December 7, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — 242 avid poker players,
including a few internationally known names, face a weekend of
disappointment following official intervention in the PokerStars.com Latin American Poker Tour event at the Marival Resorts and Suites in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico on Friday. Despite having a favorable ruling from the Mexican Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) allowing the tournament to take place, local officials suspended play late on Day 1.
PokerStars.com‘s Mexican partner invested almost a full day trying to reach a positive
solution with the local administration, but to no avail, and in the end
the entire event was scrapped.
The 242 players who bought in for the event at $2,500 a head included Greg Raymer and Victor Ramdin,
who were among the 89 players still in action when the tournament was
halted. These surviving players will split the prize pool, and will
receive some $5,000 directly from the prize pool, with the remaining
prize money distributed to the players on a chip-count basis. An
additional $500 will then be given to each player over and above the
Tournament officials reported that everything had been going well until
the ninth level of play, although local gaming officials had been in
attendance and were watching the action closely. But their attitude
suddenly changed and an abrupt decision was made to withdraw the LAPT’s
gaming license for reasons that were not immediately clear. Players,
tournament officials, staff, and even the media were escorted from the
room, leaving the tables as they were. The venue was locked down, and
tournament director Mike Ward had the unpleasant duty of informing everyone involved that play was suspended until further notice.
Some hours later there had apparently been no change in the situation
and the crowd was told to return midday Saturday for the latest news,
while LAPT lawyers wrangled with the locals. By midday Saturday there
had been no improvement, and several hours later the disappointing news
was released that the entire event had been cancelled.
The LAPT organizers releasing a statement that said:
“The Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) confirms that it is canceling the
poker tournament in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, due to an indefinite
suspension served on one of its local partners.
“The LAPT states it has cooperated fully and in good faith with the
requirements outlined by the Mexican government. The LAPT respects and
abides by local regulations in each market.
“LAPT’s partner in Mexico obtained a formal ruling from the Mexican
Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) allowing the event to take place. As
the LAPT complied with every rule stipulated by the Code of the Mexican Federal Law of Games and Raffles, the reasons for suspension are being reviewed by lawyers of all parties.”