Poker Dealer & Soon-to-Be-Father Sami Bechahed Wins PokerStars NAPT Main Event ($268,945)

Poker Dealer & Soon-to-Be-Father Sami Bechahed Wins PokerStars NAPT Main Event ($268,945)

The PokerStars North American Poker Tour Las Vegas $1,650 Main Event wrapped up at Resorts World Las Vegas on Saturday. The final seven players from a 1,095-entry field returned to battle it out at a live-streamed final table, and after eight hours of play, it was poker dealer Sami Bechahed, whose wife is nine months pregnant, emerging victorious to claim a $268,945 top prize and the first NAPT Main Event title in 12 years!

(It took) a lot of patience. I dont know what to say, Im seriously so shaken, Bechahed told PokerNews after the win. Its surreal to me with this stacked final table with (Sergio) Aido, (Nick) Schulman, (Daniel) Coleman very good players. I came out on top. Its surreal.

Bechahed started collecting live tournament cashes in July 2018 when the French-born poker dealer moved to the other side of the felt. He had already nabbed three six-figure scores in his five-year career and had $941,234 in prior tournament earnings. Two of those came from sub-$400 buy-in tournaments in L.A.; a runner-up finish among 5,302 entries and a victory in a 3,065-entrant field. In addition to that, Bechahed claimed $274,916 for his win in the WSOP Circuit Dallas/Oklahoma Main Event in November of last year.

I came in as the chip leader, so I didnt have to be intimidated by anybody, he added. I have a lot of mad respect for all of them, but Im here to play poker. Im mostly playing poker to have fun but I take it very seriously. So, I came here to have fun, play my best game, and got really lucky.

2023 NAPT Las Vegas Main Event Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1Sami BechahedUnited States$268,945
2Jonathan BorensteinUnited States$168,175
3David ColemanUnited States$120,130
4Ping LiuUnited States$92,410
5Sergio AidoSpain$71,080
6Nick SchulmanUnited States$54,680
7Sandeep PallampatiUnited States$42,060

Final Table Action

Day 4 resumed at 12:30 p.m. PST in Level 30 with blinds of 50,000/100,000/100,000, and there was an elimination in the very first hand! It happened when Sergio Aido raised to 200,000 from early position with two red tens and Ping Liu called from the button with queen-jack suited. Sandeep Pallampati was in the big blind with jack-four suited and opted to call. A jack-ten-four flop had action written all over it, and sure enough, Pallampati got his stack all in with two pair and ultimately failed to get there against Aidos set.

It took a few hours for the next elimination to occur but happened when four-time bracelet winner Nick Schulman lost a flip with pocket fours against the king-seven of Bechahed.

It was another four hours before the next elimination, and it occurred on the first hand back from the dinner break. That is when Aido open-jammed his short stack from the cutoff with king-three only to have Jonathan Borenstein call from the button with ace-ten. An ace on the flop ultimately led to Aidos demise in fifth place for $71,080.

Not long after, Bechahed and Ping Liu, who sat first and second in chips respectively, clashed in a huge hand. The former flopped a set of nines on a nine-high board and the latter held pocket queens. The chips went in and Liu failed to get there, falling in fourth place and giving Bechahed a huge chip lead over his remaining two opponents Borenstein and David Coleman, East Coast grinders who happened to be good friends.

Bechahed soon dispatched Coleman in third place and took a nearly 5:1 chip lead into heads-up play against Borenstein. On the fourth hand of their match, Borenstein jammed with ten-nine only to have Bechahed wake up with ace-ten. Borenstein, who earlier this year finished fourth in the Borgata Return for a career-best $368,324, was left drawing dead on the turn and had to settle for second place and $168,175 in prize money.

While Bechahed took down a major poker tournament as a player, dont expect him to give up his day job.

I will never do poker full time, ever. I dont need the stress of the downswings, he shared. I like to have my little (dealing) job and it keeps me in the poker. Im always thinking poker, whether Im at work or Im playing.

Complete North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Results

LocationDateBuy-InEntriesWinnerPrize
PCA (Bahamas)Jan. 5-11, 2010$10,3001,529Harrison Gimbel$2,200,000
PCA (Bahamas)Jan. 11-14, 2010$25,50084William Reynolds$576,400
Venetian (Las Vegas)Feb. 20-24, 2010$5,000872Tom Marchese$827,648
Venetian (Las Vegas)Feb. 23-25, 2010$25,60049Ashton Griffin$560,000
Mohegan Sun (Connecticut)April 7-11, 2010$5,000716Vanessa Selbst$750,000
Mohegan Sun (Connecticut)April 23-25, 2010$25,60035Jason Mercier$475,000
Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles)Nov. 12-17, 2010$5,000701Joe Tehan$725,000
PCA (Bahamas)Jan. 8-15, 2011$10,3001,560Galen Hall$2,300,000
Mohegan Sun (Connecticut)April 9-13, 2011$5,000367Vanessa Selbst$450,000
Resorts World (Las Vegas)Nov. 5-12, 2023$1,6501,095Sami Bechahed$268,945

Stay tuned as the PokerNews live reporting team will be back on-site at Resorts World tomorrow for continued coverage of the NAPT.

Be sure to check out the NAPT Las Vegas portal in the meantime.

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