LAPT Mexico Won by Cox After Months of Delay

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By Jennifer Newell Many had long since forgotten about the Latin American Poker Tour stop in Mexico, with the exception of the players and organizers of the tournament. When it was shut down in the middle of Day 1 by the Mexican authorities, the 89 players still in the tournament were sent home without resolution. But PokerStars and the LAPT resolved the issue and brought the eventually-determined final table players to Uruguay to play for the win just prior to the next LAPT tournament getting underway. Though PokerStars and the LAPT were given the impression that the Nuevo Vallarta tour stop was cleared by the authorities, the tournament got underway in early December of 2008 to play one of many stops on the tour. But the local police came in hours after Day 1 began and put a harsh end to the action. When no compromise could be made with the authorities, the remaining 89 players in the tournament were given their buy-ins back, as well as $500 for their troubles, and they were set up to play down to the final table online at PokerStars. Once that was completed, the final nine players were sent to Uruguay this week to play for prize money that was put up by the organizers. Thus, the LAPT Mexico tournament was played out in the resort town of Punta del Este, Uruguay. The chip counts were taken from the results of online play, and Rory Cox was the dominating chip leader entering the final table. But as everyone knows, anything could happen as it played out. The starting counts and seat assignments were as follows: Seat 1: Rory Cox 1,074,500 Seat 2: Victor Ramdin 104,000 Seat 3: Pavel Naydenov 80,000 Seat 4: Helen Prager 326,000 Seat 5: Leonardo Emperador 284,000 Seat 6: Steven Thompson 135,500 Seat 7: Bolivar Palacios 128,500 Seat 8: Martha Herrera 88,000 Seat 9: Alex Brenes 154,500 While Cox threw his chip-weight around for the first few rounds of play, he finally came into contact with Thompson, who was able to double through Cox to stay alive, which prompted a little more caution on the latter’s part going forward. Ramdin was also looking to stay alive in the tournament and pushed the rest of his stack with jd 6d. Prager called with as 7s, and the board brought nothing to save the short stack when it showed td 7h 4h kc kd. Victor Ramdin was the first to leave the game, taking $1,000 with him for ninth place. Alex Brenes looked for an opportunity to move while others did it, like Herrera doubling through Emperador and Palacios doubling through Thompson. Finally, though, Brenes did make that move with his last 100K holding pocket nines, though Naydenov called with as qh to make it a race situation. And the race was over when the cards came ad kc 2c 7h 4s, sending Alex Brenes out in eighth place with $1,500. Palacios had a rough time when Thompson doubled through him, though Palacios came back to double through Cox. Palacios tried it again with kh qs but found himself facing Thompson another time, this time holding ad 5d. The board was innocent enough with a 9h 6s 3c flop, but the ac on the turn gave it to Thompson. After the ks came on the river to solidify it, Bolivar Palacios took his $2,000 for the seventh place finish. Herrera had tripled up prior to the last hand to continue her run at the final table, and she was prepared to do it again. She pushed all-in from the big blind after three players came in, and they all called. After the ts ad 4d flop and Th turn, the checking around led to the ks on the river. Naydenov was the bettor, and Thompson called but had to give it up when Naydenov turned over Q-10 for trips. That sent Martha Herrera out in sixth place with $3,000. Thompson had a roller coaster of a final table but sat with only 22K when he decided to push all-in with td 9h. The three callers were Cox, Naydenov, and Prager, but only Cox was left after the kd 7h 6h flop. Cox turned over a pocket pair of sixes, and the 7c turn and 2h river gave him the pot, sending Steven Thompson out in fifth place with $3,000. As the action heated up, Emperador was next to put his tournament life at risk, and he did it from the small blind with ks 8c. Cox was there to call with pocket queens, and the board brought nothing for the short stack as it produced td 5h 3s ad ah. Leonardo Emperador was forced to accept fourth place and the $5,000 that went with it. Shortly thereafter, Naydenov decided to play along with Cox to see a flop of 5s 8s 4d. Betting and raising led to Cox pushing and Naydenov calling all-in with ks 3s. Cox showed the dominating 5h 4h two pair, and the 3h on the turn and 2c on the river allowed them to stand up. Pavel Naydenov left in third place with $7,500. Heads-up action soon got underway with the following counts: Rory Cox 1,969,000 Helen Prager 405,000 It looked like Cox had it locked up, but Prager wasn’t letting it go so easily. She doubled twice to bring the two stacks close to even, then doubled up again after dinner to take the lead. But Cox returned with a similar move and doubled. Cox then took the chip lead and extended it until the final hand. Cox was the first to act and did so with a raise, but Prager decided to move all-in for 972K. Cox called with as ts, and Prager showed her kh 7d. The flop eased Cox’s mind when it came ac jh 8c, and the 5s sealed the deal. The js on the river was dealt and sent Helen Prager out in second place with an $11,000 prize. That left American Rory Cox with the victory, and a trophy and $15,000 grand prize to accompany it. (Thanks to the PokerStars blog for live updates.)

sounds like an awful lot of

sounds like an awful lot of drama for 15k. Imagina having to fly to mexico for LAPT Mexican Tour tourney then in the middle of Day 1 the police break the tourney, then u have to wait to get a refund on ur money, then you have to play the tournament out on pokerstars in internet land, then if you make the final table u then have to fly to URaguay wherever the hell that is to play out the final table, and then if you bust out first you get 1k. My god what a disaster I think I would have just purposely sat at on pokerstars just so I didnt make the final table. They all got a bonus of 500 so I would have taken my profit and ran from that mess. Moral of story: I will never be playing any LAPT tour touraments any time soon, or forever for that matter.

Dustin "Neverwin" Woolf