PokerStars cancels LAPT Nuevo Vallarta

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In a virtually unheard-of move, PokerStars decided to cancel the Nuevo Vallarta stop on the Latin American Poker Tour yesterday due to issues with the Mexican government.

The troubles began on Day 1 of the event when, after nine levels of play with 89 players still remaining, tournament director Mike Ward called for an unscheduled stop at about 10:30 p.m. CT on Friday.

Several minutes later all players were asked in Spanish to leave the tournament room and shortly after that the media, TV crews and dealers were evicted as well. Four hours later Ward informed the media and players that the pause came courtesy of the Mexican government, which had decided to rescind the LAPT's gaming license after observing the tournament for nearly 10 hours on Friday.

Ward told players to return at 12 p.m. the next day for word as to whether the tournament would continue.

The next day at 5 p.m. CT LAPT organizers announced the event had been canceled due to "an indefinite suspension served on one of its local partners."

Details are still hard to come by, but Victor Ramdin and Alex Brenes were among the 89 surviving players.

The 89 remaining players would also receive an extra $500 for their troubles from PokerStars.

The 153 players who didn't make the money were not exactly impressed, according to PL.com reporter Owen Laukkanen, who was on the scene in Mexico. He wrote:

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.

Despite all the negatives the tournament appeared to be a very success event, until play was permanently suspended. PokerListings.com will have more on the story as events unfold.

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