PokerStars Announces Launch of LAPT

PokerStars, (www.PokerStars.net), the world’s largest online poker site, today announced the launch of Latin America’s first major poker tour, the LAPT. With stops in Brazil, Costa Rica and Uruguay, the tour is set to bring world-class poker action to some of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

The Latin American Poker Tour kicks off in the beautiful beach city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from May 3-5, 2008. This three-day $2,500 tournament will be the largest poker tournament ever held in Brazil, with players competing for a total prize pool of over $600,000. Among the players will be Team PokerStars Pros and international poker stars Andre Akkari from Brazil and Humberto Brenes from Costa Rica.

The tour continues with the LAPT San José in Costa Rica from May 22-24, and then moves on to Uruguay for the LAPT Punta del Este from August 7-9.

LAPT President Glenn Cademartori said: “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. In every regard, the LAPT is going to put Latin America on the map as the newest hotspot to play high-stakes international poker.”

As well as players from Latin America, the LAPT is also set to attract top players from North America and Europe. Each LAPT event planned so far anticipates 250 players or more, creating total prize pools of well over $600,000.

Cademartori said the partnership with PokerStars was ideal for the LAPT. “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. 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.”

PokerStars already sponsors the European Poker Tour (EPT), the leading poker tour in Europe, now in its fourth season, and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT), which launched last year to bring world-class, televised poker to the Asia Pacific region for the first time. It is already the largest poker tour in Asia Pacific and a tremendous success after just one season.

Overseeing the LAPT will be Tournament Director Mike Ward. He said: “As director of Foxwoods Resort Casino since 1996 and director of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas since its launch in 2004, I’ve already overseen a truly dramatic expansion of tournament poker. I’m now really looking forward to bringing my skills and energy to the Latin American Poker Tour.”

Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari said: “It’s a real honour 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. 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.”

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