A prestigious poker tournament has collapsed in chaos after just a DAY amid claims that it was being used as a front for illegal cash games.
A field of 242 international players started in the £1,700 buy-in three-day PokerStars LAPT poker tournament making it the biggest event of its kind.
But play was suspended late on Friday by local gaming officials and subsequently cancelled as a result of “an indefinite suspension” served on one of the LAPT’s local partners.
The tournament in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, was the second leg of the PokerStars Latin America Poker Tour Season 2
Sources say the 89 players still in the event when it closed will be reimbursed DOUBLE their buy-in from the prize pool, with any remainder being distributed according to players’ chip stacks at the time of the suspension.
A statement from the LAPT said yesterday that it had “cooperated fully and in good faith with the requirements outlined by the Mexican government” and that the LAPT “respects and abides by local regulations in each market”.
The LAPT’s Mexico partner is known to have obtained formal government permission for the event and the company says it fully complied with Mexican law.
The LAPT says its lawyers are now reviewing the matter.
Poker forums were abuzz with rumours this weekend, with several attendees claiming that the reason for the suspension was a number of unlawful cash games which sprung up alongside the main event.
PokerStars and the LAPT have not so far commented on or confirmed the claims.