Tournament organizers made the announcement at 5 p.m. CT on Saturday afternoon at the Marival Grand and Club Suites resort in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, more than 18 hours after play was halted by Mexican gaming officials late on Day 1 of what was supposed to be a three-day event.
The 89 players still holding chips at the time of the suspension of play will each receive at least double the $2,500 buy-in from the tournament's $568,850 prize pool, with any remainder being dispersed based on each player's approximate chip count at the interruption of play. The 89 survivors will also receive $500 from Victor Ramdin, as well as Alex Brenes, Maria "Maridu" Mayrinck and LAPT2 Costa Rica champ Ryan Fee, although the breakdown of prize money has not been released.
After action was paused at 10:30 p.m. Friday evening, players were told to return to the tournament area at noon on Saturday for instructions as to how to proceed. At noon, PokerStars' Sarne Lightman instructed the field to return at 5 p.m., at which point a plan of action would be announced.
That plan of action, as outlined above, was the full cancellation of the tournament and the distribution of prize monies among those still alive at the suspension of play.
The announcement that the 153 players already eliminated from contention would not receive any remuneration for the mishap sparked a near-riot, as unhappy eliminatees loudly protested the decision at the entrance to the Marival's theater. In the end, three police cars had to be called to convince those who would not be paid to give up the fight.
The full text of the LAPT's official statement is as follows:
The Latin American 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.