success at this NAPT festival, two-time WSOP champion Shannon Shorr, and a number of other accomplished tournament players.

Former PokerStars “The Big Game” loose cannon Nadya Magnus was the one who busted on the stone-cold bubble of the official final table, leaving the field in eighth place and takes home a consolation prize of $28,265.

The winner of the NAPT High Roller will take home $180,850 in cash in addition to the prestigious PokerStars trophy akin to the one won by Sami Bechahed in the Main Event, and that winner will be announced at the end of action today.

Plenty of Side Event Action on the Final Day

The final day of action at the NAPT festival will also see plenty of action on the sidelines of the Resorts World Las Vegas poker room, as a number of smaller buy-in side events play down to their champions as well.

The $550 PokerStars Cup, which attracted nearly 700 entrants, will see a champion take home a valuable prize of $61,520, making it one of the more significant events of the whole festival.

The $1100 NLH Mystery Bounty event, which offered two starting flights yesterday, will also close out today, with a total number of entries and prizes yet to be announced.

For those looking to catch the last train, PokerStars will also be offering a $1100 Las Chance Super Hyper Turbo event with unlimited re-entries, one last shot at glory before the NAPT festival wraps up.

With the Formula 1 race coming to Las Vegas next weekend, PokerStars will also be offering a number of $200 charity tournaments and a special PokerStars x Oracle Red Bull Racing VIP Invitational event on Thursday, all of which are also listed as part of the NAPT festival and will be played out at the Resorts World Las Vegas poker room.

Nevertheless, today marks the final day of the official part of this NAPT stop, so make sure to tune into the PokerStars live stream and not miss any of the High Roller final table action as we eagerly anticipate the announcement of the next NAPT stop and the future of the Tour.