RE: LAPT Tournament in Mexico Suspended

Let Our Poker People Go

by , Dec 6, 2008 | 9:25 am

It seems that nothing has been resolved in the suspension of the Latin American Poker Tour stop in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. The LAPT itself nor PokerStars, the official sponsor of the tournament, have been able to put together a statement yet, as they are likely still trying to determine what can be done to save this situation…if anything.

Not only were there 89 players left in the tournament, including poker blogger turned poker pro Maria “Maridu” Mayrinck, but members of various media outlets were forced to leave the tournament area quickly as well. As Kevin mentioned, Dr. Pauly is there for PokerNews, but among the others are Owen for PokerListings and Otis and Change100 for PokerStars. Most of them aren’t writing anything about what happened yet and likely won’t until they’re out of the country.

F-Train, a field tournament reporter not on this trip, wrote a little ditty about it, posing the obvious “what to do” questions:

The tournament was stopped late on Day 1. 89 players remained when federal cops shut everything down. Not only did they shut everything down, but the entire room was cleared — players, media, dealers and all tournament staff. There is no way to confirm who was sitting where, or what any individual player’s chip count was at the time of the shutdown.

Pretend you’re LAPT President Glenn Cademartori or LAPT Tournament Director Mike Ward. Assume that play will not be able to resume as scheduled tomorrow. What would you do with the prize pool? How would you resolve this situation?

Still awaiting a statement or word that everyone is safely on planes, trains, or automobiles outta there.

8 Comments to “RE: LAPT Tournament in Mexico Suspended”

  1. Johnny Hughes

    The Mexican police are known for rolling folks. I have been rolled by the police on both sides of the river. You have to love Mexico. They rolled a whole bunch of folks all at once. They didn’t rob a poker game, they robbed a whole tournament. At least, they didn’t put them all in jail, and demand ransom, which they do often.

    La cucaracha, la cucaracha
    Ya no puede caminar
    Porque no tiene, porque le falta
    Marihuana que fumar.

  2. California Jen

    Definitely glad they’re not in jail, and I’m sure they’re being super careful right now.

  3. Kevin Mathers

    Looks like things won’t be known until 5pm local time. Pauly says that the Mexican gaming officials had an issue with the license that was acquired by a third party representing the LAPT.

  4. DanM

    Sounds like a good-ole-fashioned Mexican shakedown to me. They could really use a Texan there to mediate.

    Is this the wrong time and place to argue that if it turned into a life-threatening hostage situation, in the long run it would be “good for poker”?

  5. California Jen

    Yes, Dan, wrong time and place. Maybe once everyone is safely out of that area…

    I’m starting to think that you can argue that anything, anywhere, anytime is good for poker. 😉

  6. DanM

    One technical correction … Change 100 is in California. (Budget cuts is the word I heard.)

    BTW, maybe I’m just being naive in not fearing for anyone’s actual safety. I mean it’s an issue of taxation and licensing and tournament operations, not drug importation. I don’t think there was ever a threat of anyone going to Mexican jail or being shot. Maybe I’m wrong … but I wouldn’t want to be leaving that situation — how lucky are those who get/got to be there firsthand to see it all go down? I’m jealous!

  7. California Jen

    Dan, the date on Change100’s post that you point to was 11/30. She was just in Mexico reporting for the PokerStars blog with Otis for the last few days.

    They’re all getting out of Mexico this morning, according to Otis.

    The only reason I feared for their safety was because their cryptic posts seemed to indicate some fear. And it’s not often that people like Pauly and Otis seem fearful of anything; that’s what created my concern. But they’re all fine and leaving today.

  8. DanM

    Ahh, good, I am glad to hear it. It is also good to know at least one of us around here isn’t so jaded and always rooting for gunfire.

    As to my bad about Change100’s location … see, that’s what I get for listening to poker media types.

    (Damn, Jen, I’m off my game lately … sorry about that. Go Monday!)