Local gaming officials halted the Poker Stars Latin America Poker Tour Neuvo Vallarta event in the middle of play, with153 of the 242 players who paid the $2,500 buy-in already having been knocked out. The remaining players were escorted out of the tournament room, along with the media and the tournament staff, at approximately 10:30 p.m. local time. After being escorted out everyone waited for an update on the situation.
At around midnight the players were told to come back at noon on Saturday to receive an update. That update told them the tournament was now officially canceled, and that each player would receive $5,000 from the prize pool. The rest of the prize pool would be divided by chip stacks. Also, each player would receive $500 as an apology.
Poker Stars released a statement concerning the events in Mexico:
â€œThe Latin America Poker Tour (LAPT) confirms that it is cancelling 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 compiled 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.â€
It is highly unlikely that any major tournaments will be hosted in Mexico anytime soon, as in light of these recent events there is no guarantee a tournament could be held or completed. The next LAPT event is scheduled for January 20th-22nd in Vina Del Mar, Chile.
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