PokerStars to launch Latin American Poker Tour

Andre Akkari
Andre Akkari

PokerStars is spicing things up by adding some more Latin flavor to the game of poker. The online poker site announced today it will launch the Latin American Poker Tour in May.

"Poker is exploding in Latin America and the game is more than ready for its own major poker tour. It's one of the fastest-growing poker regions and there are thousands upon thousands of players in countries like Brazil and Argentina who will love the chance to take part in events of this kind," said LAPT President Glenn Cademartori.

"In every regard, the LAPT is going to put Latin America on the map as the newest hotspot to play high-stakes international poker."

The first stop on the tour is a three-day event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 3-5. It will feature a $2,500 buy-in tournament with players expected to be competing for a prize pool of more than $600,000.

PokerStars pros and international poker stars Andre Akkari, of Brazil, and Humberto Brenes, from Costa Rica, are expected to play in the event.

"It's a real honor to be representing Team PokerStars in the PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour -- and even more exciting that the very first event is in my home country," said Akkari.

"The LAPT offers great opportunities for Latin American players. Poker is growing so fast in this region and now local players will have the chance to compete in major events in their own backyard."

After Brazil, the tour will head to Brenes' home country May 22-24 for an event in San Jose, Costa Rica, and from there it will go to Uruguay for the LAPT Punta del Este Aug. 7-9.

Each event planned is anticipated to draw 250 players or more, creating prize pools of more than $600,000. According to a press release from PokerStars, the participants are expected to come from all over the world as well as from within Latin America.

PokerStars is already the sponsor of the European Poker Tour, now in its fourth season, and it took on the Asia Pacific Poker Tour when it launched in 2007. Cademartori said the LAPT partnership with PokerStars is ideal for their tour as well.

"It's not just because PokerStars has proven success in launching major poker tours in other regions, but also because it is the world's number one online poker destination," Cademartori said.

"This means it's uniquely positioned to give an enormous number of players from across the globe the chance to take part through online qualifying satellite tournaments. Our goal is to provide Latin American players and beyond with the best poker tournament experience in this part of the world."

Mike Ward will be the tournament director for the LAPT. His experience includes being the director of the Foxwoods Resort Casino since 1996 and the director of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas since its launch in 2004.

He said that experience has given him the opportunity to witness the dramatic expansion of tournament poker. "I'm now really looking forward to bringing my skills and energy to the Latin American Poker Tour."

To learn more about the LAPT visit

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