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Poker News | World Poker News

National Deaf Poker Tour

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Have you heard of the National Deaf Poker Tour? (Pun definitely intended.)

Established in 2006, it was the intention of the six founders to bring the top deaf poker players from across America together to share their passion for the game of poker. Andy Foster, Nathan Montoya, Jarrod Musano, James Rydstrom, Alok Doshi, and Joey Seifner IV had attended college together at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and years later sought an excuse to get together, and poker seemed to be the perfect solution. They also hoped to bring more deaf players into the game, especially to major tournaments like the World Series of Poker. Planning to hold all events catering to the deaf public on Saturdays to ensure full participation, they launched the National Deaf Poker Tour (NDPT).

The NDPT's mission statement sums it up: "We have seen the untapped niche in the entire poker community - the deaf players who are eager to test their skills against the best. GKC (official registered business name) was formed to help those achieve their goals, and we shall do so using the best resources available."

Beginning on March 26, 2006, they began hosting tournaments around the United States, some being main events which are limited to deaf people only where participants must sign a legal document stating that hearing loss is a minimum of 55dB, and others being ASL (American Sign Language) tournaments which allow the participation of hearing people who are fluent in sign language, including interpreters and friends of the deaf community. Typically, registrants total about 350 people spread out over the three events associated with a particular tour stop, and as the NDPL has gained a reputation for hosting well-organized tournament weekends, the number of players continues to grow.

The current year has been filled with events, the most recent having been in late July at the Venetian in Las Vegas. The main event was won by Judy Kim from Orange County, California. She took down the grand prize of over $5,000 and became the first-ever female NDPT main event champion. She also currently tops the point leader board for the 2007-2008 season.

Next on the tour is the November series of tournaments at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Beginning at 8pm on Friday, November 9th, the ladies-only deaf tournament will take place with a $75 buy-in, though the NDPT Texas hold'em tournament will get underway at 9:30pm that same night with a $100 buy-in. Saturday, November 10th will see the other two events of the series - the $200 buy-in main event, and the $120 buy-in ASL tournament. For participants staying at the Trump Taj Mahal hotel, there has been a block of rooms set aside at the reduced rate of $179 per night.

Registering for a tournament is made easy as it can be done online through the NDPT's website. They actually recommend this process - mailing the entry fee guarantees the registrant a spot in the tournament. However, it is possible to register at the casino on the day of the tournament, but early arrival is suggested. Another note about the NDPT events is that no tournament is ever cancelled due to insufficient signups. The game will go on for everyone who has taken the time to attend and is willing to play.

After the holiday season, tournaments will resume in the spring of 2008, and details will be announced as soon as they become available. There has also been a suggestion from the NDPT that there will be a very exciting announcement about a big event to be held in the summer of 2008. Information for current tournaments and news of upcoming events can be found at www.NationalDeafPokerTour.com.

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